As the editor of the weekly Free Press Tribune, I am pleased to introduce to you, the reader, our newest member of the writing community. To some, he needs no introduction. To others, please help me, in welcoming to the wonderful world of newsprint, the writer known as “Specs4ever”. Specs4ever will be writing a weekly advice column for those readers amongst us who wear glasses.
When I was a young girl I had to get glasses. As I grew older, my glasses got stronger, and thicker. By the time I was 14 years old, I had to wear very strong and thick glasses. I hated wearing these glasses, but I had no choice, as my eyesight was so bad, I could not see past the end of my nose. My parents bought me contact lenses at the advice of my doctor, and ever since then I have worn contacts. Because I am so totally helpless without my contacts, I always carry a pair of glasses in my purse in case of an emergency. I am rather embarrassed by my thick glasses, and my extremely poor uncorrected vision, and at the age of 28, I have never entered into a long-term relationship with a man. The last few weeks I have been dating a guy who I really like. The other evening we were in a restaurant, and when Paul reached for my purse to hand it to me, the purse slipped to the floor. My glasses case fell out, and my thick glasses came partially out of the case. Paul picked them up, and remarked that my glasses were a pretty substantial prescription. I told him that I was severely nearsighted, and was helpless without correction. Since then Paul has been trying to convince me to wear my glasses when we go out on a date. What should I do?
Evelyn in Evanston.
Dear Evelyn in Evanston:
From the sounds of it, you have found yourself a person who will really appreciate you for who you are. There are many people in this world that would love to trade places with Paul. I suggest that you take this relationship to the next level. Wear your glasses proudly on a date. I assume that your glasses, purchased for emergency purposes, are likely the very thick, cheaper plastic CR39 lenses. Take Paul with you to an optical store, and have him help you select a nice attractive pair of glasses for you to wear more often. Take careful note of his reactions. If Paul is more loving towards you when you are wearing glasses, please him by wearing glasses more often. If you do take this relationship into the bedroom, watch how he treats you. If he smears your glasses on purpose, or asks you to remove them, he is not worthy of your affections.
I have searched and searched for a nice looking young lady who wears strong glasses. I found a girl I like very much, but at age 17, her prescription was not as strong as I would have liked it to be. After we went out together for a few months, she started to have trouble seeing things in the distance, so I knew that she needed a stronger prescription. I went with her to the eye doctor, and her –6.50D prescription had increased to –7.50 x –1.25 x 106 and –7.75 x –1.00 x 105. When we left the doctor’s office to go to the optician to get her new glasses, I had the prescription with me. I went to the washroom and while I was there, I changed the 7 to an 8. We left the one-hour optical store with her new glasses, and I was afraid that she might notice that the prescription was too strong, but she is having no trouble wearing them. A few days later I went back to the doctor, and told him that we had lost the prescription slip, so I got another one. This time I changed the prescription to read –9D instead of –7D, and I went to another one of the chain stores, and bought exactly the same frame, and had the –9.50D and the –9.75D lenses put in it. Now I want to switch her glasses on her, but I don’t know how to do it so she won’t know.
Harry in Terra Haute
Dear Harry in Terra Haute:
So far your plan has been brilliant. And, you are correct to be worried about switching glasses. All glasses are identical when they are placed on a wearer’s face at the optical store. However, after a few days, every glasses wearer has modified their glasses so that any pressure points have been eliminated. The only person that you could probably successfully switch glasses on, would be a full time contact lens wearer. In your case, the best time to switch glasses would be overnight. But, instead of switching the glasses, I would suggest switching lenses. Stay overnight with her, and while she is sleeping change the lenses. When you get up in the morning, it would be best if you had to rush her to get ready to go somewhere, and get her outside into the sun as quickly as possible, because the stronger lenses will not seem as strong to her in bright sunlight. Then by the time you get to where you are going, she will have adjusted to the new lenses. Hopefully it will work out for you.
I am very nearsighted and have worn strong glasses since I was a child. I am now 32, and my glasses are quite thick and heavy. I recently put the money out for the newest high index lenses that I can buy, but they are still pretty thick. I have been going with a guy now for around 6 months, and he never wants me to take my glasses off when we are having sex. He is very considerate of my glasses, and watches to make sure he doesn’t knock them out of place. And, he stares at me all the time. I am beginning to wonder if he loves my glasses more than he does me.
Gayle in Roanoke.
Dear Gayle in Roanoke:
I wouldn’t worry too much about this Gayle. I think you have been fortunate enough to find a man who loves you, and your glasses. I hope that you both are very happy together.
Dear Specs4ever: My wife has been making noises about having laser surgery for a number of years now. I have always managed to delay this from happening, usually by having a financial crisis in my business – contrived or otherwise. Her sister had the surgery successfully done 2 years ago, and her eyes were even worse than my wife’s prescription of –12D. I have finally run out of excuses and delays to use. Can you help me?
George in Bakersfield.
