Hello everyone! Mouse here. I’m from London, I’m just getting started, and this is my story.
I’ve been wearing glasses for myopia since the age of six. I was told to only wear my first pair for school, watching television, and reading (really! with myopia!) but of course that soon progressed to all the time, with stronger and stronger lenses. I’m an introvert, and I didn’t have the internet back then, so most of my spare time was spent with a book. By about age 14 I was at -6.5.
Now here is where it gets interesting. It’s unfortunate that I have no proof of any of this, so it’s all speculative, but it seems worth sharing nonetheless. I went through a very rough time in my mid to late teens, and part of that meant that I neglected my health. I didn’t have any eye tests, and I wore the same pair of glasses for many years. By 19/20 I was turning things around, and one of the things I did to try to improve my absolutely terrible self-esteem was to volunteer in an African country for three months. During those three months, I spent at least half of my waking hours outside. I used a computer for an hour once a week, when I travelled to the internet cafe in the nearest town. I did a bit of reading, but only a fraction of what I would have done at home. My glasses, already old, got scratched to bits, and I attributed the issues I was having with my sight to that.
Some time after I came home I went for an eye test. -4.25, -4. It would be lovely if I could say I’d gained 2.25 diopters in 3 months, but of course it’s also possible that my sight changed during the years I didn’t have any testing done. I didn’t think much of it at the time, just bought the new glasses. Since then I’ve bought all my glasses online, because it’s so much more affordable, and had several tests which were consistently at -4.25, -4.
A few years ago I developed a severe eye infection which I initially mistook for conjunctivitis. At one point I was advised to visit an optician, which I did, and he told me I needed to go to hospital, and that I also needed a new, increased glasses prescription. Off I go to the hospital, and when they test my eyes, I say that I know my vision isn’t 20/20 but it’s due to old glasses, not the infection. Surprisingly, I’m told that my sight is absolutely fine, and I don’t need new glasses after all. At the time this made me very suspicious of opticians! Having read this website and tested my eyes in different light conditions, however, I suspect that it might have been due to ordinary fluctuations and not anything nefarious.
I’m a bit of a screen addict. In the past this wasn’t a problem because I had an active, screenless job to make up for it. Now that’s not the case. I do think there are benefits to computer use. I’m able to connect with people online and it’s as much ‘real life’ as anything else. I also have a disability which affects how much I’m able to do - but I try to live by the principle of moderation! Then covid happened and I unfortunately spent the best part of a year indoors, working from home.
Here’s the interesting thing about that year. I thought it wrecked my sight. When I started going out again, I had to push my glasses way down my nose to get a clear image. But then I looked online and read that this problem actually means the prescription is too strong. Then I start reading more, and eventually I end up here. I do my tests, and with both Snellen and the measuring tape I’m at -3.75. Weird, right? The only possible explanation I have is that all my reading and phone use has been without glasses for the past couple of years, because it just felt far more comfortable. I may have been print pushing without really knowing what I was doing. I don’t know.
I’m now wearing -3.5 normalised, and my sight with them is 20/25 in good light, 20/40 at night. On the advice of another site (one of the places advocating plus lenses for close-up) I bought -1 for differentials, but that was a mistake - my face needs to be so close to the computer screen with them that it’s terrible for my posture, so I’ve ordered some at -2 instead. I am going to end up with so many pairs of glasses!
So that’s where I am. One of the things I’d like advice on is things to do outdoors! I have hobbies that aren’t screen-based, but they’re things like crafts that still require close-up work. I walk outdoors for at least an hour a day, sometimes more. But if you follow the ‘3 hours a day’ recommendation, what else do you do? My disability means that sports aren’t really an option (lack of balance and co-ordination) but I’d be interested to hear other ideas.
If you read this far, thank you! I look forward to hopefully seeing some of you around the forum.