Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Shocking turn of events!!

I need glasses!

I went this morning to have my eyes checked, because (a) it's been about twenty years since my last eye exam and (b) my eyes have been feeling so hot and tired all the time. And it turns out that I don't have the perfect vision I've always thought I had! The eye doctor said my eyes are working hard to keep things in focus all the time, and I'm just starting to notice it because our eye muscles weaken with age.

Shocking! I'm shocked. I figured I'd need glasses eventually; let's face it -- have you ever seen an academic over forty who doesn't wear glasses? But I also assumed the world would start to look blurry first, and it doesn't. Although, I must admit that recently I've found myself letting everything go out of focus in an effort to relax my eyes. And as the eye doctor pointed out, when a person with perfect vision relaxes her eyes, things remain in focus.

So there you go. I need my first pair of glasses. I did try on a bunch of frames right away and narrowed the choice down to two, but I'm indecisive, so I'm going back later today with my camera so I can get Bill's and your opinions. So come back tonight, please, for a vote -- I need your help!

Do you wear glasses? Is there anything I should know before I choose frames? Should I get anti-reflective lenses? (I think so, right?) I don't know anything about this. Helllllllp!

41 comments:

Ande said...

Yeah for glasses! I've been in glasses since I was, oh, about four. Depending on the strength of your prescription your frame choice could be limited. But since you're a glasses newbie and haven't been running into things I'm sure you'll pick well. And anti reflective IS a good idea!;-)
Good Luck!

Ellen said...

The last time I got new glasses (I've been wearing them full-time for several years) I swallowed hard and bought the expensive but ultra-light titanium frames. They are great, and are hardly visible across a crowded room!

brenda in toronto said...

yup, anti-reflective is good. and light is always good - heavier frames, over time, can lead to nose-bridge ache and sometimes 'head-band headache' where the arms of the frames press against your head (know what i mean?)

Judith said...

Another vote for LIGHT.

Just like you I did not realize I needed glasses until the family doctor found out during a regular check up. I have needed glasses since I was in eighth or ninth grade but refused to wear them until college (contact lenses were hard and not common back then). When I got my first pair of "John Lennon" glasses I could have kicked myself for not getting them sooner, the relief was so great. Plus I looked cute.

In the beginning it's hard to find glasses that you think look good but your sistahs are here to help.

Sandra said...

i've been wearing glasses forever now. i get your vision isn't all that bad since you didn't realize that you needed them till you doctor told you but my only tip would be to drag someone along with you when buying frames. i can't *see* how frames look on me before my prescription is put in and half the time I am horribly disappointed when i see myself in the new glasses i picked with my lenses in :( but other than that, wearing glasses is kinda fun. they're like an accessory. you can have different glasses to fit your mood or outfit. :)

Lynne said...

Eek! Don't get the anti-reflective coating. It scratches easily and you'll either need to get it taken off or get new lenses to fix it.

Good luck with the new glasses. It'll be an adjustment having something on your face all the time, though. I can't wait to see the options.

winnie said...

I thought I had 20/20 vision until first year of grad school. And I didn't make that discovery at the eye doctor's office, but in lecture. The way it went down was pretty much me accusing the professor for not adjusting his slides, and him verifying with the whole class that he did. Then I insisted that I had 20/20 vision, and sheepishly showed up in class next week with a pair of frames.

Yes, anti-glare, anti-reflective. Go light - helps with the dent on your nose bridge. And pick something that you really really like. Don't skimp on the frames and lens.

Oh, and a cute eye doctor helps too. Mine looks like Richard Gere.

winnie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jill said...

I have been wearing glasses for years and I would definitely emphasize going for light frames and for the scratch-resistant treatment for your lenses (it costs more but it is so worth it). Also, something I learned when I last purchased frames--even if a frame feels like it fits, make sure that it isn't too wide for your face. It is not as obvious as it might seem.

