When Good Eyes Go Bad


“And the beauty of a woman, with passing years only grows!” 
― Audrey Hepburn

“Wisdom comes with winters”
― Oscar Wilde

“Twenty-three is old. It’s almost 25, which is like almost mid-20s.” 
― Jessica Simpson

 Age is just a number.

Tell that to my fucking eyes. I can embrace the aging process all I want, but I’m never going to be okay with the way my eyes have been betraying me.

I’ve always liked my eyes. I have pretty eyes. They used to work great. I never wore glasses or contacts. Other than being a little too leaky during sad movies and some phone company commercials, I’ve had no complaints about them.

Until a few years ago when they stopped working the way they should.

I. Had. To. Get. Bifocals.

I only need them for reading or working on the computer, I still have decent far away vision, so that’s something. At first, I only wore them because it was more comfortable to do so.


I can’t sew without them. I can’t read without them. I can’t use my phone, or read instructions on my anti-aging cream, or sign a receipt for the pizza delivery guy without them.

I can’t always find them. I went for decades without glasses and now I have to learn to keep track of them? I’m not cut out for this.

In an effort to cut down on frustration, I have posted drugstore readers throughout my house and my cubicle in case of emergency. Whatever room you go in, you will find a pair of readers.  I’m not even joking. Go look under your couch cushion and you will find a pair of readers I put there, just in case. Try to not break them.

I’ve had this prescription for two years now and I think it’s time for a new one. Even with the bifocals, I’m having some difficulty.

Captcha for instance.

I fucking hate captcha. Every fucking time I have to enter a series of letters, this is what I’m muttering:

Is that an ‘N’ or an ‘R’? 

Is that a lower case ‘L’ or the number 1?

I don’t HAVE a fucking key on my keyboard for ‘the artist formerly known as Prince’ symbol. 

I will just enter what ever letters I see through the cloudy haze of suck and am always surprised if it’s right.

It usually takes two or three tries. Fucking captcha.

I am going to really try to appreciate that I still have my vision, even if I’ve reached the stage where driving at night is risky. I can’t imagine having to use my night vision for captcha.

Still, if there is anything that makes me feel my age, it’s my eyes. And I trusted them.

I also learned when I went to the eye doctor that I’m a spasmodic accommodator. Which, even without knowing what that meant, was not a shock. That sounds like something I’d do.

The eye doctor was getting very annoyed with me when we were doing the ‘is this better or is this better’ thing. I kept saying it was worse at random times when it should have been better or I had previously said it was better.

I think he thought I was fucking with him.

Finally, he had a light bulb moment and tested his theory out with his little laser light of torture thingy.

He assured me the problem wasn’t my right eye. The problem was with my brain. 

This is something every hypochondriac loves to hear.

“Your brain isn’t working right”.

My brain decides at unpredictable moments that it is going to take away my right eye’s ability to focus.

It was kind of a relief. It explained why my eye makeup is trashed at the end of every day. Things will get blurry, I rub my eyes and then my morning efforts are smeared over my hand and around my eyes. It’s attractive.

The glasses help with that. Not so much the random blurriness, but they do keep me from rubbing my mascara all over the place.

I really have been enjoying my fiftieth year, there is far more good than bad about getting older as far as I’m concerned.

The bad things have been trying, though. First my uterus turned on me, and now it’s the eyes. I’m really kind of afraid what will happen next.

Oh, in the spirit of honesty, the bifocals really don’t have much to do with my inability to sew.


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  • Oh God, when Sheldon finally realized that yes, I was right and he needed bifocals he was so pissed off!

    AT ME. O.O

    Like it was MY fault he was getting OLD.

    *eye roll*

    And was it just me or does being a spasmodic accommodator sound vaguely sexual?

    OK, not vaguely. REALLY sexual.

    • HAHAH…I never thought of it that way, but it does sound kind of kinky.

      I was a dick when I was trying to pick out frames. I was so mad that I needed them. I was like a toddler. I stood there saying..they’re all DUMB. I HATE THEM. They’re all UGLY.

      It was not one of my finer moments.

  • Captcha is a little bitch who pretends to protect people but is actually useless.

