Walking Glasses

A lot of people my age have eyes that are getting tired. Recently a co-worker complained about needing reading glasses. Me? I’ve needed reading glasses for years now. I am sitting here wearing no-line trifocals. Distance on top, reading on the bottom and arm’s length for staring at a computer monitor all day in the middle. It is important for you to know that my middle prescription starts at about eighteen inches and is good up to about three feet away. If I need to clearly see anything farther than three feet away, I have to look out of the top part of my glasses.

I didn’t need glasses until I hit college. I was originally diagnosed with a bad astigmatism, but that eye doctor was wrong. The correct diagnosis should have been that I am near sighted in one eye, and far sighted in the other. Well, except for the past six years or so. It seems my farsighted eye is losing focus at great distances, and it is now just a middle distance sighted eye. I can function well without my glasses. I can read close up, and I can see far away enough to read road signs before I pass them and to be safe driving on the freeways. Yet if I don’t wear my glasses, I get horrendous headaches. For everyday life, my trifocals are great! What they are not good for is hiking.

I like to look at the scenery around me when I hike. To me that is one of the best things about hiking. And I can see the scenery with my trifocals. What I can not see when I have my head held up are my feet; or the trail, or that rock on the trail. I stumbled a lot. I turned my ankle a few times. I’d even given myself a stiff neck because I was constantly bending it down at an unnatural angle in order for the distance part of the lens to bring the trail into focus. Walking with my head bent down meant I wasn’t able to enjoy the scenery. I hiked a few times without my glasses and got horrendous headaches. Arrrgh!

Then a simple solution occurred to me. Why not get a pair of Walking Glasses? People have reading glasses and driving glasses, right? I could get a pair that was only the distance prescription. If I need to read a map, I could pull the glasses off for the few minutes that I’d be reading with my near sighted eye. Perfect plan!

Except the eye doctor didn’t want to do it. You see, she wanted to give me a driving glasses prescription that would allow me to keep a dashboard in focus and still have enough distance to be safe on the road. I had to explain a few times that what I needed was not to be able to see from three feet to one hundred yards, but to be able to see from six feet to infinity, or as close to infinity as my tired eyes will allow. She finally agreed to write the prescription, but she was upset with me because I questioned her authority. She even used the eye doctor cliche that even though they were my eyes, they were her responsiblity. Sheesh.

The glasses work beautifully. And since the simple prescription lowered the cost I was able to take advantage of getting transition lenses without any additional expense to me. (They had a buy one get one free sale going on… like always.) Hiking has become even more fun now, imagine that!


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