Ann-Marie said...

yes light frames=good.
i don't care for the anti-reflective lenses--they never seem to clean well for me--seem greasy and "smeary" all the time...

jen said...

hi
i've worn glasses since i was 9 moths old. i was born with broken eyeballs.

i've worn glasses for 34 years and contacts since i was 18. I agree with the person who said anti-reflective scratches easily. which it does, but if you are the type of person who takes care of your glasses this shouldn't be a problem.

i hate wire rim's and rimless types of frames. i think it's because my eyes are at two different strengths and one lens is thicker and it did nothing but pop out of the wire frames all the time. I don't have a teriibly rx but one lens is thicker and you may find differnt frames treat your lenses differntly.

i mostly stick with plastic. my lenses are all single vision and i don't know what people are talking about when they say nose dent and bridge problems. Perhaps they have major rx's and their lenses are heavy and not single vision. But i've gone from 300$ plastic frames to 2 pairs for 70$ plastic frames and they all have done well by me.
i suggest trying on a whole slew of stuff and see what you like on your face. And try to look at them in natural light too.
i wish you luck picking out your frames!

Snarsh said...

Go with anti-reflective, anti-scratch, anti everything.. I've learnt my lesson to not skimp in those areas. I've been wearing glasses since I was eight. I'm not sure about the light thing, I think an awesome pair of horned-rimmed type would go awesome with your style and personality. I've never been a big fan of the light rimmed, makes me look to prim and proper. Plus if your vision gets worst you never have to worry about paying extra for the thin lense cause your rims are so thin (also a problem for me).

Barbara-Kay said...

Yes, antireflective is good. You have to be good to your glasses, though, and not lay them down on their lenses. I use a glasses case bedside.

No, you won't like the ones that photochange to sunglasses. They stay too tinted inside, and you won't be able to see the true colour of yarn/fabric, etc.

Yes, you will like the light-weight lenses. I hated heavy glasses on my nose. (I started wearing glasses in 1947!)

Choose the frames that make you happy. I don't care how flattering they are, if you don't feel good, you'll not wear them.

NOW will you get that reading done?
VBG!

Karen said...

i've been wearing glasses since i was twelve. well, i rarely wear them these days since i usually wear contacts, but i think i'm qualified to offer a little advice.

metal frames tend to loosen up more quickly than plastic and are more likely to need tightening. if a set of frames is part metal and part plastic, then you want to look at the part near the hinges (which themselves are always metal, of course). if you really like some metal glasses this isn't a dealbreaker problem, though.

when i pick out glasses i have to be very aware of how wide the frames are - to me that's the most important part of the way they fit. the second most important is whether they sit on your ears & nose so that your eyes are well-situated within the lenses. you'd think that would happen automatically, but it depends on the person and the glasses.

i like anti-reflective coating. it can help. most reasonable-sounding things they might want to do to your lenses are probably worth doing.

get a good lens-cleaning cloth. it helps you avoid being tempted to wipe them on scratchy clothes and stuff.

oh, and pay a lot of attention to how heavy they are on your face. it's hard to notice at first but can really bother you after a few hours.

good luck!

mary j said...

i am a little of the opposite. i needed glasses when i was a child, and recently i went in for a check up and was told i didn't need them anymore. i had trouble seeing the chalkboard from all seats, but now even without my glasses i can read street signs from a distance. i'm sure i'll eventually need them again, as the years roll by, but for now, i'm enjoying a short break from glasses wearing.

my advice is have a back up. cause you never know when you will leave them at your friends house, in a restaurant, or just plain forget where they are. anti-reflective is a yes, esp if you work with computers. i think i even had some kind of UV anti-glare, and an anti scratch... either way, have fun picking glasses! you can also see if you can get glass fitted into "antique"/retro frames. some places in the states said yes, others said no. since i have moved here, i have not purchased glasses. have fun! its another extension to one's personality!

Jodi said...

Wow! I'm amazed you made it this far. I don't think I know any academics under 25 who don't wear glasses or contacts.

Pick something you like and don't worry too much about it. I change my frames every couple years b/c I tire of them, not b/c they wear out. My last glasses were light-blue grey metal that blended in; my new ones are big, black retro numbers.

Lenses that are scratch-resistant are best, and as they get thicker, the "thin" versions are far superior.

Try to wear them as long as you can at the shop while you're trying them out. Heavy glasses can be hard on your nose, and some frames pinch at the ears. Look at how the glasses interact with your eyebrows -- some look awful if they hit at the wrong place.

Laura said...

