Thursday, October 21, 2010

Urban Landscape of the Blind Men

All right, I know I've been lax again. My excuse is that I've been building up the will to do a big post, and putting it off until I'm ready. So expect that... at some point. For now, I've got... this.

I'm severely nearsighted. And when I say "severely," I'm understating it. In the course of my life, I've met less than five people who are a) under the age of 65, b) not legally blind, and c) more nearsighted than I am. I'm one fit of premature baldness away from being Mr Magoo's understudy. Consequently, I am well versed in the essential three alternatives: laser surgery, glasses, and contacts. I'm largely against people shooting beams of anything into my eyes, so laser is out, which leaves the last two. Both have their pros and cons. What are they? Glad you asked...

Contact Lenses. There's a wide variety of contact lenses available, but I'm familiar with the disposable so we'll talk about that. The Pros: you get to keep that rugged, natural look. You don't have to worry about losing them, because they're in your head. Since they're molded to your eye, you get a lot more "panoramic" vision than with glasses. And you can keep them when you go swimming (although you probably shouldn't). This last point is important, especially if you're as lousy a swimmer as I am, and need every sense working at optimum capacity.

Cons: You have to touch your eye a lot, which some people find Totally Gross. And while they're hard to lose when in your eyes, there is also the dreaded problem of "lenses falling out." Plus, you know those dreams where your teeth start falling out? Well, after wearing contact lenses for an extended time, I started getting dreams where my lenses became these massive, hand-sized objects that I had to cram into my optics. Don't worry, though; there's a good chance that last one is just my own deep seated, worrying psychosis.

Biggest Con: I'm one of those people who get up a few times a night for a glass of water. When I'm sharing a place with roommates, I tend to keep a water bottle by the bed so that my nightly habit doesn't disturb them. One time, I woke up around 3:00 am, groped around for the bottle, and took a big, long swig before I realized I had a mouthful of contact lenses cleaning solution. It's a hell of a way to wake up, I'll tell you that. Again, it's the sort of thing that doesn't come up very often, but when it does, you will never, ever forget it.

And glasses.
Pro: You get that Professorial look. And they make a lovely fashion accessory. And it's one single investment rather than the constant cost represented by contact lenses.

Cons: Glare. The dreaded fog that comes when one moves from a cold outdoors to a warm indoors. (A real problem for Canadian winters, and a large portion of Canadian falls as well.) Peripheral vision is replaced with peripheral blurring, which may sound cool, but is not.

Anyway, the reason I bring all this up is that, last week, I simultaneously destroyed my current set of contact lenses by tearing one, and having the other fall out of my eye. (That's another issue for both forms: they're items that, if lost, are much harder to find than other items because without them you have severely impeded your ability to spot them.) That meant a complete replacement within two weeks of my last replacement; I'm burning through this set of lenses at an alarming rate. Thus, I decided to invest in a new pair of glasses, to save myself some future costs. One phone call later/appointment later, I've arranged for a new pair of glasses. They look pretty good on me (At least, I think they do; they didn't have their lenses in yet, and I'm so nearsighted that looking into a mirror five feet away is a bit of a stretch). So... next time you see me, don't be surprised if I'm bespectacled.

Later Days.

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