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Eyeglasses ~ The Greatest Invention Ever

Updated on October 29, 2014
Sylvestermouse profile image

My real name is Cynthia, but in the virtual world I am Sylvestermouse. My life centers around my family, our fun times and my online sites.

A Blurry World

Without my glasses, the world has no shape, no face, no definition. I would be lost in a world of blending color which to an abstract art enthusiast might sound interesting, but to someone who is legally blind, the blended mass is not beautiful.

I have no idea when I first started wearing glasses. I believe I have worn them my whole life. I do remember I was 13 years old when I was first fitted for contact lenses.

Since I went to school with mostly neighborhood kids who I had known all of my life, I was not often ridiculed for wearing glasses, but it only takes one 4-eyed joke to make you feel inferior.

It is not fun to be visually impaired. Even though there are problems associated with my contacts or my glasses, I maintain, corrective lenses are the greatest invention in the world, in spite of any disparaging words from ignorant people.

By Tom Burke (Morgan Hill, CA, USA) ( CC-BY-2.0
By Tom Burke (Morgan Hill, CA, USA) ( CC-BY-2.0 | Source

Would I Recognize Danger?

Growing up, I always hated swimming parties because I could not see, or skating parties where I was fearful of falling and breaking my glasses. I was always protected by members of my family when we went on vacations, so I was free to water ski, snorkel or even swim in the ocean. Someone was always watching out for me. I would have never seen a fin approaching much less be able to tell if it was a dolphin or shark coming by to greet or eat me.

I am an avid reader. I always have a book that I am either starting or finishing. Sometimes I will be so engrossed in a book, that I totally forget to eat or sleep and I never finish one book that I do not have another one waiting for me to begin.

One of my greatest fears was the subject of an old Twilight Zone show, "Time Enough At Last." While most people watching this show would just find it entertaining and containing an ironic twist, I was horrified by the idea of being the last person on earth, surrounded by books, all the time in the world to read, just to have my glasses break. I think I would be screaming a lot worse than "that's not fair."

Twilight Zone ~ Time Enough at Last Video

You Might As Well Laugh

I am frequently a source of humor for my family. Not intentionally, mind you, but sometimes things just happen.

Growing up, all of our bedrooms were upstairs and there was only one bathroom shared by all 8 of us. It was not unusual for me to bump into things if for some reason I had to get up in the night. I walked into door frames, I tripped over shoes, books, sleeping dogs, you name it. If it was in the floor, I would not see it. I hate to recount the many times I literally stepped in a dog's "gift" and woke at least one family member who raced to my side just to be grossed out.

None of the nighttime adventures can equal the time when we were at the fair. I was in absolute awe of all of the twinkling lights, music and rides. I was so excited when I reached out and grabbed my father's hand and said "look Dad!" I was immediately surrounded by laughter and I didn't realize until the young man spoke to me that I was not holding my father's hand. I was momentarily terrified. Fortunately, my father can see and he was just behind me. He picked me up and carried me to the next ride. My brother told me later that the reason it was so funny was because the young man I mistook for my dad was actually a teenager with his date. Well, shucks, my Dad still looks young for his age!

What Would Be Lost

I enjoy several different crafts, but my favorites are sewing and cross stitch. Without my glasses, it would be impossible for me to thread a needle, read a pattern, or cut along the printed line. It would all just look like a big blob to me.

Frankly, I couldn't even see a thin needle much less the eye of the needle.

History of Glasses

Excerpt from Wikipedia

Around 1284 in Italy, Salvino D'Armate is credited with inventing the first wearable eye glasses.[8] The earliest pictorial evidence for the use of eyeglasses, however, is Tomaso da Modena's 1352 portrait of the cardinal Hugh de Provence reading in a scriptorium. Another early example would be a depiction of eyeglasses found north of the Alps in an altarpiece of the church of Bad Wildungen, Germany, in 1403.

