I know this isn’t my usual type of post, but I’d really love any input from those of you who have been through this, have had to deal with your aging eyes, and have found a solution that works really well for you. I’d especially love to hear from those of you who are creative types who are continually working on projects, whether it’s sewing, painting, building, or anything else like that.
The bottom line is that ever since I turned 40 (ummm…that was six years ago!), I’ve noticed my near vision changing. For a long time, it was just a bit annoying, but now it’s to the point that something really needs to be done because it’s affecting literally every single project I work on these days. In order to clearly see any project I work on that’s relatively close to my face (i.e., the distance between my eyes and the top of my new work table), I have to put my glasses as far down my nose as possible like this…
…which is totally impractical because half the time, I’m working outside using my saws, and my glasses just slip right off of my sweaty nose. If I need to read something, like instructions on the side of a can of rubber cement, then I have to take my glasses off completely and hold the item about 8 inches from my face to read the fine print.
So clearly, it’s time to do something about this so that I can get back to actually seeing clearly and working more efficiently.
Anyway, it’s been an embarrassingly long time since I’ve had my prescription updated and gotten new glasses anyway, so I have an appointment with the eye doctor tomorrow afternoon. But when I made the appointment, the lady asked me, “Is this for glasses or contacts?” Ummm…I have no idea! I’ve been doing some reading on the different options, and I just have no idea which one works the best for creatives who obviously need clear distance vision but who spend a great deal of time each day also needing very sharp near and intermediate vision.
Contacts with reading glasses?
This option seemed like the natural go-to option just because I see people using reading glasses all the time. And I wore contacts from the time I was eight years old until about seven years ago, so while I might have to get used to them again, wearing contacts is nothing new for me.
But does this option really work for creatives? I’d be constantly having to put the glasses on, pull them off, put them on, pull them off, throughout the entire day. And always having a pair of reading glasses around my neck like a permanent necklace doesn’t seem appealing to me.
This is where you have a contact lens in one eye (generally your dominant eye) for far vision, and a different prescription in the other eye for near vision. It sounds strange, and I probably wound’t even consider it, except that I know two people (my aunt and my brother) who both love this option. My brother currently wears glasses, but he says that he’s going back to monovision contacts as soon as possible because he liked it so much.
But my brother isn’t a creative. He’s a computer guy, and spends his days in front of a computer screen. So he’s not sewing, threading needles, creating artwork, needing to see the tiny measurements on tape measures, etc.
Plus, the idea of not having the combined power of both eyes for both far vision and near vision when I need it seems strange to me, but when I expressed my concern to Matt, he said, “Well, the brain is a powerful thing. There would be an adjustment period, but your brain would get used to it after a while.”
That’s true, but I’m still not sure if this is even a viable option. Is it more suited for people who do desk jobs at computers all day long, or would it work for creatives also?
Bifocal/multifocal contact lenses?
This option interests me because I could finally get rid of glasses altogether (except for the pair I have on hand for early morning and late night use before and after I put my contacts in). When I’m working outside and getting sweaty, there’s nothing more frustrating than my glasses slipping down my nose.
And, I’m ashamed to say, I never wear a proper pair of safety glasses when working with my saws and other tools because it’s just not practical when I already wear glasses. I’d either have to wear safety glasses over my current glasses (tried that and it’s awful), or continually switch out my glasses for prescription safety glasses (wouldn’t work because I’d misplace them and spend my days looking for glasses), or just wear prescription safety glasses all day long when working on wood working projects (which is not going to happen…ever).
So it would be nice to actually be able to wear a proper pair of safety glasses to fully protect my eyes when needed. But I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone who tried bifocal or multifocal contact lenses and loved them.
I believe my brother currently wears no-line bifocals, and as I mentioned above, he’s planning to go back to monovision contacts. I constantly see him removing his glasses and holding things up close to his face to read fine print, so clearly his current glasses aren’t cutting it for him.
My mom wears progressive glasses, and seems to really like them. She spends quite a bit of time on the computer working on photos in Photoshop, so while she’s incredibly creative, her time is spent on very different creative endeavors than mine.
My one main concern about bifocal/multifocal/progressive lenses is that while it would help me with near vision while working at my saws or at my work table, I’ve noticed that there are many times when I’m needing sharp near vision to see things above my head — measuring for, installing, and painting crown molding; measuring for and installing curtain rods; installing light fixtures; etc. I don’t know how that would work with bifocal or multifocal glasses.
Are there any options that I’ve left out? Those are the ones that I’ve come across as I’ve searched for any options available to me, but I’m sure I could have overlooked something.
What works for you creative types?
I know that each person is different, and what works for one person may not work at all for another. But I’m starting from square one with this, and my appointment is tomorrow afternoon. And while I’m sure my eye doctor will have some input on the various options, he spends his days eye doctoring and not doing creative-type projects, so he won’t have any firsthand knowledge of what would work best for a person like me.
So I’d love to hear from those of you who actually do spend your days in creative endeavors, especially if you sew (and have to thread needles), build (and have to see the small marks on your measuring tape as your measuring pieces of lumber), install molding (including crown molding above your head), create artwork, etc.
And if you’ve tried more than one option and found one to be better than the other, I’d love to hear why one worked and the other didn’t.
Help a girl out, please! 🙂