My Aging Eyes Revisited — Frustration and Dwindling Options

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.

A very unhappy and miserable me, sitting under the harsh lighting in Barnes & Noble, with red, watery eyes and dizzying reading glasses. Can you see the misery in my eyes?

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.

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2019 at 10:39 am

    I did almost all the same things you described about 8 years ago with all the same issues you face. I finally settled on progressive trifocals because seeing was the goal. I hate wearing glasses but I love being able to see.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 12, 2019 at 12:31 pm

      I went through it too & also have astigmatism. I have worn glasses since I was 7 & have a srong prescription.

      I hated contacts, bifocals & then trifocals. I ended up w single vision lenses for every day wear & just take them off for reading. Then I got prescription sunglasses for distance since I primarily wear them for driving. No more dizziness.

      I set my kindle for a larger type size, when I am on my laptop, I use the scroll size feature so I can magnify to 150%.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        September 12, 2019 at 1:02 pm

        I wear lined trifocals, and I love them because I can see… across the room, computer and reading or beading (my creative outlet). For driving I wear sunglasses with readers. Love them too.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        September 12, 2019 at 2:33 pm

        Absolutely ended up with same. I do handsewing with no glasses or contacts, single vision glasses for machine sewing. Driving glasses for distance. I did see a surgeon but my options were limited unless I wanted $10000 cornea implants. So…. I make do. Science has come a long way but Not far enough yet. I am grateful that I can manage with the various glasses and no glasses to do all that I love. Sorry you are going through it all too.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        September 12, 2019 at 9:57 pm

        I have astigmatism also and I agree that the weighted contact size are awful. I lasted about a week. I now have progressive lenses in my glasses and they’ve been great. I have a set of safety glasses that fit over my glasses and I just push them up on my head when I don’t need them.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 12, 2019 at 12:56 pm

      I learned to think of my glasses as face jewelry. It helps.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 12, 2019 at 8:41 pm

      I have the exact same issue. My right eye I see 20/20 with astigmatism contact, but my left eye 20/30. Not enough astigmatism for a contact. If the power of my left contact is increased I can’t see anything up close. Reading glass & contacts are my only option.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lucinda Stevenosn
    September 12, 2019 at 10:41 am

    I chose to take my bi focal prescription and had the reading portion made into a separate glass frame. Yes it means I have to change frames but the outcome is well worth the small convenience.

    This may be an option.

    Note: I had the bi focal portion adjusted for my computer monitor as the distance is greater then reading a book.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mark Tisdale
    September 12, 2019 at 10:48 am

    Ugh, sorry that didn’t work out! My aunt loved hers. She had cataract surgery more recently and they do the same near/far vision correction when putting in the lenses for that.

    I’ve never been able to stand contacts. And I had zero luck with progressive lenses. I have friends who love them. I hope you’re one of them! I figured if I didn’t adjust to them in six weeks it was never happening.


    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Mary Ann
      September 12, 2019 at 11:05 am

      I had the exact same issues but the monovision contacts worked the best. Then a year ago I noticed my vision wasn’t clear and found out I had cataracts. I opted for the Symphony lenses inserted, mono vision as well. They were able to correct my astigmatism while removing cataracts. My vision is the best it’s ever been! Good luck!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2019 at 11:15 am

    Visian icl’s are an option especially if you have an astigmatism
    discover icl.com

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Sandra Keller
      September 13, 2019 at 7:37 am

      I wore progressive lens for quite a few years. They take getting used to also but seemed easier. I’m an artist/art teacher so close up was super important. They are expensive and I was haveing to change priscrition every 6-8 months. That’s why I decided on lasix afterward waking up in the morning I would grab for my glasses before opening my eyes. Then I would realize that my lifelong dream of opening my eyes and seeing had come true. I was legally blind in my right eye so it’s not 2020. Now at 70 I’m finding I have to use readers at night. I hope the progressives work for you!! Seeing and our eyes is so important.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2019 at 11:18 am

    Is LASIK/PRK an option to correct your distance vision? It seems like having one less thing to fix with lenses might make it easier? I have astigmatism and got really good results. Apologies if this is a repeat suggestion. I’m not a comment-reader. 😊

