Bad eyesight runs in my family.
My mom, my dad, and my brother all have glasses so when I was young, it was only a matter of time before I got them too.
I was in second grade when the chalkboard started going a little fuzzy for me. After a failed eye check at the school, it was confirmed. I would be a “four-eyes” too.
It was actually a thrill getting my first pair of glasses. My mom helped me pick them out, and it was a major bonus that they came with a little stuffed Basset Hound, my favorite type of dog at the time. (That may have been a guiding factor into why I picked that specific brand, actually. 😉 )
As I got older, each trip to the eye doctor resulted in my eyes getting worse, much worse.
I went through many pairs of glasses.
Some made me feel cute and sassy.
And some put the “g” in geeky.
I got along swell with my glasses, except for the occasional annoyance at sleepovers. I remember being so envious of my friends with good vision (They’re like a elite breed). At night while I struggled to find a safe, resting spot for my glasses, they had no cares in the world. In the morning, when I was scrambling around like a blind bat, searching for that safe spot I had put them in, my friends just laughed at me flailing around, on the hunt. (Girls- you know who you are! 😉 ).
The only consistent part of my eye doctor appointments were that my eyes continued to worsen.
Soon, I had surpassed my dad…and then my brother…and finally my mom, who I originally thought had the worst eyesight ever!
Around high school, my eyesight had finally leveled off, and I had long since upgraded my dorky glasses for some sleek contacts.
We would joke that I was basically blind, as I cannot see the big “E” in a doctor’s office once my glasses are off. To me, it’s very blurry and hard to even tell that there is a letter there. It all just looks white.
My left eye is by far my worst, around -7.00. My right eye is only about -5.75, (only!).
I thought this would be the prescription that I would ride out with for all my days.
Flash forward to one week ago.
I finally ran out of my box of contacts from last year and opened up a fresh box that I had ordered from my new optometrist in Wamego.
I wear monthly contacts, and usually the first day of wearing new contacts is glorious. The world seems a little brighter. I’ve got more of a pep in my step, and I’m feeling good!
Last week, however, I put the right contact in, and all was well, and then I put the left contact in, only for the world to be…blurry?
While I could still see out of my left eye, it was just the slightest bit out of focus.
I wore it for a couple days before deciding that maybe it was a faulty one and I’d try one more.
I anxiously put (another) new one in, held my breath, and…same thing. It was still a little fuzzy.
I decided that either the contacts were bad or I was losing my mind. I wore them for a week, convincing myself that it wasn’t that bad and I would get used to it.
Finally though, with the thought of going another whole year before my next optometry appointment, I broke down and called about my issue.
They told me to come in and they could take a look at it to see what was going on.
Luckily, I was the only one at the clinic that afternoon. Unluckily, the assistant was as confused as I was.
She thought maybe the box I had received was faulty.
Just to check, she told me that she would get a trial contact from another brand and see how it worked for me. (Side note: I have used the same brand of contacts for over ten years with no problems so I was a little leery. A benefit of sticking with this brand is that they are older and much less expensive than most brands.)
When the assistant returned, she casually said, “Well, I don’t have any in -7.00, but I grabbed a -7.5 just to check.”
Growing up, I was always told that you shouldn’t move up a step in your eye prescription if you didn’t need it. This was going up two steps.
I was distrustful as I asked her, “Isn’t that a big jump from my normal prescription?”
She replied with some regard to how it would just be a good starting point to check.
With the thought of living in a half-blurry world again haunting me, I willingly put the new stronger contact in. I waited for the aftershocks of wearing such a strong lense, but…there were none. Everything was perfectly clear and normal.
She wanted to check my vision with the new contact before going any further. I read the smallest line with ease and she replied, “Well, you just read at 20/20 vision. That’s perfect! Let me get the doctor to check just in case and then we can send you on your way.”
I was still a bit skeptical of this big jump, and I figured the doctor would agree and realize something else was off.
Unfortunately, he confirmed what the assistant had told me: “Well, since you’re reading at the 20/20 line, we’ll go for that prescription when we order you a new box of contacts.”
He mentioned that I have a slight astigmatism in that left eye, and it could have been causing the blurriness. Basically, it means that the cornea in my left eye is curved different than a normal eye.
He said something like, “Sometimes those things just happen with an astigmatism. They can happen for no apparent reason.”
We got my new contacts ordered, and I went home wearing the trial one of -7.5. Driving home was a little more clear, I will say that.
My eye hurt that first day (from adjusting to the new prescription), but it’s been smooth sailing since then.
After so many years of my prescription not changing, I’m still a little on edge that I just had my last eye appointment in February and only a few months later my eyes (ok, one eye) got that much worse.
I’ve always heard that when your eyes get into the -8.00 level, you’re basically blind.
A lost cause.
Ok, ok, I’m being dramatic. However, -8.00 is when it gets pretty serious and scary.
At the rate I’m going, let’s pray that I don’t get there by next year…or in the next couple of months! (Eek!)
Question of the Day: Do you wear glasses or contacts? Have you ever had problems with contacts?