    I have little kids (little!) and I’m 50. They come up and shove a lovely creation/funny comic/whatever into my face with a delighted cry of “look, mommy!” Ahhhhh! Scares the shit out of me! WHAT IS IT????

    Do you think the spasmodic accommodation thing is related to a childhood raised by a narcissist? Cuz it kind of sounds like it.

    Glasses leash. Stylish AND Functional 😉

    • I can’t do the leash. And this is just MY opinion…but they just look too old lady for me.

      I don’t know if it’s got to do with narcissism or not..but let’s blame it on it anyway. 🙂

  • My eyes started going bad when I was young…I got glasses in fourth grade and was like, OMG, there are leaves on the trees! It finally got contacts in 12th grade. My eyes got progressively worse until I was in my 30s, then they evened out, and then about two years ago I realized I needed readers. My eye doctor suggested mono-vision contacts, which is a fancy name for wearing one contact that sees close (left eye) and one contact that sees far (right eye) and it’s quite amazing! My eyes (and brain) adjusted right away.

    • I guess I could be grateful that I just now started dealing with it. Well..kind of close to now.

      My 15 year old wants contacts, but I just don’t think he’s ready. I’ll make him wait a few more years..

      • I got contacts at 16, my prescription never changed for the next couple of decadess, but now I’m no longer allowed to wear the gas permeable ones and am only allowed to wear soft ones, occasionally, as I developed a very serious eye problem.
        I don’t like glasses, they don’t give me the same standard of vision as contacts, plus, to add insult to injury I have to have reading glasses as well, which also aren’t quite right.
        Ageing is a pain in the posterior, given my experiences of the last couple of years I’m really not looking forward to the joys of the next 40, I want to be 20 again

        • I don’t want to be 20 again. I was a miserable young adult. I’m much happier now. Although, I’d like my old eyesight back

  • Ugh! I have to go to the eye doctor. I was going to make the appointment…but I’m busy…reading blogs…and stuff.

    Anyway, I can’t see shit at night, and I work on a computer and sometimes my face is thisclose to it. And sewing is just really pissing me off lately – I’m in the middle of a massive tapestry and I can’t see!! It’s terrible! I’m only 34! My body hates me! That’s a lot of !!!!!

    “That sounds like something I would do.” HA! Yes. It does. But I always have had trouble with those questions…I have a really bad memory, so I don’t know from one minute to the next.

  • OMG! Captcha totally blows no matter what your age! I think eye doctors are the ones fucking with us. “Is this better or is that better?” Uh, it was the same damn thing, asshole. Then they make you feel silly for pointing that out to them. Ugh!

  • Tape a piece of waxpaper across your eyes and attempt to function like that for one day. Err, one hour is even better.

    Don’t use the electrical tape because you don’t want to simulate UTTER blindness,
    just Functional Blindness that the wax paper simulates.

    A real humdinger, ain’t it?

    So thank your lucky stars you can see, even with glasses to focus.

    And clean that shit off your face. It’s got arsenic in it and that’s fucking you up.

  • Well, my eyes went bad when I was 10, so I can’t sympathize there. But yeah, when I stopped being able to see shit close up a few years ago and had to get ridiculous progressive lenses (aka, disco-ball glasses), then I began to feel old and pissed off. And those feelings continue to grow with each passing day. I figure before long I’ll be the angriest blind person in the country.

  • GURRRRLLLL! You are preaching to the choir. I will be picking up my bifocals next week. I have always needed glasses for distance, but now my lap top and I are playing a little game of “move a little farther away.”

    Sigh. I’m only 42; I mean 28, which is almost older than my mid-twenties.

    Hugs all around.