Dear George in Bakersfield:
What fortunate timing. I have it from a reliable source that there are trials going on right now for an implantable lens that is variable focus. In other words, it will correct distance, intermediate and near vision. At this time, it is only being tested on select cataract patients, who have to have their lenses removed, as well as people who work in the field, who have volunteered as guinea pigs. So, in a couple of years, it should be on the market. There is one catch that might just hold your wife back from considering laser surgery. People who have had PRK, or Lasik are not eligible for these lens implants. The cost for these new lenses is high, around $2,200.00 per eye, but then again so is the laser surgery. Maybe this information will give you a couple more years to convince her to remain a high myope.
I am 14 and my girlfriend is 13. I know she needs glasses badly, because she is always squinting at everything, and she asks me to read signs and bus numbers to her. Her older sister and her mom wear nice strong, thick glasses, but she refuses to have her eyes checked. I want her to wear glasses, and I would like her glasses to be as thick as her sister’s. How can I get her to have her eyes tested?
Kenny in Ventura.
Dear Kenny in Ventura:
There is not much that you can do Kenny. Maybe if you are over at her house watching television, you can suggest that you will sit closer to the screen with her so she can see. Or, you can point something out to her in the distance, and then make a comment about how she probably can’t see that far with her bad eyes. You have to make sure that her mother or her sister can hear you say this. She probably doesn’t want to wear strong glasses like her sister and mother, so maybe you can also tell her that by making her eyes try to focus without glasses is actually harder on her eyes than it would be if she could see properly with glasses and could very well make her eyes worse.
Thank You to Lynn from Boston who sent in the following:
I have been reading your column for a few weeks now, and I am wondering if you have any suggestions to help me out of my dilemma. You see, when I was a junior in high school I had 2 friends. One friend was farsighted, and she had just gotten a pair of the new soft contacts. Our other friend was fairly nearsighted. One day, for the fun of it, I tried on my farsighted friends contact lenses. I couldn’t see anything, and for a joke, my other friend gave me her glasses. What a surprise. I could see fairly well. So, to continue this joke, my one friend got me a pair of her contact lenses, and my other friend gave me a spare pair of her glasses. Ever since then I have worn glasses over contacts. I found a friendly optometrist who would refract me with plus contact lenses in, and over the years my plus prescription for my contacts, and my minus prescription for my glasses has steadily increased. All my friends, my family, my husband, and children, believe that I have such poor eyesight that I have to wear part of my prescription in contact lenses, and the rest of my prescription in glasses. Over the last year or so, I have been having a bit of trouble wearing my contacts as much as I want to, and my friendly optometrist has told me that for the health of my eyes, I should quit wearing contacts. He understands that I want to continue to wear strong glasses, so he has made arrangements for me to have lens implants. My present glasses are –22D. The highest I can go is to –30D glasses. What do you think I should do?
Lynn from Boston
Dear Lynn from Boston:
I think I would choose to wear the –30D glasses. You have obviously lived much of your life as a very nearsighted lady. You might as well go through the next few years with as high a prescription as you can. I congratulate you on having done this so well over the years. However, Lynn, I must warn you that having the lens implants will permanently make you a high myope and you will not be able to see much of anything without your very strong, –30 glasses and you will probably not have much accommodation and will need another pair of strong glasses to read, sew, etc. Since you will be having strong plus lenses implanted, I am really not sure if you will experience the minification problem that occurs with natural high myopes, since the plus overcorrection might cancel out the high minus minification, as you have experienced with your G.O.C. If you do experience the minification, you will also need to carry a magnifying lens to read small print on labels at the food and drug stores and a telescope to see street signs and bus numbers and maybe even to read menus on the walls at fast food places.
A few weeks ago, I wrote you asking your advice on switching my girlfriend’s glasses. You suggested switching only the lenses. It worked wonderfully. I switched the lenses during the night. When the alarm went off, I rushed her out of the house on the pretext that I had to get an early start. She said she was hungry and needed some food and coffee. So, we stopped for breakfast at a pancake house. I was surprised when she went to read the menu, she didn’t hold it six inches from her glasses as she usually does. Also, later that day, when I picked her up from work, she remarked that she seemed to be seeing so much better that day than she had been able to for sometime. Do you think I should try to switch her into even stronger lenses?
Harry fromTerra Haute.
Dear Harry from Terra Haute:
To try another lens switch would probably be like playing with fire. Don’t rush it! It sounds to me as if she is going to require a stronger prescription again anyway, so I would wait, and then attempt to alter the new prescription.
Ok folks, this is it. I have run out of questions for discussion and answers. So, the editor has given me time off until I receive some new questions. I do have over 10,000 letters from people wanting to meet other people with strong glasses, but as I have previously said, I can’t help you. If I knew where there were any available ladies who are wearing strong glasses, I would go and find one or two or more for myself. But, I will be waiting for some more interesting letters, asking for advice about your glasses and your eyesight. Please keep a close watch on this newspaper for future columns.
Specs4ever, with a return to editing by Aliena.