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Eye Care - Top Ten Clues 0r Signs To Think You Might Need Glasses
No, Not Me....
I can't possibly need glasses. Why, I'm barely old enough to be a grandparent. Besides, I wore them for years, and finally "grew out of them." Really! My astigmatism is almost completely gone because of the eye exercises my optometrist gave me to do, and I haven't needed a distance correction for years...honest...
Those heartfelt cris-de-coeur (cries of the heart) echoed in my mind as I contemplated the awful truth. Maybe, it's not because my arms are too short (Clue # 10), or the print is too small (Clue # 9) - maybe I just need glasses.
The first instance of this in my life occurred shortly after I hit my 40s. A friend held up his tray of seedlings for me to admire, and I found myself pushing them a little distance from under my nose to get them in focus.
"Ah," said my friend, kindly. "You're getting old."
Did I mention he used to be my best friend? My un-funny friend, who is still, by the way, my best old-school-chum, was unfortunatley not far off the mark. Though I still steadfastly refuse to get "old", certain of my body parts are becoming non-co-operative.
My Arms Are Too Short...
No, dear, your arms are not too short. You have simply reached the point where holding the book, or can label, or whatever it is you are trying to read farther and farther away has finally become an exercise in futility. Give it up. Your arms are not going to get any longer, and if they did, you wouldn't be able to make out the print from that distance, anyway.
The Print Is Shrinking
The print on many appliances seems to be much smaller and fainter. I'm not at the point where I have to ask my son to reprogram the DVD player, but I certainly need a magnifier for some things - and a flashlight.
Squinting At Things
Squinting at things is not normal. It means you are not seeing it clearly. If you were one of your kids, you would immediately take you to the eye doctor for a check-up.
I remember my first pair of glasses. I didn't mind them so much. I could finally see the board clearly. When I hit twelve years old though, It became another matter. My mother, bless her, picked out my frames. I guess they were fashionable then, the designer glasses of that era, but I took one look and hated them.
I made it my mission in life throughout my pre- and early teen years, to get rid of the offending eye wear. In fact, I made a career out of losing, breaking, and misplacing them - only to have them found, mended and replaced. My mother was nothing , if not persistent.
But I Already Grew Out Of It...
Finally, at nineteen, after years of having progressively weaker corrections, a good thing as it meant my eyesight was improving, I rebelled outright. The hated eye wear was abandoned except for going to movies. For years thereafter, the glasses resided in my purse, to be donned when the lights dimmed and whipped off as soon as the credits rolled at the end of the feature.
I was free at last from my torment. I would never, ever have to wear glasses again - right?
Wrong. While needing glasses as a child may be an indicator that you will need them when you grow older, it is not automatically true. My particular problem, endemic, it seems to my current age group, is not the same reason I needed glasses as a child.
Out Of Focus
Everything's just fine. Things are just a little bit out of focus. No, my darling. "Things" are not out of focus, your eyes are not focusing the way they used to.
I must digress and share with you a fond memory from my childhood involving glasses...
I was just starting Grade Two, I think. I was working on my third pair of glasses. The first pair broke when I sat on them in the family car. Ooops.
"Oh, well", said my parents philosophically, "Accidents will happen."
Deciding I would learn to be more careful on pain of death, they replaced the glasses, and life as we knew it continued.
I used to ride the bus to school, and one boy in particular was the bane of my existence. He had decided that he didn't like girls who wore glasses, and made it his mission in life to tease, badger and belittle me at every turn. His friends sniggered along with him and that seemed to be all the fuel he needed.
We had been admonished all our young lives never to fight - never start one, never be in one. There was just no excuse for physical violence. We learned early the value of words as weapons. After this boy pushed me down the school bus steps, however, causing me to fall and skin both knees, co-incidentally breaking my newly-replaced, second pair of glasses, this rule was set firmly aside. In this one instance, and this one instance only, my father decreed that should the boy even look at me the wrong way, I was to hit him.
To add insult to injury, the boy's father refused to pay for new glasses saying it had been an accident. This may have added impetus to my father's urgings that I "stick up for (my)self".
So - back to the start of Grade Two. There we were on the bus all polished and ready for the first day of a new school year: new dresses; new book bags full of lovely new pencils and crayons and scribblers; freshly-shined, brand new school shoes; new lunch buckets.