Hi! I'll tell you what I know, since my grandmother used to work at a Pearle (vision center chain) and I've worn glasses since I was 8 and contacts since I was 16: I would definitely get the anti-scratch coating - completely worth it, especially if you have small children around or if you're a little clutzy from time to time. Realize this coating will not prevent all scratches from happening, but it reduces the impact dropping them on concrete will have. As for the anti-reflective coating, it's good if you have a lot of pictures taken, although a good photographer should be able to keep the glare off whether you have it or not. For the anti-glare coating, I personally could take it or leave it. I have 3 pairs of glasses (and a small son-hence the need) and all have it, but after YEARS of not having it, eh. I don't really notice a difference myself. If you can afford it, and it's down to 2 frames, take both. Trust me, an extra pair ALWAYS comes in handy, whether it's because the first pair gets broken or your mood changes. That's another reason I got 3 pair...I couldn't decide. I don't have buyer's remorse about them either. Also, get a pair of clip-on sunglasses (see if the frame has them - some do). It's worth the money, and you can get custom ones made if the designer didn't create one, which will save you from looking like an 80's nerd.

Tish said...

I've been wearing glasses for a long time and have found the following to be helpful- get the lightest (weight) frames possible, make sure the nosepiece has good pads, and try on a variety of shapes and colors. Metal/wire frames will conduct cold so on a frigid day they can definitely contribute to a brainfreeze type headache if you aren't careful. If you can find a 2 for 1 or 2nd pair half price special, it's always good to have a spare (especially if one is serious and one is fun/funky). When you try them on, look "thru" them and see how much of the frame you notice. Some frames drive me crazy if I always "see" the frame edge. I don't bother buying the expensive cleaners- a drop of dish cleaning liquid and warm water works great (and gets the oils from your skin off the glass/plastic/metal). If, after a few days wearing, they don't feel quite right, go back and get them adjusted. It's part of what you pay for. Get a hard sided case if you ever plan to carry your glasses in your purse or pack!

Suburbaknitsta said...

there are 2 types of anti reflect : the coating and the one thats baked in the second is the kind that you want the first kind of disintegrates after awhile. Good Luck and pick something totally cool that you will wear ;)

Jen said...

I wore glasses for 15 years or so. I had lasik about 6 years ago but know I need glasses again :-( (they were unable to give me 20/20 because of my eye shape) I do have a pair I use when i drive sometimes.

anyway, not much more advice than was given above. I always got anti-scratch since I used to knock them off a lot

Dr. Steph said...

Yes, anti-reflective--I will never go without again. Buy the lightest lenses you can--but that may not be an issue depending on your prescription. And comfort is paramount (even over style, but I think you can have both).

I think price does play a role here, with my most expensive glasses being my most comfortable, stylish and best for seeing. I've been wearing glasses for 22 years (holy, it can't be that long) and have had a lot of pairs.

Also, a place with good staff and good policies is also important--they will make adjustments, take them back if needed and make sure they're right for you.

Hope to see them on you at Rhinebeck!

Steph said...

I've had glasses since the start of Grade 4. Ah, 1983, a great time for spectacles!

Here are some hints for you:
1. Always remove your glasses before skipping "Double Dutch" during recess.

2. Find an optician you can really talk to. When I go to mine, I tell him that I want a classic frame that can last a while, but I also want to look like a "Sexy Librarian." He knows just what I mean!

3. Whatever frames you choose, make sure you "try out" a variety of activities with them before you purchase them. Don't just look at your sexy, brainy self in the mirror. Try reading, walk up and down stairs, walk around, look all around without moving your head. I have narrow, rectangular frames and I often find myself looking under them. When you're as near-sighted as I am, this is tricky when going down the stairs!

3. I get non-reflective coating on my lenses. I really can't remember what it was like before I had that.

4. You'll get at least one cleaning cloth with your glasses. Ask your optician if you can have another. They get samples from companies so they should have plenty to hand out. They cloths really do make a difference when cleaning your glasses.

5. Head Pinching / nose pain: I've had both metal and plastic frames and glass and plastic lenses. The lighter weight the glasses, the better. I've had glasses that hurt my nose because they were heavy.

Someone mentioned their glasses pinching their head - it's true and it hurts! The arms on my glasses extend straight back and don't curve down behind my ear. This really helps to prevent pinching, but also, as they loosen, makes them almost fall off when I'm looking down!

