Today I will be getting my eyes checked, as I wear glasses. If I remember correctly, I was about 14 when I started to need them. The writing on the blackboard at school was getting very fuzzy. Now I am 52 I need to take off my glasses to read, age does creep up on you. However, since my accident I have photophobia. This means light causes pain in my eyes. To help this I have several pairs of glasses to suit different circumstances. (I tried some great over-glasses which help me too)

I have dark sunglasses, with a thick band at the side, so light doesn’t come in the side, driving glasses which soften the glare on the road, and deals with LED headlights (these are so painful) and my daily pair, which darken in sunlight and are varifocal (all my glasses are like this). With all the Zoom chats and work in front of a screen I have had more trouble with my eyes, more pain, so I will visit with the optician today, to see what can be done.

This is what I do to prepare for this visit:

1 – Bring all my glasses with me.

This might seem a waste of time and effort, as they should have the details of your last visit. But sometimes computers fail, or you might be changing who you see. They will be able to check what is your current prescription, and work from that point when they test your eyes.

2 – Measure the distance to your computer monitor and when you read

Two very important measurements. These are different circumstances and you might need to have reading glasses, or a pair only for when you are using a computer. The light emitted by screens can be harmful, and it is possible to get lenses which have a coating to help reduce this harmful, and painful, blue light.

3 – Note down any odd vision issues

If you are like me, you will probably visit your optician every one to two years. Over this time you might experience some problems with your eyes. Some examples are:

  • Spots – floating sponsor images
  • Pain – when does this happen, and where is the pain
  • Blindness – some illnesses, like MS, can cause blindness, usually temporary
  • Headaches – these can be caused by poor vision
  • Dry eyes – this can be another MS symptom, or even caused by some medications.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it will get you thinking about what to look for. (You can read more here)

4 – What your needs are

One thing having disabilities teaches you is there is the right tool for the right circumstance. For example, I wear particular glasses for driving. They are tinted, which darkens, when it gets very sunny. They are also polarised to help with glare from wet roads (this is usual in Ireland) and are varifocal, so I can see what is written on my dashboard (I need to know my speed, etc).

If you are working inside all day, you might need something different. This information will help to choose the right lenses, suitable coatings, and frames. These are all important. I remember when my kids were babies, they used to love grabbing my glasses and playing with them. So I bought frames which could be bent, and twisted, without being damaged. My children were happy, and so was I. Your needs matter.

Final Thought

I will head off soon on the hour and a half journey to get my eyes tested and I have all my information with me, so I will get the most benefit from this visit. To fulfil all my needs will probably take more than one pair, so I will have to decide what is most important to resolve. I can still manage with my sunglasses and driving glasses, so I will hopefully only need one new pair. I wonder will I have sticker shock. Fingers crossed.

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