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 12, 2019 at 12:13 pm

      While Lasik takes care of distance, she would still need glasses to read the fine print. As you get older, near-sightness gets clearer & better…and far-sightedness gets worse

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Lisa R
        September 12, 2019 at 4:06 pm

        Not the case, I had LASIK with mono vision and at 63 I do not wear reading glasses and have excellent distance vision as well. My procedure was done in 1999 and I would hope the technology has only gotten better.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 12, 2019 at 12:17 pm

      I had lasik over 15 yrs ago…..near sighted with astigmatisms….They did one eye with near vision and the other with distance vision….so lasik monovision! Works great for me!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Crystal G., RN
      September 12, 2019 at 2:15 pm

      Lasik is used for near-sighted people since it flattens the cornea and reduces the focal length from the back to front of the eye. Severely nearsighted people have eyeballs shaped more like eggs than balls. Farsighted people had ball shapes already but the lens is beginning to flatten out which lengthens the focal point. There is no surgery that I am aware of, except cataract removal (removes the lens in the eye), that will “cure” farsightedness. It sounds like Kristie has hit the wall on this. Because she lives in Texas and is outdoors alot, she will face cataracts sooner than most people. Sunlight exposure year round hastens the formation of them. I live in FL and had to have mine removed before I was 60.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2019 at 11:20 am

    My dad has prescription glasses with an attachment for the sides to become safety glasses versus a whole other pair, similar to this:

    Perhaps that would help a little bit, too?

    Or I found this option which I might actually pick up for myself: NoCry Over-Glasses Safety Glasses – with Clear Anti-Scratch Wraparound Lenses, Adjustable Arms, Side Shields, UV400 Protection, ANSI Z87 & OSHA Certified https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B071RSM598/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_O.MEDbE49P5QZ

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 12, 2019 at 12:19 pm

      Have you thought about trying on glasses from a non-chain place? You could probably get unique, artsy sort of frames. Jewelry for your face.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lisa Johnson
    September 12, 2019 at 11:23 am

    Kristi, I’m so sorry the monovision contacts aren’t working for you. I am confused though, why is it you couldn’t correct for astigmatism? Mine are monovison with astigmatism correction- made by Cooper Labs. I’ve worn these for many, many years.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 12, 2019 at 11:35 am

      I’m amazed too that you can’t get that other eye corrected properly with the astigmatism as I have them in both eyes. If my contacts are weighted, I sure can’t tell. After wearing contacts for nearly 40 years, I can tell you that different brands have different thicknesses. Don’t give up! I’ve tried some that didn’t feel right and then moved on to another brand. Right now I wear Air Optix by Alcon. Again, both of my eyes have astigmatisms and I use monovision. I’ve also never had things appearing larger than they are with my correction. Maybe your correction needs some tweaking. It’s a fine balance for each eye as you know.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 12, 2019 at 11:45 am

      I did a little reading on this when I got home. Evidently people have astigmatism in varying degrees that are measured in units called diopters. There is a certain minimum amount (a fraction of a diopter) that can be corrected with contact lenses, but any amount can be corrected with glasses. My astigmatism in the right eye falls below that minimum amount that can be corrected with a contact lens. It’s enough to affect my vision and depth perception, but not enough to be corrected with a contact lens. When he tried to correct it with the lowest diopter available, it blurred my vision even more than the 20/25 regular lens did.

      But the astigmatism in my left eye is a greater diopter than the miminum in contact lenses, so he could correct it, and it made my near vision incredibly sharp with the monovision contacts.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        September 12, 2019 at 12:00 pm

        My husband tried all the options you did. He also has an astigmatism and reading your blog today I felt like every word you wrote is what he said. He ended up doing progressive lenses in his glasses. He was super bummed he couldn’t get any of the contacts to work.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        September 12, 2019 at 12:32 pm

        While monovision contacts may not be in your cards currently, don’t rule them out in the future. My astigmatisms have changed over the years along with my vision. You may reach a point past that minimum.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        September 12, 2019 at 9:45 pm

        My sister loves this brand new lens that was just released: Bausch & Lomb ULTRA for astigmatism