6. Don't let your dog / cat chew on them.

7. Don't sit on your glasses.

8. Boys do make passes at girls who wear glasses. Just thought you might want to know!

anne said...

I have no advice, just want to weigh in with my jealousy. I've always, always wanted glasses. And yeah, as a freshly minted PhD I'm sure I'll get them someday, but I'm impatient!

Veronique said...

So, will you have to wear your glasses all the time, or just when reading?
I've worn glasses since I was 6, and was so happy when I turned 16 because it meant I could finally get contacts! I have very poor vision, so my lenses are super thick, which means that I always pay extra to get the thin lenses on my glasses. Other than that, I don't want to pay for extra bells and whistles... I'm saving my cash for fancy yarn!

Cheryl said...

Glasses can be fun - you just need to get used to wearing them. I've worn glasses since grade 5, but my Mom just got glasses a couple years ago, and a friend just got some this year - they are both obessed with keeping them spotless, but I don't notice the dirt on mine at all anymore.
I wouldn't spend the extra money on the anti-reflective thing, I think it's mostly a money grap gimmick, I went shopping at a big chain glasses store and got the "oh and of course you'll NEED the anti-reflective coating", but went back to my optomitrist's office and they don't think it's necessary.
For a first pair, I would go with something simple, something that will won't clash with your clothes. Light is also a good idea when your getting used to them.
Good luck!

Seanna Lea said...

I have been wearing glasses since I was about 12. With your looks and the fashion sense you show here, I would think that you'd look great in a pair of dark frames (not sure of the shape).

My lenses darken when I'm outside so they are like sunglasses when it is bright out. I love them this way.

If you are hard on your stuff, then I would also recommend ones that have flexible hinges (that can bend out in both directions) and anti-scratch coating. They don't work forever, but it can help keep them like new for a while.

Leslie - knitting therapist said...

Okay, here's all the best advice I can give on glasses.

1. If you have a heavy prescription (mine is -8 ish, practically legally blind) always go for super-thin lenses. You probably don't though, from the sounds of it.

2. Get silicone nose pads, they are more comfortable than plastic. if your frames don't come with them, they can replace them. If they say they won't, GO somewhere else.

3. If you have ANY history of metal or nickel sensitivity, make sure your nose and ear pieces are plastic or silicone coated. I found this out the hard way - rashes and blisters behind the ears, and having to use adhesive pads on the contact spots for years. Even titanium frames may have nickel in the finish.

4. Get light frames. Your face and head will thank you.

5. Get the best lenses you can afford. The best ones I ever had were Nikon - loved them.

6. Get all the coatings. Anti-reflective is a must if you work on a computer. Anti-scratch will protect your investment. Anti-UV will protect your eyes from cataracts and other sun-damage.

7. If your glasses aren't on your face, put them in their case (why did I just sound like the OJ summation there?). Cats love to play with glasses, they are shiny and make noise and skitter across the floor. The best thing you can do for your eyes (and headaches) is to just wear them all the time. At night, put them in their case next to your bed. In the morning, just put them on.

8. When you get your glasses, if you don't get them right from your doctor, take them back to your doctor right away and have her check them. The vision focal point needs to be in the right place in the lens for your face and your eye. Many stores get this wrong - something like 40-50% of the time. You could be seeing out of the wrong part of the lens, and hence the wrong prescription. Could actually make things worse.

9. Don't be surprised if things look weird for awhile. Like the floor looking closer, or your depth perception being a bit off. Your brain needs time to adjust. This affects some people more than others. Like some people can't switch between pairs of glasses.

Hope this helps, and doesn't sound too nuts. I've had glasses and depended on them for so long.

Knitting Mama said...

I have been wearing glasses since I was in the 3rd grade. Jenn's father (my uncle, Jakob's grandfather) sells glasses on Cote St Luc Road and Westminster (on Westminster actually). I recommend going there - he's got great prices and NICE stuff. Jenn usually works there (but is on maternity leave) obviously. If you want more info on that - email me. That's where I get all my awesome frames! (And he's not far from your house either!)

jane said...

I'm a fan of funky glasses with personality. Ever since my first pair in grade 9, I've gone for the 'nerdy' thick plastic frames.

Go for the anti-reflective, scratch resistant lenses. Oh and only clean your glasses with cotton. I keep some hankercheifs around to use with my glass cleaning stuff. Dirty glasses are not cool.

