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[personal profile] elionwyr

A few weeks ago, I broke my glasses.

The fear of broken frames is why I wore metal frames for so many  years.  I went back to plastic because Bones suggested I'd look good in catseye frames, and he was right.  I've not been gentle to these things, and I'm frankly surprised they didn't break sooner...although I'm incredibly grateful it didn't happen while I was in China last year.

Initially we thought we could repair them.  This shows you just how long it's been since I've dealt with broken frames.  The superglue repair worked for about 1-1/2 days.

My getting an eye exam and new glasses isn't a financial priority - at least, not for me.   When you need bifocals, there's really no such thing as a cheap pair of glasses.  I was pretty sure I could make due with contacts, my old glasses, and reading glasses.

I was very wrong.

My last exam, over 2 years ago now, put me at a -6.75 in my right eye and a -5.75 in my left, with a +1.25 bifocal adjustment.  If you're over 40 and you wear bifocals, that all makes sense to you.  If you don't, it's Greek, so let me explain.  This means I'm pretty significantly nearsighted.  Even with my glasses, I do not have 20/20 vision and I can't read street signs and such as well as other people.  If I am wearing regular glasses, I can read only if I look under my frames.  This is in part why I wear huge bifocals..it forces me to actually use the reading correction.

If I am wearing contacts, I can't read a computer screen, a menu, a book, without reading glasses.  This means retraining my brain to NOT use glasses if I'm trying to see beyond the computer screen, which is more frustrating than it sounds. Also, there's a good chance most places will have to order my contacts because my script is *just* at the point of being uncommon enough to not be kept in stock.

If I am wearing non-bifocals, I can only read if I (a) look beneath my lenses or (b) put reading glasses on over my glasses.  This doesn't seem to make sense, but it works.  Mostly.  I mean, it cuts back significantly on what I can see distance-wise.  Thanks to computer screen settings, I can enlarge the font to allow me to mostly see without my readers..I think I was up to 170% and it still wasn't super clear but it was workable.  Sadly, it means that if my computer opens a new tab, I'm back to not being able to read the screen.

What I learned was that my script has changed.  Even with my glasses and readers, I was unable to do things such as see spilled beads and be able to pick them up.  I didn't do very much cross stitching because I was struggling in general to see detail.  I've had headaches and eye strain every night from my brain being taxed to process all these varied focal points.  Because I don't wear contacts very often, my eyes had some issues wearing them every day. (Although hey, without having huge frames on my face, I was forced to actually look at myself in the morning - which I tend to not want to do - and that encouraged me to wear makeup. So!  Small positives.)

After maybe a week of struggling like this, I ended up ordering some bifoclas via Zenni Optical, tweaking my script up to -7/-6/+2.  They arrived last night and it is, frankly, almost making me weep to be able to see well again.  I just had no idea how bad my vision really is. I feel much more compassion for people that struggle with problems more serious than mine.

I've spent a lot of time over the past few  years wearing my old glasses while I cross stitch because that allows me to watch TV and still be able to see to stitch.  My bifocals don't really allow me to see that much detail.   And I've been struggling to even browse shelves in bookstores because the focal point is kinda weird.  This is *heartbreaking* and it's not something I've admitted to anyone until right now.  I'd probably do better with transitional lenses, to be honest, but that raises the price of glasses even more for me.

It's kinda hard to admit to my vision problems.  I'm doing so because I've never seen anyone else describe what it's like to need bifocals beyond, "Oh, I put readers on over my glasses to get me through."  This is a part of aging I didn't anticipate being as difficult as it is.

And if I ever leave the country again, I'm absolutely bringing a back-up pair of glasses.  Because I can't imagine dealing with this while away from home.

Date: 2015-09-30 06:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] silme.livejournal.com
I'm fairly myopic. My left eye is -11.75 and my right is -10.75. I also have a lot of astigmatism, although it's far worse in my right eye, which is why I've always thought my right eye was worse than my left, despite my left being more myopic. My vision has never been 20/20 even with correction.