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Barbara H.
    September 12, 2019 at 11:24 am

    I wore glasses since 3rd grade and then went to progressive bifocals followed by progressive trifocals until last winter when I had cataract surgery. I paid a lot extra for the multi-focal lens so no more glasses – unless I’m reading small print which most packaging now seems to have. Dollar Tree has reading glasses for $1.00 so I have those scattered around the house in places where I might need them. I’m so glad I chose the multi-focal intraocular lenses, though it’s hard to get used to not being able to see close up. Because I was near sighted, as I got older I took my glasses off to see small print and small detail work. The astigmatism was corrected with the laser during the cataract surgery. Now I make sure I wear safety glasses when mowing the lawn, using spray paint and doing other things that are a danger to my eyes. It’s no longer a pain to use them because I don’t have to put them over glasses. I’m so sorry the options that you were hoping for didn’t work out – aging eyes are very frustrating.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen Crosthwaite
    September 12, 2019 at 11:25 am

    Sorry that all options with contacts didn’t work for you! But your eyes are so necessary for your occupation and your delight of artistic projects, so you have to be comfortable with the eyesight/ eye correction options.
    Good luck, Kristi!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Deb Thalasitis
    September 12, 2019 at 11:32 am

    You have been evaluated for cataracts? I got them young. After years of wearing mono-vision contacts (which worked wonderfully for me) I suddenly couldn’t see and adjusting the script didn’t help. They finally checked me for cataracts (didn’t initially because I was so young.) Bingo. Now I see great with my “fake” eyes.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      April 11, 2021 at 11:05 am

      What kind of cataract surgery did you get? What kind of lenses? Thank you

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2019 at 11:33 am

    Well, sorry it didn’t work out as you’d hoped. Fortunately there are other options available for you. I’m hearing impaired & have to wear hearing aids. I absolutely HATE it, but it is what it is. And I’m always counting my blessings – it could be something so much worse. I’m sure you’ll find something that will work for you eventually. Patience, girl. Change and adapting as we get older is harder for our brains to acclimate to.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2019 at 11:35 am

    I seem to be the only one to suggest lasik surgery. I had it so many years ago and it must have improved even since then. I love having 20/20 vision. I have distance in one eye and reading in the other, but once my brain adjusted in a few days, there were no issues.

    I did end up getting glasses for driving at night a few years ago, but realized that those big cheap sunglasses, the ugly yellow ones, accomplished the same thing, cutting the glare. The vision wasn’t the problem, just the glare. I hope you are able to achieve a satisfying solution.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    janice J dinse
    September 12, 2019 at 11:46 am

    I never could understand the monovision. I would be so thrown off with one eye seeing distance and one eye not. I don’t think I could ever get used to that. I used to wear contacts to get clearer vision, which was wonderful since my glasses were so thick, and then reading glasses of 2.50 and it works perfectly. I tried bifocals and I felt like I was tilting my head up and down to get to the place I needed to look out of. so I didn’t like that at all. Def get safety glasses with your rx.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jeanne Atkinson
    September 12, 2019 at 11:46 am

    The older I’ve gotten, the dryer my eyes have gotten. So even though I wore contact for 15 years, they just don’t work for me now. Seems like you’re skipping over the option of just getting glasses, and keeping them on all the time. If you got the kind with nose pads, they wouldn’t slip down like the ones you have now do, and you could get the bifocal correction for reading, plus be able to see at a distance.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 12, 2019 at 1:33 pm

      I had very dry eyes wearing contacts. My Dr put plugs in my tear ducts to open them bigger to allow for more tears which took care of the dry eye issue! Greatest thing I ever had done!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2019 at 11:51 am

    I have astigmatism and have never been able to get used to contacts, especially the thought that THERE’S SOMETHING SITTING ON MY EYEBALL! My eyes were so bloodshot, it looked like I was stoned, then my eyes ached for hours after I removed the contacts. No good for me.

