The Vue Is Mighty Clear From Here

Yesterday I had an eye doctor’s appointment, and to tell you the truth I couldn’t wait to get there and tell my doctor all the ways that I could no longer see. I feel like I’ve spent the last seven or eight months trying to figure out if I’d rather see up close or far away – but never being able to do both at once. I recognize that the reason for this is that YOU’RE GETTING OLD, GLADYS, but since my up close vision is still really good when I’m not wearing my glasses or contacts (for nearsightedness), it’s been frustrating to wear contacts and need my reading glasses, too – or to put on my regular glasses / take them off a thousand times a day (slight exaggeration) depending on if I’m trying to see something far away or, you know, type a blog post.

And yes. I know that this is basically the plight of most 40-something people in the world. It’s not exactly unexpected. But the last few times I’ve been speaking somewhere I’ve been annoyed with my eyes because I could either 1) choose to wear no glasses / no contacts and see my notes beautifully while everyone in the audience was just a big ole blur 2) wear my regular glasses and then take them off to read or look at my notes 3) wear my contacts and put on reading glasses to look at notes 4) wear contacts and wear reading glasses the whole time – which is the same dilemma as #1 because then notes are clear but people are a blur (unless I take off reading glasses and put them back on and take them off again and now we’re back to #3).


I told myself over and over that my best bet would probably be new glasses with progressive lenses (back in the day we just called them BIFOCALS), so when I got to the doctor’s office yesterday I was pretty resigned to my imaginary fate. I sat in the waiting room and longed for the days when I could see far away AND read a magazine AT THE SAME TIME, so by the time they called my name I was the tiniest bit sad. In fact, when I was going through all the tests before they took me back to an exam room, I said something along the lines of “MY EYES ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY AND I CAN’T SEE ANYMORE” and then I collapsed on the ground in a very dramatic fashion and laid there with the back of my hand resting on my forehead while I pictured myself wearing some sah-weet 70’s bifocals.


I’m pretty sure my mama had a pair of those.

And I didn’t really collapse. OF COURSE NOT. But everything about those 70’s bifocals is totally true.

The sweet lady doing all of my tests mentioned in passing that there were some new contacts that might work for me, but I didn’t think too much of it because I haven’t heard of many people who have had good luck with bifocal lenses (or, as they say for Gen X’ers who are in denial about aging issues: multifocal lenses).

(You’re not seeing less, Gen X people.)

(You’re seeing in more ways than ever before.)

(We are a sensitive bunch.)

My doctor made me feel much better when she told me that I have the eyes of a 35 year-old (I have no idea what that means, really, but A WIN’S A WIN), and after she looked at my prescription and curvature and whatnot she said I really would be a good candidate for a new brand of multifocal lenses that, apparently, just came out about a week ago. I told her I’d give them a try, and she assured me that she would still send me home with some of my regular contact lenses just in case the new ones didn’t work for me.

Long story long: she brought me a pair of the new lenses, and Y’ALL, THEY ARE JUST A WONDER. They are super thin, so comfortable, and once my eyes adjusted to them, I could read my phone like it was 2007. I picked up a magazine and read it without having to stretch my arm to the Tuscaloosa County limits. The change was almost instant, and it was easy, and I AM STILL SO VERY TICKLED ABOUT IT.

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 9.25.00 PM

There’s definitely an optimal reading zone with these contacts; if I’m holding something about six inches from my face, there’s still a little bit of a blur. Honestly, though, I don’t know when I’ve ever tried to read something six inches away from my face; at that point a book or a magazine or a phone would be all up in my personal space. If I hold my phone parallel to my elbow (would you call that an elbow’s length from my face? I have no idea.), I can see great. Even better, I don’t need my reading glasses when I’m on my laptop. AND, just as a test, I just picked up my jar of Mentholatum and read the fine print without putting on my reading glasses and/or turning on every light in the room.

So all that to say: SUCCESS. I can’t wait to go speak somewhere and be able to see the people in the audience AND see my notes. AT THE SAME TIME.


I still may need to get me a pair of those 70s-ish frames, though.


They’re a sight for sore eyes, don’t you think?

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  1. Oh my gosh, Sophie! That last picture? I had glasses very much like that. Had them made into prescription sun glasses and I still use them at the beach!

    Full disclosure: my oh so trendy (multifocal) frameless glasses have little bitty magnets imbedded in the lenses allowing me to just snap on my custom made shades, which also have itty bitty magnets imbedded in them. Both are too expensive to wear at the beach!