Due to my high levels of myopia, I didn't need verifocals (bifocals) until I was 50. However, I really needed them then. That correction is +2.0 in one eye and 2.25 in another.

The idea of just being able to buy cheap reading glasses at a supermarket is foreign to me.

My prescription is high enough that bifocals wouldn't work well for me; I need verifocals (progressive lenses). They do cost more, which is why I went to Asda for my last eye exam. They offer complex prescriptions (higher than -8 and added astigmatism) with verifocals starting at £40. The price varies depending on the frames, but the highest price is £99, which is a lot cheaper than other places. I can't use on-line stores as my prescription is too strong for them. They don't tend to go above -10.

Date: 2015-09-30 01:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brujah.livejournal.com
Thank you, random LJ person, for answering where I should go for an eye exam! I've not had my eyes checked since I moved to the UK in 2009 and my glasses need replaced in the worst way.

Date: 2015-09-30 01:58 pm (UTC)
ext_4696: (Default)
From: [identity profile] elionwyr.livejournal.com
Yay internet hive brain! :)

Date: 2015-09-30 05:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] silme.livejournal.com
Hi -- I'm an American ex-pat who moved to the UK in 2000 (British husband). I've been living and working here ever since.

I'm not usually an Asda person because I don't like Walmart, but one of my colleagues told me about this deal and it can't be beat. She got verifocals with a complex prescription for £40. By sheer coincidence, her favourite frame was one of the cheap ones. Therefore, this summer, when I needed an eye check, I went there. Just go to any Asda with an optical department; not every Asda has them. You probably will need to book the eye exam itself ahead of time.

The last time I had to get new glasses (verifocals and complex prescription), it cost me £350 and I didn't go for expensive frames. Eek! I jumped at Asda's deal.

If you do have bad eyes -- as in above -8 or -10 (I can't remember which) and/or have a lot of astigmatism, you may get a free eye exam on the NHS. My eye exams are free.

Date: 2015-09-30 05:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brujah.livejournal.com
American, here, too! (American by birth, British by choice.)

I'm far-sighted in one eye and am slightly astigmatic (headaches by the hundreds from reading), so my scripts are pretty inexpensive all around. I'd thought about using Boots, but haven't done much research. I do know I've a bit of vision degradation which is to be expected the closer I get to 50, I reckon.

I'm not an Asda person, either. I think I've been to the local one three times since I moved here, but I used the Wal-Mart eye center for my glasses in the US, so I don't know why it didn't strike me to check Asda.

Date: 2015-10-01 08:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brujah.livejournal.com
Unrelated to glasses, the single thing I miss most since moving here is... screened windows.

Date: 2015-09-30 01:58 pm (UTC)
ext_4696: (Default)
From: [identity profile] elionwyr.livejournal.com
I have a slight astigmatism, which contributes to making my contacts a little tricky and is probably why I see halos at night when I wear them.

I had no idea online stores didn't go above -10!

I plan to go to America's Best when I'm ready for an eye exam, as they have some appealing packages, but I'm not sure how bifocals will affect the pricing. I've been wearing them for 3 years or so now and I'm still not used to the limited frame choices and the cost.

Date: 2015-09-30 05:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] silme.livejournal.com
Most on-line stores won't go that high because you really need in-person fittings etc. for that high a prescription.

Date: 2015-09-30 01:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] brujah.livejournal.com
I consider glasses to be as necessary as any prosthesis or needed medication. I hope you can find a solution, soon.

Date: 2015-09-30 01:59 pm (UTC)
ext_4696: (Default)
From: [identity profile] elionwyr.livejournal.com
The ability to set my own script for this pair of glasses helped a lot, and it'll get me through until we can do a full exam. I'm just amazed at what a difference they're making.

Date: 2015-10-03 05:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cissa.livejournal.com
I don't have bifocals yet, but one of the reasons i use a cane is that the ground is in a different place when I am wearing glasses- which I need to do outside the house- vs when I am not. This makes me very unsteady.

I also really need to get a new prescription, since even my outside glasses do not let me read street signs well anymore. Fortunately, I seldom drive...

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