My arms are too short to read anymore

February 1, 2012 – Ever heard of presbyopia?

I’ve been afflicted with it for a little over a year now.

It probably sounds a lot worse than it is, but presbyopia occurs when you no longer have the ability to focus on things close at hand, or when you can’t read the ingredients or cooking instructions on a box of pasta because your arms will only stretch out so far.

It seems to happen overnight once you pass that certain age.

When I discovered my presbyopia, I ran right to an ophthalmologist. He examined my eyes and suggested progressive lenses, which he convinced me were much more attractive than bifocals. He was right the more attractive part, but when I wore them I could hardly stand without feeling dizzy and really far from the ground. Forget walking the stairs. That would be deadly.

The good doctor assured me the reaction was common and that I would get used to wearing them. But I never did. I suppose that’s because my vision, other than close up, was fine. I’ve never worn glasses before, except for shades in the sun. And these glasses did nothing for me; everything looked blurry when I wasn’t reading something close up. I still struggled to focus when reading small letters, and I was getting sick of putting on and removing my glasses constantly.

A trip to the drugstore solved my problem temporarily. I bought a pair of “readers” and was able to read as clearly as I had before my close up vision went kaput. It still didn’t help that I had to pop them on and off so much, especially at work, but at least I could read.

I admit I was surprised by the fashionable selection of reading glasses available. Today’s variety definitely aren’t your mother’s reading glasses. They come complete with all of the bling and fancy colors and patterns you could ever want. However, in an age where wrinkle cream is big business and plastic surgery is becoming the norm, no one expects the baby boomer generation to go gently into that good night.

Over the past year, I’ve purchased several pairs of readers, and have them in the kitchen, near the computer, in various purses and more. I try to be as prepared as possible but sometimes I get stuck without them in a restaurant or something and have to ask for a little help. Just last night I had to ask my father to read something, and in his usual manner, he replied, “Vanity they name is woman.”

Huh? I tried to explain that it has nothing to do with vanity. I don’t need glasses all of the time or else I’d be wearing them all of the time. But my explanation fell on deaf ears, which is something else I guess I have to look forward to down the road. I did listen to a lot of loud music in my day. Still do.

The downside of readers is that eventually they can cause eye strain and headaches with prolonged use and I think I’m hovering over that moment, which means another trip to the eye doctor. Still, I shouldn’t complain. I got through the first half of my life free of glasses with practically perfect vision. So what if I need to wear glasses now. I just wish they would make a pair I could keep on that didn’t make me dizzy.

That occurs naturally enough already.

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2 thoughts on “My arms are too short to read anymore

  1. I hate my progressives, too! I can’t seem to hold my head correctly to get the proper vision and driving with them is impossible. They were expensive, too.

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