Many theories abound for whom should be credited for the invention of traditional eyeglasses. In 1676, Francesco Redi, a professor of medicine at the University of Pisa, wrote that he possessed a 1289 manuscript whose author complains that he would be unable to read or write were it not for the recent invention of glasses. He also produced a record of a sermon given in 1305, in which the speaker, a Dominican monk named Fra Giordano da Rivalto, remarked that glasses had been invented less than twenty years previously, and that he had met the inventor. Based on this evidence, Redi credited another Dominican monk, Fra Alessandro da Spina of Pisa, with the re-invention of glasses after their original inventor kept them a secret, a claim contained in da Spina's obituary record.[9]

While the exact date and inventor may be forever disputed, it is almost certain that spectacles were invented between 1280 and 1300 in Italy.

Continued on Wikipedia

The Greatest Invention

For me the greatest invention would have to be my glasses. So many of the things I enjoy most would be beyond my ability to pursue if I did not have corrective lenses.

Without my glasses, I wouldn't even be able to read the screen of this computer.

A Few Things that Help - For those of us who rely on our glasses to see, there are a few essential items.

No one enjoys looking though a dirty window, so keeping our glasses clean is obviously imperative.

Having the proper holder for our glasses is also important. Since I can't see where my glasses are if I am not wearing them, it is critical to have them in an easy to find place. A case is also valuable to protect my glasses should I reach out for them in the night and accidentally knock them on the floor.

When I visit zoos or sea life aquariums, the last thing I want to do is to drop my glasses into an animal cage or a shark tank. That probably wouldn't happen since my glasses are well fitted, but on the off chance, I like to wear a croakie or eyeglass holder when I venture outdoors.

Moderated by Sylvestermouse


© 2010 Cynthia Sylvestermouse

Do You Wear Corrective Lenses?

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I started to wear glasses when I was three. I was blind in one eye since birth and became legally blind in the other eye by the time I was 13. I am very grateful, too to have my glasses! I have several lenses about my life's experiences. Awesome lens! :D

    • SusanRDavis profile image

      Susan R. Davis 

      6 years ago from Vancouver

      I do. And I have the safe fears you do. That Twilight Zone episode was a hard-hitting one for me when my husband first showed it to me, and it is easily the one episode I remember poignantly.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Yep, don't forget annual eye exams :) Good lens!

    • Xbox360gt LM profile image

      Xbox360gt LM 

      6 years ago

      it's true that blurry world get man mad without a nice vision, wear yourself adopted glasses, come on!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have just recently started wearing reading glasses.. and boy is it frustrating to try to read without them! Blessed for sharing your experiences with us!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Yes I do and I need to get in to the Optometrist for an exam, etc.

    • CruiseReady profile image


      7 years ago from East Central Florida

      Yes - and I am dependent on mine, too. But it sounds like you are even more so. Did you know you can get perscription lens for your snorkel mask? This, to me, is a fabulous thing!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      7 years ago

      I have contacts and glasses. I'm wearing my glasses more and more lately. I love your mouse cross stitch. Thankfully, I don't need glasses for up-close activities like needlework and Squidooing.

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image


      7 years ago

      I need my glasses for driving. I don't need them all the time but I'm using them more and more.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      very useful & very fun

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 

      8 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Just need them for reading...but needing them more all the time :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      You can imagine how painful the life could have been if eyeglasses were not invented.

    • Sylvestermouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      8 years ago from United States

      @indigoj: Yes, Little Pear, the mouse cross stitch is mine. I made him for an Cross Stitch instruction lens.

      Thank you for your blessing! I sincerely appreciate the help.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      8 years ago from UK

      Awww, love your little blue mouse in glasses. My pear should probably be wearing a pair too. Ah yes, I know how it is to live a blurry life.

      The mouse cross stitch is lovely, is it one of yours?

      Well, it looks like I still have a little angel dust so am scattering some here. :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I used to wear glasses, then I had lasik surgery. It has been great, but now I'm at the age the lasik surgeon warned me about and need to wear reading glasses. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I always thought Ben Franklin invented "spectacles". 5*, blessed!

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 

      8 years ago from USA

      I love that Twilight Zone too because I depend on my glasses to get me through each day!

    • aidenw profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      I also started wearing glasses when I was 13 so I can relate. I tried contacts but they irritated my eyes too much and were kind of cumbersome to take on and off, so I resorted back to glasses. Great lens.


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