Back in 1999, I was prescribed my first pair of glasses for short sightedness. I never liked wearing them because it was so inhibiting for sports and it wasn’t a good era nor age to be a nerd. By 2001 I was rocking soft contact lenses just in time for my first year of high school, desperate to escape my nickname “Bill Gates” from my last year of primary school.
Calling me Bill Gates didn’t even make sense since I was well into Linux and the open source movement by that age, I guess people just didn’t have any other reference at the time. While contact lenses were great, they didn’t quite feel the same and the routine of caring for them and my eyes quickly became a regimented chore. For better or worse I couldn’t ever go to sleep without taking my contacts out, even after heavy drinking and days of partying.
In 2012 I got LASIK eye surgery, finally fulfilling a long held dream to fall asleep while watching the TV. I wish I had done it sooner, the years of putting it off were for naught as the surgery was painless and its effect immediate. I left the operating room with perfect eyesight and have enjoyed superhuman sight for 8 years. My initial ratings after LASIK was 24/20 vision, meaning I could see an additional 4 feet further than the medical average; “superhuman”.
It’s 21 years on since I was 11 and first donned glasses and here I am again, this time because I’m a little bit long sighted. My optometrist seemed keen to blame my LASIK for “over-adjusting” and whether that is true or not, I do think the mild reading glasses I’ve given a trial are staving off a headache and eyestrain. Weirdest of all — when I look through the reading glasses I see my original eyesight, things in the distance are blurring all over again.
Maybe it was just meant to be that I wore glasses to have complete vision, but I’m still happy with the change I made with LASIK. I kind of like that reading writing and computer work needs me to wear something, while being outside and going about most of my life doesn’t require anything on my face. Reading glasses serve as a physical barrier for me that act as a uniform and reminder to ration my time on these tasks with wisdom and discipline.
If you’re reading this and can’t remember the last time you got your eyes checked, might I suggest you do so soon. I was just at the optometrists for a routine check-up for my drivers license and inadvertently cleared myself of unnecessary headaches and strain I was having at work and in general when trying to read for long periods of time.I’m very glad I did that, I can’t imagine how long it’s afflicted me — certainly years. If you live in Australia it’s free to get checked at most optometrists stores using Medicare alone.