  • I know exactly what you mean except that I have worn glasses/contacts since I was 12. Every year my eyes would be worse and I would need a stronger prescription. At the age of 42 I was only .15 off being legally blind. Then I heard about cataract surgery where they take the lens out your eye and put in an artificial lens. And I had it done. I now have relatively good eyesight because I can get around without glasses/contacts but my distance vision isn’t so great.
    Because I do a lot of knitting/crocheting while watching TV I landed up having to get bi-focals which I just can’t use because I never look out of the right bit. So changed them to multi-focals which are heaps better. Apparently I should be able to get away with wearing one contact for distance but I must suffer from the same thing as you, because my brain cannot put the vision from my left eye with the contact together with the vision from my right eye without the contact.
    Do I wish I hadn’t had the operations to my eyes ? No. Do I get frustrated because I can’t see as well as I used to ? Absolutely – because I couldn’t do anything without glasses so I always had them on !!
    That’s life and it seems to get suckier the older we get – which just isn’t right as far as I am concerned !!!
    Have the best day !

    • Ouch..that sucks, sister.

      You are right, a lot gets sucker about aging, but I still love it. I do. I like who I am (at least more than I used to)

  • 1. CAPTCHA sucks.
    2. I had bifocals starting when I was 25. Neener neener! The good thing is the last 3 years or so my Rx has remained stable and not gotten worse… 🙂 So that’s something.

  • BWAHAHA! I laughed and nodded, all the way through this. This year, I’m finding the same stuff going wrong… “What does the back of this nail polish bottle say….what the HELL?!? HOW SMALL IS THIS PRINT???! WTF people?!? WHO wrote this–HOBBITS?!?” I went to pull a sliver out of my finger, and I realized I wasn’t able to see the damn thing. Thread a needle? OH NO YOU’RE NOT, MUAHAHAHA.

    I already have astigmatism (mild), so I have what I call “mood” glasses, which means I wear them when I feel like it. But this? This is something worse, insidious, and it feels like ‘OLD’ to me. I remember my mom, wearing those bifocal (or not?) little half glasses way down on her nose and holding the vitamin bottle waaaayy out far from her face to read it. So, great– I’m turning into my mom, for real.

    I broke down and got some doofy 1.5x reading glasses, (actually they were a gift–not sure if that’s good or not), which work great. For UP CLOSE. But when I have them on and I glance up (or anywhere NOT 6″ in from my face), everything is blurred to the point of OMG I CAN’T SEE! I’M BLIND– oh wait…let me take these off…ok–we’re good.

    Nice. I’m loving this whole 40’s stuff.

  • Spasmodic accommodator? Didn’t I see them open for the Tubes in ’85?
    Seriously, though, I’m glad you wrote about this, because my vision has been acting similarly, and it’s sort of freaking me out. My eyesight has been deteriorating lately, and I can’t quite afford new glasses yet, but sometimes my left eye just gets blurry for a while, and marginally better after an hour or so. I’ve been worried that it might be connected to the stroke I had back in ’08, and really hoping it’s not because if it is, glasses aren’t going to help. I have a fairly large monitor, and read it from 6 to 8 inches away. I still remember sitting in 7th grade science class and asking my friend Cheryl if she could read what the teacher was writing on the chalkboard, and when she said yes, saying “Damn it, I need glasses…”

    • Next time you go to the eye doctor, ask him/her about it. My blurriness doesn’t last that long, usually just a few minutes, but I don’t know enough about it to know whether it can last longer or not.

      Both of my boys where glasses, my youngest has terrible vision, it’s 20/200..so he can’t see much without his glasses. Even with his glasses my far away vision is better than his.

  • I hate captcha, too! It’s great you made it to 50 (or close) without glasses. I have had glasses or contacts my whole life… and nothing sucks more than trying to pull dry contact lenses out of your eyes the morning after. Blah

    Funny lady. I hope the readers help with the details. If you ever get self conscious, you could go for broke and try a monocle? That’s a real conversation starter.

    • a monocle? i have to wear tri-focals, and frankly, i can’t adjust to them. So i have 3 pairs of glasses. But your idea makes me think i could ADD a monocle and be able to see at a medium distance. I’m going to try it.

      • I admit..I got trifocals at first but I HATED them..I was constantly sick to my stomach..and my far away vision isn’t bad…slightly soft touch focus…but that’s pleasant. 🙂

  • Yep, my eyes suck too. One eye is near sighted. One eye is far sighted. One has the start of a cataract. One has ‘markers’ for macular degeneration. One has had a retina thing-not the scary detachment, but more of a tearing away that causes so many floaters that it feels like I’m constantly looking through a moving spider web.

