Thank you so much for all of your input on my post about solutions for creatives’ aging eyes. Your comments were very insightful, and I think what surprised me the most was how many of you love the monovision option! I hadn’t expected that at all.
I had my eye appointment Tuesday afternoon, and I was so excited and hopeful that I’d find a perfect solution that would have me seeing with crystal clear vision at all distances.
Sadly, that did not happen, and I’ve grown increasingly frustrated, disappointed, and discouraged since then. To be clear, it’s not my eye doctor’s fault. He’s amazing, incredibly patient, very knowledgeable, and I trust him thoroughly.
The problem is my eyes. My crazy, frustrating eyes.
After explaining my situation and how I spend my days working on projects, the first solution he proposed was monovision contacts. And after testing to see which of my eyes was the dominant eye, he put me in a contact for distance in my right eye, and a contact for near vision in my left eye.
It was awful. 🙁 I know so many of you said to give it time so that my eyes can adjust, but y’all. I can’t imagine ever being able to adjust to that. The main issue is that I have astigmatism in both eyes, but the astigmatism in my right eye (the one fitted with the contact for distance) isn’t bad enough that it can be corrected with a contact lens. But it is bad enough that it affects just how much he can correct my vision without correction for astigmatism. It boils down to the fact that my right eye, with a contact lens, can only be corrected to 20/25 vision.
20/25 vision isn’t bad if I have the power of both eyeballs seeing 20/25. But with monovision, I only have the power of my right eye seeing 20/25, and my left eye seeing everything blurry at a distance, and that combination just about drove me crazy. But the monovision gave me super sharp near vision for reading since the astigmatism in my left eye is bad enough that it can be corrected with a contact lens. What I didn’t like is that the contact to correct for astigmatism is weighted, so it’s thicker than a regular contact lens, and I constantly felt like I had a piece of fuzz in my left eye.
So I left the his office in monovision, drove home in them (I was perfectly safe to drive — safety wasn’t the issue), and made it about 45 minutes in them after I got home before I couldn’t take it anymore. So I took those out and tried on the multifocal contacts he had given me to try out.
Those were much better. In those, he could only correct both eyes to 20/25, but since I had the power of both eyes seeing distance, it didn’t bother me. And I was able to see my laptop very clearly, which was amazing! But the near vision for reading is where things got frustrating. Nothing was super sharp, and if I needed to see really tiny print, I could just forget about it.
I realized almost immediately that those would also take some serious getting used to. As I was getting out of my car, I happened to look down at my feet, and my split second reaction was pure panic as I thought to myself, “Oh my gosh, why are my feet so swollen?!” 😀 It took about two full seconds for my brain to kick in and realize that swollen feet wouldn’t cause my shoes to look huge, and they did look huge! My size 6.5 shoes looked like they were about size 11 triple wide shoes. They looked like clown shoes.
Later that evening, I was sitting on the bed with my laptop, and Peeve came along to snuggle next to me, as she usually does. Almost immediately, I was shocked at how much weight my tiny 7-pound cat has gained. She looked like a 15-pound cat! It took a second for me to realize that it was the contacts, and she was still the same tiny cat she’s always been.
And let’s just say that when Cooper, my normally 85-pound dog, came running at me the first time while I was wearing those contacts, it was a bit frightening. It looked like a lion was running at me.
I wore those all day yesterday, thinking I just needed to get used to them. And while they were fine for distance and intermediate vision, I just couldn’t get over not being able to see clearly up close. I can’t even tell you how many times I instinctively reached for my (non-existent) glasses to push them to the top of my head so that I could bring something inches from my face to be able to read the tiny print. Not having the option of reading tiny print really got to me.
Anyway, every Wednesday, we have a family lunch on my mom’s new beautiful covered patio, and I pretty much spend the afternoon over there, and then almost every Wednesday evening, I head to Barnes & Noble where I enjoy some coffee and read magazines. This has become my Wednesday routine that I very much look forward to every week, and I always stay at Barnes & Noble until they close and kick me out. 😀
So yesterday, I kept with my routine, but on my way to Barnes & Noble, I stopped at CVS to get some reading glasses to help with the tiny print.
I got to Barnes & Noble, ordered my coffee, gathered my magazines, and found a comfy table. And about an hour later (at about 7:00, rather than my regular 9:00 departure time), I was so frustrated and discouraged that I was ready to pack up and leave. My eyes were so red and uncomfortable and the reading glasses were making me dizzy.
So I think my options are quickly dwindling. Monovision contacts won’t cut it since my right eye for distance can’t be corrected for astigmatism and that makes my distance and intermediate vision blurry, plus that weighted contact for near vision feels like an eyelash is in my eye all the time.
It’s looking like multifocal contacts won’t work because they can’t correct for astigmatism, which affects my depth perception at night, and also doesn’t allow me to read easily. And if I have to use any option that requires separate reading glasses, I may as well just give up reading, doing projects, or anything else that requires near vision, because I hate them with a passion. So that rules out the regular contact lenses paired with reading glasses option.
So I guess I’m left with the multifocal glasses option. Since they can correct both eyes for astigmatism, If I’m understanding correctly, that means that both eyes would be able to see distance at 20/20, and I’d also be able to see clearly to read. No separate reading glasses would be necessary.
I’m disappointed. After so many of you said how much you loved your monovision contacts, I was so hoping that would be an option for me. When that didn’t work, I was hoping that I could at least use multifocal contacts, but it doesn’t seem like that’s meant to be either. But if I do go with the multifocal glasses option, I think this time I need to get some prescription safety glasses also. I’ve taken way too many chances, and have been quite lucky to this point. But this whole experience has made me realize just how much I take my eyes for granted. No more taking chances from here on out.