Oh the fun and games of the eyes getting older ...
I mentioned in a previous post that I was trialing my first pair of multifocal contact lenses ... two weeks between prescription and follow-up to try out as many of my visual needs as possible to test 'em out. Going to a movie ... check ... and discovering that my longstanding problems with tracking very fast movement across a large screen in focus was reduced (the highspeed through-the-streets bit at the beginning of "Sweeney Todd"). Overall distance vision ... good. Night driving ... the halo effect around street lights, etc. somewhat reduced, which is always a good thing. Computer screens ... check ... no change there as that distance was still good with my old prescription. Regular reading ... check ... no problems there at all. Small print ... suddenly no can read! Discovered this while trying to find way to restaurant for dinner hosted by boss ... I'd printed out the webpage with the address and taken it with me as a reference without looking at it ... was on the right street from memory of what was on the screen, but when it came to doublechecking the building number, I had a helluva time. Tested later and could read it with old lenses, with old glasses, without any correction at all ... but with the new prescription, it was just a blur. Further tested by cataloguing old French books for a client at work ... while English-speaking countries tend to print their copyright/publication info in fairly large print on the back of the title page, Parisian publishers have always tended to use micro typefaces and love to hide the info on page edges. No fun! I also tried out taking apart my glasses, which I do about once a month just to clean off the skin oils and other gunk that collects on the boundary between lens and frame, and on the hard-to-get-at fiddly bits of the nosepieces ... I have a set of jeweller's screwdrivers for this. Couldn't make out the slots on the screwheads to set the screwdriver properly with the new contacts in ... when I took 'em out I had perfectly sharp uncorrected vision for this close-up work.
So that was my only, and very important, complaint on my follow-up visit ... optometrist was surprised that I was having problems, but the what-can-you-read machine proved I wasn't imagining this. So he gave me what he called a "more aggressive" lens and sent me on a ten-minute mall stroll to let them settle before retesting me. Instant results when I wandered into the Sears store a few doors down and could read the ingredients on the cosmetics without any trouble (note: cosmetics clerks freak out and put you on shoplifter watch when you stroll in sans coat in winter and sans purse and start systematically reading the backs of everything that's shelved right by the doorway ***GRIN***)
Back to retest my reading skills on the ol' machine and move up 2 levels ... back to optometrist for a few more checks and test on my restaurant directions printout which I'd taken with me ... hey, they can't help unless they see what you need to be able to do ... doc's reaction on seeing it was "That is SMALL!!!" (hence his surprise about my reading complaint ... he knew he had me fitted to be okay for standard book print). Also pulled my glasses out of my purse and could see the screwheads in great detail once again. He was great about what I needed once I explained what I do for a living and understood that I needed to see beyond the "standard" reading level, and happily treated me to all kinds of lens techie talk when I demonstrated an understanding of how eyes and lenses work and that I'd been researching the types of multifocal lenses; I do like it when they'll chat about the engineering behind the things ... the best way to get me hunting for a new practitioner is to tell me not to worry my fuzzy little head about these things. Hurrah for the good'uns!
So now I can see everything I need to see and want to see ... YAY!!! For the record, I was told it's not uncommon to need a prescription adjustment when getting multifocal lenses for the first time, hence the mandatory follow-up testing/fitting. I've been given aspheric multifocal lenses
, with my near vision in the centre and distance vision surrounding in a doughnut-like ring ... because the pupil contracts when focusing on near things, having the near vision in the very middle of the contact lens works kinda like focusing a microscope, and, according to the doc, while my near vision is good now with the corrected correction, it should get even better as I practice and my eyes learn to work with these new little bits of plastic. Ditto for the distance, as my brain learns to ignore that centre dot when I'm focusing on things far away.
So now I can continue to keep both home and work computers on the smallest font setting, and read all the itty bitty things I want, while retaining the ability to not walk into walls and other people, and all without going back to the annoyance of frames distracting me on my peripheral vision ... gotta love the continuing advances of vision technology. :-)