There is nothing like a new pair of glasses with an accurate correction. For months, now, I have been tolerating slightly blurred vision, the aftermath of 60 dives in a Hyperbaric Oxygen chamber last fall to heal my hands from major surgery. This is a common side effect of the treatment, and, as predicted, after about three months, my sight returned to almost normal.
But the almost part was pretty frustrating—just blurred enough so I had trouble reading street signs, especially later in the day when my eyes are drier from Sjogren’s. In any kind of auditorium setting, I had trouble clearly discerning people’s faces or what was projected on the movie screen. I kept waiting for my vision to settle down, but it never went back to what it was prior to the HBO therapy.
So, it was high time a couple of weeks ago to get a check-up and new prescription. Unfortunately, our vision insurance only gives a discount on new frames every two years, and I had just gotten new glasses last summer. Fortunately, however, a local college here trains optometrists, and as long as you are willing to take the extra time for an exam by the students, you get a 50 percent discount on frames at the college’s frame shop—also a training venue. It’s a great deal, and well worth being a guinea pig for the students, who are lovely, very earnest and dedicated to getting it right.
I picked up my new frames last Thursday. They are wonderful. Not only can I once again see all the leaves on trees and easily read signs when I drive, but I am now enjoying transitional lenses, which turn amber-brown in the sunlight. My eyes are incredibly light sensitive due to Sjogren’s dryness, and I have constantly fumbled with switching from clear lenses to prescription sunglasses when going in and out of buildings on a sunny day. Now the lenses do the work for me.
I’m still getting new prescription sunglasses. The one hitch with transitional lenses is that they don’t get completely dark in warm weather. The optician explained that the lenses are temperature sensitive, as well, and turn their darkest in winter months. Given the heat we’re sweltering in lately, I need more visual protection for summer.
But I’m happy. I can finally see what I want to see again, without eyestrain or fatigue. What a blessing.
Image Credit: David Travis