    I were progressive glasses. It took about two weeks to get used to them. The key to getting used to them is to put them on and DON”T REMOVE THEM during the day. You don’t give your eyes and brain the opportunity to adjust when the glasses are on, off, on, off.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2019 at 11:54 am

    I have almost the exact same issues as you. What I did was the mono-vision contacts without correcting for the astigmatism. Night driving was an issue because that is really the only time the astigmatism rears it’s ugly head. I kept a pair of “driving” glasses in the car in case I drove at night. This was a great solution during the long summer months, but began to frustrate me a little during the winter. However, wearing glasses is a safety issue for me as I am in construction. I have broken my nose more times than I can count. I don’t think there is any perfect solution, just a solution you can deal with. Another option that I have done and sometimes still do, is have corrective far vision contacts and wear readers. I hope you find a solution that works for you soon.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2019 at 12:14 pm

    While Lasik takes care of distance, she would still need glasses to read the fine print. As you get older, near-sightness gets clearer & better…and far-sightedness gets worse

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2019 at 12:17 pm

    Hello. I can understand your frustration. I wear progressive glasses. I’m very happy with them. I also have a pair of prescription readers. The reading portion on progressives is not the full width of the lens. I prefer to read comfortably so I switch to the readers when I’m relaxing with a book. Otherwise the reading portion works just fine. I hope you fine something that works well for you

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    My husband said the beauty of safety prescription glasses is you have a larger field of vision to work within.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Joan Hornung
    September 12, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    Aw, I was afraid that would happen. That’s why I keep a pair of computer distance glasses at my computer – driving glasses in the car, and reading or “cheaters” all over the house. I tend to NOT wear glasses unless I need them for one of those chores. I can see better distance now without correction – but not perfect. But, I am older than you, and that is probably the direction you are going too. I guess that is normal as we age. UGH. The worst time for me is paying bills online. I look at the screen, then I can’t see the bill unless I put on my other glasses!!! If you ever find a true answer, please share!!! Good Luck.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Julie Butler
    September 12, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    Kristi, I do not have personal experience with this method, but know people who do. They are sold on it. I do know the doctor who does this treatment. He is an absolute stand up guy.



  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jo Kornelsen
    September 12, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    For 28 years I have used 2 pair of glasses, 1 for projects, reading and around the house, The other for the other parts of my life, I would not have it any other way, Tried bifocals and they gave me vertigo, I am so used to living with 2 pairs of glasses it has become a way of life, I have several reading glasses in different areas, Has become second nature to me, After cataract surgery I still do this but weaker lenses Good luck toyou

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Laura L
    September 12, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    I have an astigmatism and I am far sighted. I have glasses that are trifocals – no lines. LOVE them. I have never really had a problem with them – give them a try!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cheri Varvil
    September 12, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    I have worn progressive lenses since about age 45 (I’m 68 now), and have not had any problems with them. I wear the supposedly infinitely variable ones and didn’t even have the early adjustment issues I heard some have. I also have astigmatism and always had trouble with contact lenses, both hard and soft, until I gave up on them. I don’t do the level of precise work you do, but I am able to do most things pretty well – including threading a small needle.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    LASIK? Have you ever considered it? I clearly understand that you could need readers but lasik is the best thing money can buy. It has come along way. You won’t be sorry!
    Good luck. Eyes are no joke, it’s terrible to not be able to see.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    It is funny that your topic is glasses since I just picked up my first pair of prescription glasses yesterday. I got tired of the cheap readers and since my eyesight has changed slightly for distance vision and majorly for reading, I acquiesced and went with progressive glasses. So, far, they’re great. No adjustment issues, at all. I, too, am the creative type and needed reliable glasses, especially ones that won’t fall off every time I lean over something! I encourage you you not to be down or frustrated. Some things we cannot change, but we can be creative about how we work around them , like Matisse was when his arthritis prevented him from painting. (He switched to making cutouts with children’s scissors!) The only other thing I can think of is to consider lighting. I’ve had an Ottlite for years now and think it is one of the best tools I have in my craft/sewing room! Best of luck!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    Blessings, dear! I have a history of viral and bacterial eye infections caused by a poke to the eye in 6th grade gym class. I am fortunate not to have frequent infections now, but I had so many in high school that I am left with scar tissue and thin corneas. Translation? I have never been allowed to wear contacts by any doctor I have been to. Glasses are not the end of the world. Several years into my 40s, I was struggling with the issues you describe. I told my doctor that I didn’t want bifocals. He certainly understood. I had my appointment, got checked for a new lens prescription, and then we were chatting. He handed me my paperwork and chatted a few more minutes…then he asked me to take a look at my paperwork. At the moment I looked down…he swiftly moved a pane of glass between my face and the paper…and the words JUMPED into my eyes…crisp and clear! I asked what the heck! He said, “That’s bifocals.” So….long story short…I now wear progressive lenses. I have a far-sighted eye, a near-sighted eye, astigmatism in both eyes, and progressive no-line bifocals. I still sometimes shove my glasses to the top of my head when I am reading in bed. That’s fine. And sometimes the glasses I ordered weren’t made right…and I had to have them remade…but when they are right…it works. (And when you decide to go this route…remember to point your nose at what you are looking at. It might take a couple days to adjust)

