0183E: Of Sightedness and Contact Lenses

I've been wearing glasses since Kindergarten. I developed astigmatism that early in life and it didn't make getting used to being back in the Philippines any easier. Not only did I speak funny compared to my classmates, but I had a rather sizable pair of spectacles to add to the fun.

Glasses would drift in and out of my life in those early years, but by the third grade there was no going back. I had to wear glasses as much as possible from that point on to deal with increasingly bad astigmatism. And then I officially became myopic before graduating grade shool.

By high school I was rather determined to shift to contact lenses. Beyond the obvious aesthetic benefits, contact lenses represented a way to see better without needing to put a frame around my view of things. The sight benefits are arguable - glasses do provide a more consistent experience and they can address astigmatism, which contacts cannot. It wasn't easy at first, and I gave up for a while. I only really picked it up again after starting work.

Contacts are a blessing and a curse. When you successfully get them in, you feel pretty much normal for a good 8 hours. You can see things clearly as the next person on the street. You don't need to squint in order to bring things back into focus. And you don't get slightly disoriented when your eye look too far in any direction and you end up looking past a pair of frames. And while all these things are great, randomly putting them on can be a literal pain as you try to figure out if there's something between your eye and the lens. Sometimes you struggle to figure out which side of the contact is outside and which part is inside (and this matters).

But contact lenses are still pretty amazing -especially if you can't afford (or choose not to risk) laser surgery. it means that you can watch 3D movies without trying to figure out how to fit both the 3D glasses and your prescription glasses at the same time. It means being able to look left or right without issue. It means being able to kiss your partner without your glasses getting dislodged or them simply getting all oily. It means that you can dance to your heart's content at a club and not fear them getting knocked off your face and crushed underfood by unwitting club goers.

Just don't stare out a window in the daytime or near any other bright light source - you'll manage to see tiny particles drifting across the surface of your lens or something. It's a tiny reminder that you have the lenses on when it often feels like you spend the first hour or so trying to forget you're there. And then you make the mistake of scratching your eyes while they're still in there. Or for a moment you forget if you already took them out and you start focusing on far off objects to see if they're going to be blurry or not.

It's a never ending struggle. But it beats needing to wear glasses all the time.