Rachael said...

You will so damn cute!

carolyn said...

get plastic lenses - glasses will be a LOT heavier (leave marks on your face) and the new current plastic lenses do not scratch super easy like the old kind did.

Tallulah said...

Hi! Something no-one has mentioned so far (maybe it's common practice in the US/Canada?): if it's available at the place where you'll buy yours, insure the glasses. Once, I mumbled at the extra 30$ or so, but when I sat on them months later and the shop replaced them, no questions asked, for the same model, I was glad I had accepted it. Mine is valid for 3 years, and also includes 3 free check-ups.

Lolly said...

Yea! Glasses are so cool ;)
they will look great on you!

maitai said...

i would recommend anti-reflective/anti-glare lenses. they photograph better and make it easier to see if you're wearing them and driving at night. i also have the polycarbonate whatever-you-call-it lenses that are supposed to be stronger and harder to chip. i don't think these are necessary, but it's nice to have.

Paula said...

I'm far-sighted in one eye and near-sighted in the other eye.
I mainly wear glasses for reading and such. I also have a pair of glasses for distance, which I rarely wear.
All the tips above are good. My main tip is never, ever leave your glasses were a puppy can find them… I should mention I prefer the hard style cases for my glasses; however even in the case, your glasses are not safe. Not only did Robin destroy the case she chewed an arm off the glasses and chewed the lenses leaving deep scratches. This is the only thing she has ever destroyed and she did it on her third day here. I've forgiven her.

Oh, and when you get new glasses because your prescription has changed or because you have tired of your glasses style do not throw away the old glasses. Donate them to your local Lions Club they provide the usable eyeglasses to children and adults throughout the world. http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/content/vision_eyeglass_sight.shtml
Canadian Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centre
http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/content/eyeglass_canada.shtml

Chris said...

I've been wearing glasses since 2nd grade. It's not so bad - I actually like them better than contacts.

Make sure you get polished edges on the lenses! Unpolished edges can make you feel like you have tunnel vision. Never use any sort of paper product on your glasses - they all scratch, ultimately. I clean mine using an old soft t-shirt - and never wipe anything over your glasses if the lenses are dry.

Because your hair is short, go with the anti-reflective coating. My long hair ends up blowing around and getting chapstick or hair products on my lenses - with any coating, that translates to the coating peeling off in short order.

Ivywindow said...

For what it is worth, I work a a computer screen 8+ hours a day, and I just have standard boggy basic lenses. I have had coated ones and light reactive ones in the past, and not got on with them (for some reason the light reactive lenses make me look like Lou Reed. Not a good look). I have also started wearing glasses all the time because I am fed up of the work my right eye has to do without them, and the best thing I did this year was to get prescriptive sunglasses. My other tip is to treat yourself to 2 pairs of day glasses, or at least once you think your prescription is stable, as it allows for accidents, and changes in dress mood. God that sounds middle-aged, but nevertheless!

Rae said...

I'm 47 and found out I needed to start wearing glasses last winter. Just for reading, but I was upset about it and resisted for awhile. I finally realized that my inability to focus on smaller print, newspaper, etc. was keeping me from one of my favorite activities: reading! After I got the glasses (a simple, modern tortoise frame) and got used to them I felt like I was seeing the world anew again! At least when reading, knitting, looking at a cookbook while cooking, reading the computer screen, all that crucial stuff. Now I'm wanting another pair to change up my look when desired. Have fun.

Anonymous said...

Never ever ever use any paper product to clean your glasses. It is, of course made of wood and makes tiny scratches in them. Always use cotton.

Nettie said...

i went with this extra coating that boasts to keep your glasses smudge free. and, i think it works.

normanack said...

Not long ago there was a post on boingboing.net about being able to get glasses online for much less than one pays at the opthamologist's office (where there is a hefty mark-up).
Usually I'm all over the lower price, but here, I think it's really important to get glasses that physically fit your face and put the focal point in the right place, as other commenters have already noted.
These are your eyes. This is your vision. They're worth the extra money.
Oh! As an aside, you need to be vigilant at the big eyewear chains. My dad got prescription polarized lenses at a chain, and the polarization on one of the lenses was at a right angle to the other.