An unexpected benefit of ageing
So many thing start going wrong with your body as you get older that it’s nice when the aging process actually provides something useful. As you can see at right, I wear glasses — have since fifth grade or so, and up until about eight years ago my vision prescription stayed roughly the same.
In 2012 I was told by my ophthalmologist that my near vision was starting to go and I would need bifocals. Luckily modern plastics technology has gifted us with progressive lenses so I don’t have that extremely obvious half-moon at the bottom of my glasses, but still, it was an annoying reminder that my eyes were starting to crap out on me. As there was no way to avoid it, I sucked it up, got the progressives, stuck it out through the week-long adjustment period until I could wear them without getting a humongous headache, and continued on my merry way.
And then three years ago, I was having problems focusing. I went in for a checkup, expecting to hear that my near vision had gotten progressively worse and I would need a new scrip. “Oh,” said the ophthalmologist after examining me, “yeah, your prescription has changed.”
“Near vision, right?”
“Actually, no. It’s your far vision. It’s improved.”
I blinked, which is kind of difficult in one of those “which one is better, one or two” eye exam thingies. “Come again?”
Well. As it turns out, people with myopia (nearsightedness) will start developing presbyopia (farsightedness) as they get older, as do many people with normal vision. However, in a myopic’s case the presbyopia starts to offset the myopia, meaning that your far vision actually starts to improve as you get older. The ophthalmologist said that I’d probably never have 20/20 vision, but I could expect my far vision to continue to improve until I was in my 60’s.
Why am I bringing all this up? Because, dear reader, my far vision has very clearly changed again in this last year, which has resulted in me leaving my glasses off whenever possible (unless I’m driving or need to see the TV) so that I don’t get a headache. I can see my computer just fine, both the laptop and desktop, and I have cheaters for any sort of up-close work. I was finally able to get into the optometrist’s office in June after they reopened from the pandemic shut-down, and yup, my far vision has improved to the point where I only need a bit of correction in my right eye (left eye’s improved as well, but it’s always needed more correction than my right eye).
Thing is, I got used to wandering around without glasses for the first time since fifth grade, so I’m still doing it unless I have to drive somewhere or watch TV (frankly, wearing the new glasses is weird because it’s hard to see the floor, something the optometrist warned me would happen). And I have to say — have my eyes always been this deep-set or did I just not notice because of the glasses?