    Glad you can see so much better. I’m just waiting for my cataracts to get bad enough so I can get new (multifocal) lenses implanted.

    • Katie C. says:

      Oh those prescription sunglasses. She’s not lying about those. Not one bit.

  2. I was having similar issues & was so relieved when they fixed me right up with a contact for far away & a contact for close up. The dr. said, “It doesn’t work for everybody but I think we can trick your brain into doing it.” Hmmmm. I would’ve taken that as a slam if it hadn’t worked so well! ;-) Glad you’re seeing better too.

  3. Girl-have you thought of lasik??? It is by far the best thing I’ve ever done!!! It is worth every penny! I did it 4 years ago and never regretted it!

  4. I’m so happy the new lenses work for you!! I’ll be asking my eye doctor about them!!

  5. I was having almost the exact same problem. I had multifocal contacts last year, but they never really gave me the results I wanted. When I went to my eye doctor at the end of May she tried the “one contact for close up, one for far away” approach, but my confused little eyes didn’t like that either.

    I am now wearing the very same multifocal daily lenses that you have pictured (only my vision must be much worse than yours based on the strength of the contacts). I LOVE THEM. I don’t have to worry with storing them at night — no multi-purpose solution, no stupid cases — I just flick them into the trash can at the end of the day. It’s great!

  6. MaraDarling says:

    I had the multifocals and had some frustrations and now…(drumroll) I only wear one contact. Who knew that wasn’t against the Rules? It has been almost a year and I still get a kick out of saying “I have to put my contact in.” Also on the plus side – I am only buying one script so it is half the cost. So great when you can put all the granny-glasses (readers)in a drawer! Congrats on your new vision solution- 2015 is so fab for the eyes! What will they think of for 2020?

  7. That’s great news! Our vision sounds similar, as do the frustrations. Do they come in Toric for astigmatism?

  8. The struggle is real! I solved it by having cataract surgery and having one eye for distance and one eye for close. Monovision it is amazing what the brain can adjust to.

  9. Nancy D says:

    Because of some retina issues in addition to vision/contacts/glasses, I’ve been frequenting the opthalmologist this past year. I’m going to have to ask him about those the next time I go! Although, I just hate the comparison tests / questions they give you: Which is better, A or B? B or C? A or C? Can you read the last line? Then after a few more clicks, we answer the same questions all over again. Which is better, A or B? B or C? A or C? And, when I read a line once, I already know what it is the next time they ask me to read it again. To me that’s more of a memory test than a vision one. Makes me a little crazy. Just give me some contacts and let me go home.

  10. I’m calling to make an eye appointment for these ASAP! For two years I’ve been doing the head bob with my glasses, and it’s driving me nuts! Thank you for sharing this for us 40+ peeps that can totally relate…

  11. Ohhhh, I’m taking this to my doc today! The multi- vision contacts I tried before just didnt work for me…maybe these will! I’m a teacher and it’s so tiring and annoying to be moving my glasses on and off all day! And I teach kinder – I NEED to see what those kiddies are up to at all times – HA!!!!

  12. I’m about 10 years further down the road than you, but I know the struggle. Maybe these new ones would work for me, too. My brain couldn’t be tricked into doing the one distance and one close up contact so I’m doing the reading glasses now. I just embrace it and buy colorful, fun glasses. :)

  13. I had a small breakdown the last time I was at the eye doctor. Just a few tears and quakes while I was sitting in the waiting room. Walked out with advice to get a pair of readers and life has gone on. But I know your pain, Gladys.

  14. Every year when I visit my optometrist, or what I consider the “Day We See How Blind Adrienne Is” I just know that I’m one year closer to needing multifocal lenses. It’s already getting difficult for me to do things like clasp a necklace. I’m glad these are doing well for you. The people at Acuvue are doing some pretty great things. My old optometrist retried, and the new one who bought her practice had me try Oasys lenses, because they were a newer design than what I had been wearing for years and they feel SO wonderful.

  15. Amy S. says:

    Man, those glasses in the last picture needs tiny windshield wipers!!

  16. Mary Lou says:

    I have the 2 week version of those contacts, and I LOVE them. I, too, was tired of wearing readers with contacts…and carrying the readers and sunglasses in my purse every day.

  17. Lisa D. says:

    I, too, am a FAN of the “multi-focal” contact lenses. Whatever they want to call them is fine with me because they work so well!!!

  18. Anotherlisa says:

    Been nearsighted since elem school. here’s a fun fact from the eye doctor. Myopia lessens as eyes age! My prescription is actually better than ten years ago. Something to do with the curvature of the eye.