    Also…I wear an 11 wide shoe. Wanna honk my nose?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Darlene Messman
    September 12, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    You have me in stitches laughing at your experiences with “clown shoes”, “huge” cat and “lion” dog!! I laughed till tears are running down my face!!! I thoroughly enjoyed this!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    I had cataract surgery years ago at age 47. They called it ‘early’ They put in implants for distance in both eyes and now I have to wear glasses for reading and such. But my eyes have worked great for driving. I can see clear across the street and more but up close I usually need the glasses. It works for me.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2019 at 3:12 pm

    Like you, monovision contacts were an absolutely no-go for me. I did find multi-focal contact lenses to be a satisfactory solution (I, too, have astigmatism, although not severe). But I had to try about 6 different brands of multi-focal lenses before I found a brand that worked for me. Thankfully, my optometrist was patient and quite willing to allow me to experiment with different brands so that I could find a satisfactory solution with contact lenses. After literally a couple of months of wearing various brands, I found Bausch+Lomb Ultra to be the most comfortable and to deliver the most optimal vision. I believe that now one can order them with some astigmatism-correction, as well. I am extremely near-sighted (my prescription is something like -4.75 diopters) and my age-related focal problems with nearby objects is also fairly substantial (something like +2 diopters), just for perspective. With my contacts, I can do just about everything except read really small print (newspaper font-sized print is just at the threshold of what I can read). My suggestion is to go back to your eye doctor and request to experiment with a large range of different brands (he/she should be willing to let you do this using free samples of contact lenses).

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    Here’s my two cents:) Wore regular contacts for near sightedness. As I aged went to monovision contacts. Glasses have never felt comfortable but finally had to go with progressive trifocals. To this day, I still take my glasses off completely to read up close. In fact I’m typing them with my glasses on my chest. Good luck👍

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Pat Federico
    September 12, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    Kristi…… before you settle….. look at Clic Magnetic frames…… I have found myself in the same predicament……. check them out on Amazon…… they just might solve your problem as they did for me

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marianne in Mo.
    September 12, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    Sorry you can’t find a solution that satisfies you, I know how that goes. My vision isn’t very bad, but I do have astigmatism, and recently, the beginnings of glaucoma. So I have no line bifocals (but might get trifocals next time!) and eye drops for the glaucoma. Husband just got over cataract surgery. We are in our mid sixties. Last week I had my first heart attack. To say aging is hell is so true. My girls remind me we still may have 20 – plus years more life ahead and it makes me groan! I gave up smoking with the heart attack, but wonder why I bother if it’s just all down hill from now? Still, I do it for the ones I love, if not for me. Try to make peace with the facts that we all age and we all have things we may have to give up or adapt to, and that’s part of life. When I see the work you do, I am reminded of all that I USED to do but no longer can. I’m grateful I learned it when I was young enough to use it, and that I can now let someone else do those jobs.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    I’m sorry you’re having such a difficult time finding the right solution for you.
    But I love the way you write & a couple places in this story, I almost spit my coffee all over my laptop. I’ve had a difficult week, so thank you for the giggles. Made me feel a little better!