I remember being particularly proud of my new lunch pail. It was one of those little square tin ones with two handles, from the pre-thermos days when schools supplied each student with a small carton of white or chocolate milk to drink with their lunch. My sister and I had been given matching lunch pails - hers was blue, or red, I believe, and mine was yellow with white trim. I loved my new lunch bucket.
Suddenly, a dark cloud blew down the aisle of the bus to blight my day. The boy (that boy) strutted up to my seat, elbowed his buddy gently to alert him to an impending witticism, and said, "Hey, you." - an innocuous enough greeting.
Without turning a hair or rising from my seat, and in one fluid motion, I smacked him in the head with my lunch pail - my first foray into the art of the preemptive strike.
His father said a few choice things to my father, who asked me why I had hit the boy. Had he threatened me in any way, they wanted to know. I replied, telling them exactly what had occurred. They were astonished - carefully controlled mirth lurked just below the surface. Surprisingly, it was my sister who clinched it for me. She reminded them that Dad had told me to hit him if he even looked at me sideways.
My parents, after one choked admonition to me of "Never do that again!" retired before their faces cracked from the strain of keeping them straight. My father took my mother's arm, quickly guiding her from the room. As the door closed behind them, I heard him saying to her in a tone of sweet reason, "Well, I did say that, and he did do more than look at her."
My poor, dented lunch pail lost some of its luster for me, but gained great notoriety in my sister's many prideful retellings of how I had dented my new lunch pail and vanquished my nemesis. The much dreaded boy treated me with great respect, even deference, for the rest of the year, until his father was, thankfully, transferred to a new posting.
Never let the glasses and the mild manner fool you, boys. There's a tiger in that tank.
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You Have To Ask A Complete Stranger To Read The Label For You At The Supermarket
This can be a little embarrassing. You can always lie and tell them you forgot your glasses, but that seldom works out well. I tend to avoid lying as I almost always blush when I do, and telling an obvious lie leads people to think you can't read and are trying to cover it up by telling a patent untruth about forgetting your glasses.
Sad, but true. I always make a joke about the size of the lettering (see Clue #4 - Restaurant Menus), but they are never fooled. They know I am just "at that age" and not ready to admit I need glasses.
The Writing On The Restaurant Menu Is Too Small
No, it isn't too small. Ok, well, usually it isn't, though I have tried to decipher menus in a few trendier joints that seem to equate a frilly, hard-to-read type face with chic. I don't care how cute my date looks in glasses. I don't care if it's Johnny Depp sitting across from me waiting for me to order. I shouldn't need glasses to read the cotton-pickin' menu...wait - is that Johnny Depp sitting there looking so adorable? Hang on, let me get my glasses.
The Room Is Too Dark
OK, so I did break down and buy a pair of drugstore "readers". It's just a pair of generic magnifiers - those little half-glasses, reading glasses with the really cute frames...and I only got them because sometimes I need a little help to make out menus in darkened restaurants.
...and theatre programs, map directions, and grocery lists...
I know, I know, supermarkets are really brightly lit. Well then, why are the darned labels so hard to read?
And don't even think about threading a needle...
You Can't Find The Next Loop In Your Crochet Project
This also applies to embroidery, cross stitch, needle point, petit point, or knitting - especially knitting - the stitch you dropped and can't find. Those little stitch counters are wonderful, but if you can't find the missed place, you might as well rip out the whole line. It has nothing to do with the yarn, though some dark yarns can be evil to work with even under full light.
No, it's time to drag out the readers again. They're not helping? ...not helping enough, anyway? Oh, you get a headache from looking up at the TV and back down to your work...Uh huh. I rest my case.
People Won't Ride With You Any More
Not to tell tales out of school, but an ex-mother-in-law of one of my sisters scared the living bejeebers out of me with her driving.
She would wait at the highway crossing to see if another vehicle was approaching before she would pull out on the road, but as her vision was beginning to fail, so she couldn't see the other vehicle until it was quite close. Then, once she could see the oncoming car clearly, she would feel confident to pull out, usually just in front of the rather startled oncoming motorist.
That made for some rather hair-raising trips to town, let me tell you. She was such a sweet lady, and so kind-hearted that no one wanted to say anything to hurt her feelings. She would always offer a ride, but It got to the point where we were all ready to walk to the Greyhound depot three miles away rather than risk life and limb with her.
So, To Sum Up:
If you have noticed any of the afore-listed symptoms, or have had any of them brought to your attention, You Might Need Glasses.
Besides, like the young lady pictures just above, think of all the things you've been missing by not seeing them in crystal clear detail...
© 2009 RedElf