    That said, I’m alive. and have lost a lot of weight. And, in general, can still kick ass and make people around me laugh. So I got THAT going for me. 🙂

  • I also have reading glasses scattered all over the house. I buy them in 3 packs. And sometimes, for small print on vitamin bottles, I have to double them up.

    And I was recently told I’m developing cataracts. That will really make you feel old.

    On the plus side, once they fix the cataracts, the doctor says I will have perfect vision for the rest of my life!

  • I have reading glasses everywhere too. Always have a pair on top of my head, sometimes two pairs if I forget they are there! Hate the floaters!

    • Haha! I’ve done that, too! Sometimes they’re gathered together in one place. I think they like each other’s company.

  • I feel your pain. I have worn glasses of one kind or another since I was three. (Yeah, I know.) They are the first thing I reach for in the morning and always have been. I see ok up close (like 6″ from my face) but distance…forget it! I have contacts, too, but some days they just don’t want to go into my eyes.

    About a year and a half ago, I got new contact with one for up close and one for distance, because it was much cheaper than bifocal contacts. No problem! I kept the same glasses, since I could just take them off for up close stuff. Then I sat on them and broke them in half. Sigh.

    My eye doctor thought I was a little crazy when I asked if we could do the same thing with my glasses that we did with my contacts, because I really didn’t want to go through getting used to bifocal glasses. He agreed after making sure I knew that most people don’t like that AT ALL. Surprise! I have no problems with it. It took a couple of days to adjust to it, especially when I took them off, but ever since they are fine.

    PS — You’re right. Most of the frames are ugly…always have been. I almost got red ones, just for whimsy, but then went for basic black.


    • I get the attraction of ‘red for whimsy’ BUT…you risk a serious Sally Jesse Raphael look if you do…there are always dangers.

  • I just got my first bifocals right before Christmas. I’ve been wearing glasses since college, so it wasn’t that stressful for me, but I pretended it was. I prefer to use the phrase from the doctor “progressive lenses”

    What do you mean my bifocals? I have progressive lenses.

    Apparently, my new glasses are just big enough to be considered hipster, so I’ve got that going for me.

  • When I was in the 5th grade, the school nurse told my parents I needed glasses. My vision was BARELY not perfect — but I begged and begged and begged for glasses. I thought they would make me look cool and stylish (I grew up in a tiny town — I had no sense of fashion). They finally gave in, I got my cool new glasses, and I wore them one day — and then never again. My parents told me that they would never buy me glasses again — so as my eyesight got worse, I had to make due with squinting for several years until I got a job and could buy my own glasses. Now I’ve graduated to bi-focals — and I’ve got a separate pair of computer glasses at work. I try to tell myself that my frames are sassy — but let’s be real.

  • I HATE captcha! Whoever invented it is sure getting a big laugh at all of us…

    Anyway, I’ve had glasses since middle school. I loved them because once I put them on I realized the world was so much prettier than I had thought. I was so surprised the first time I wore my glasses and I could see individual leaves on the trees instead of just hazy green. Of course, I think this means that when I get to my ’50s I’ll need septfoculs or something.

    • I’ve had these for nearly 2 years now and I think it’s time to see if I need a new pair. Sigh.

      Oh well, I’m over the pain of needing bifocals..the strength of the prescription is no biggie

  • How did I NOT SEE this blog until today?
    I feel your frustration.
    As I type, I am wearing bifocal contacts AND cheater glasses I also have cheater glasses in every room in the house, including the bathroom, and in my purse and in the car and truck. In the evenings I wear my bifocal glasses a nd contact lenses. Sadly, I am an artist and I’m finding it more difficult every day to practice my craft. Must find a plan B. Or C, D, etc.
    I live in fear of failing the vision test and losing my license and having to be driven around like Miss Daisy. Or maybe having to depend on a service animal.
    Thanks for sharing. Now I don’t feel so alone.

    • Oh man…it’s so not easy aging in so many ways..

      I hope you don’t have to give up your art, which by the way, I really want to know more about. I’m in awe of people who create visually…

By Michelle

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