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    Kathy Sturgeon
    September 12, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    When I wear my progressive glasses and look around at the world around me, everything is “curved”, like looking through a fish bowl! No distortion with my hard gas permeable contacts. I’ve worn hard contacts for over 50 years. I can’t wear soft ones because of my astigmatism. Because of dry eyes and occasional allergies, I can’t wear contacts the whole day like I used to, so that’s why I have bifocal glasses. I actually hate wearing glasses but need them for driving and TV. They’re pretty annoying when using the computer, though. Don’t give up on monovision contacts. I love how mine work! For the longest time I didn’t need cheaters. I only use them now for looking at really small print.
    Good luck at finding what works best for you!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 12, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    I’m also nearsighted with astigmatism, couldn’t tolerate mono vision contacts or multifocal contacts so I wear glasses with progressive lenses all the time. It wasn’t a big disappointment to me as contacts usually end up irritating my eyes anyway. I have a pair of progressive safety glasses for lab work. My company doesn’t allow removable side shields but, as mentioned by another commenter, they can be a good solution.
    So sorry that the options that most appealed to you weren’t a success on the first pass but hopefully you’ll find a good solution.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 13, 2019 at 7:18 am

    I’m a new reader and I love your blog! And all the things you’ve done to your condo and house! I’m sorry you are going through all this with your eyes. I have bifocals, they don’t look like it but they’re the best things to come down the road. Just so you can see far and near, that’s what matters. Thanks for sharing your homes and life with us – I subscribed and am excited to see what comes next.

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    September 13, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    Sounds like you pretty much came up with the same option I elected (after much trial and error) in the end! Now, I complain about the saw dust on my glasses! Amazon has these 1000 packs of eyeglass cleaner pads that have been a life saver!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 13, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    Don’t give up on the multifocals just yet. When I first started wearing them the power had to be tweaked several times before I got the right ones and I could see perfectly both near and distance. The add on was up a couple of times but the kicker was going up one notch on the power.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 13, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear this Kristi. I used mono vision contacts for awhile, but then quit, because I didn’t want to make myself get used to always having the use of them, and making my eyes get used to them. I actually had a optometrist verify to me that if you USE glasses/contacts your vision adjusts, and you can’t see without them, and I have to say that I have personally verified that – if I’m doing close work (and for me it’s usually sewing related, possibly a craft) for hours, and take my glasses off, I can’t see clearly either close or far (and let me just say that I’m quite a few years older than you) I STILL don’t regularly wear contacts and only wear glasses when I read, but I HAVE to put them on to read pretty much ANYTHING these days. Sigh! I can SO relate with the frustration. I DID learn a little more about astigmatism (which I also have) from your post, so thank you.

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    September 14, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    The basic problem here is the astigmatism. Mine was severe to be declared legally blind without glasses My husband once commented what if you are in a bind and lose your glasses? He had had eye surgery. I am a 70 yo and had my surgery back in 2005. In all those years the amount of vision I have lost is minimal. I only need a 125 prescription for close up work. I have never regretted this decision because I was getting desperate that no contacts or lenses were working for me.

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    September 15, 2019 at 6:52 am

    I work for an ophthalmologist and deal with this problem daily. After age 45-50 we lose our ability to auto focus at any distance we want, whenever we want. After a life time of not having to think about how to see it becomes very frustrating to have to pick and chose what distances / solutions you’re willing to compromise. And that’s the key – compromise. We can’t have it all any more. For your absolute best, binocular vision – glasses are almost always the best option. They correct for astigmatism , intermediate , reading and give you stereo vision all at the same time. Maybe you’ll want contacts for special occasions , but understand the vision can’t be as good as glasses. You also sounded like you were describing some Dry eye when you were at the book store with your contacts. Putting in a lubricant drop ( that is safe for contacts) BEFORE near tasks will help. Dry eye can make your eyes burn , itch and blur your vision. Contacts make dry eye worse but lubrication at the proper time can help. It’s hard to adjust to the loss of our own natural auto Focus The key is to adjust your expectations and realize we will never have 20 year old eyes again, work with what’s available, and understand it’s nit a failure in your part. There is simply no perfect solution. Good luck and keep experimenting !

