As someone who grew up with myopia (nearsightedness), I never imagined that my reading vision would fail me. Yet I have spent the last four years holding menus at arm’s length to make it easier to read the food selections. Within the past year, I adopted the habit of grabbing my reading glasses first thing in the morning when I grab my phone. Do you know why? Because my close-up vision has become so dim that if I dare to construct a social media post without my glasses, I end up finding typos on my caption or hashtags. I’ve even gotten to the point where I wear my glasses when sitting at the computer and reading a considerable amount of material, because it reduces eye strain.
The end result is that I either grab glasses, or wish that my arms were longer. I also wish that restaurants filled with romantic ambience would scrap the low light conditions in favor of slightly brighter light which would make it possible for all but the most elderly and vision-challenged to see.
Presbyopia (the age related stiffening of the lens of the eye, which interferes with its ability to contract and diffract the light) has reared its ugly head and taken up residence permanently in my daily life. And despite the fact that I had the knowledge base to realize that presbyopia would color my life after the age of 50, I am still surprised at how sudden and noticeable the vision changes have been.
I went from not being able to see the big E on the Snellen eye chart from my childhood into my late 40’s, to struggling to read receipts in my 50’s and wondering, “Is that a 6, or an 8?”, or, “Is that a 3 or a 5?” It’s pretty frustrating. There have been instances in which I have picked up products with the intention of reading the product ingredients, but I often cannot read them at all.
What’s really strange is that it makes me feel a bit disconnected from the world, since once sense is noticeably dulled. Who else feels that way as a result of having age-related loss of near vision?