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      September 15, 2019 at 1:43 pm

      I have to agree with what Rhonda has said. My experience is there is not a one-prescription-fits-all solution. My kids can wear the same single-vision glasses for both distance and reading. That would never work for me.
      Not until I entered the realm of aging eyes did I realize what an inconvenience it is to wear glasses. After a somewhat bumpy start, I have found my “comfort zone” when it comes to eyewear. I currently need correction of both my reading and distance vision. Taking into consideration all of my vision needs, I’ve settled on three separate eyeglasses prescriptions.
      Pair #1: A single-vision distance prescription pair of sunglasses which takes care of my driving/outdoor vision. If I have my sunglasses on and need to read something while in the car, I put on my most-used pair …
      Pair #2: A clear bifocal which is a combination of my distance prescription (top half) and a reading prescription (bottom half). I wear this pair a majority of the day. This pair can also be used for driving when it’s too cloudy or dark to wear my prescription sunglasses.
      Pair #3: Another clear bifocal which I wear at the computer and while doing paperwork. This intermediate pair is a combination of an intermediate prescription (top half) for computer use where the monitor is about 2 feet away, and the reading prescription (bottom half). This pair stays on my desk at all times and I put them on whenever I’m working at the computer and doing paperwork. I have them on now.
      I actually have one more pair: a cheap over-the-counter high power reader that I picked up in an airport and keep on my nightstand. Those are used only in bed when I’m reading or looking at my phone.
      I do have a dry eye issue, so I was not interested in pursuing contacts for that reason, in addition to the cost.
      I also tried progressive lenses early on and could not adjust to them. I move my eyes when I read and not my head, so I was finding the progressive lenses caused my vision to be out of focus everywhere except in one very small area. I was always “hunting” for the spot where my vision would be focused and it was so frustrating.
      Perhaps your solution, Kristi, would be to think of your daily tasks and get a few prescriptions that make sense to you. It’s also a lot cheaper to keep your frames and simply have lenses replaced as your prescription changes over the years. Good luck to you. I feel confident you’ll find a solution that works. It’s just another bump in the road of aging!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 23, 2019 at 12:50 am

    I’m chiming in late here but want to suggest daily (disposable) toric contact lenses that correct for astigmatism should you want to address this later. They’re thinner and more comfortable, in my experience, and when you factor not having to buy solution, the cost is a wash with monthly or weekly lenses, especially if you buy a year’s supply at Costco. I wear one for distance and one for near and only rarely need to add reading glasses — to thread a needle, for example. My glasses are progressive trifocals.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    September 25, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    What about laser surgery to correct for near nearsightedness and then glasses for detail work? I have very thin corneas so contacts killed my eyes!! Even the really expensive daily contacts. I had PRK laser surgery three years ago and have loved it!! So worth the investment in yourself!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    January 4, 2021 at 11:31 am

    I just read this and for some reason I loose track of you for a bit then you show up in my Facebook feed! Anyway, a word to you from a kindred person with eyes that frustrate! After going through the problems you did I finally had to settle on trifocals, until I could convince my doctor that I have a bit of cataract problems. He agreed, my astigmatism pushed pushed LASIK out the window. I had the surgery and I can SEE far away beautifully…… however I still have to wear glasses to see close, I must have 20 pairs scattered everywhere. If I had to do this again, I would have chosen multifocal lenses instead of monofocal. Advice for the future….. I’m sorry about your Grandma, sounds like a movie script! Take care

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Liz McMahon
    January 21, 2023 at 5:57 am

    So sorry to hear you had problems with your contacts 3 years ago! I know this is very late and you probably won’t read this however I use modified monovision with slightly less distance power in my right eye and I find this a perfect solution. My prescription for my right eye: Clariti toric (as they are thinner torics) power -4.25 cyl 1.25
    Axis 70 and left eye: Topvue Air Multifocal (non toric as non-dominant eye can cope without a toric lens with medium astigmatism) power -4.75 with +2.50 near power for reading.
    My glasses are in both eyes -5.00 power for distance only, and I just put them down my nose to read a book! Lol just to show you the balance of bringing down your distance vision in your dominant eye, with your higher distance and reading in the other. Works out perfectly and took me very little time for my brain to adjust to the less distance vision in my left eye too. I’m sure you’ve found a solution anyway. Good luck. Liz