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Last week, I picked up a new pair of glasses, which was long overdue. I think I have shared with readers before that while I rely heavily on my eyes, I’m not exactly fanatical about them. So it’s been something like five years since my last checkup and prescription change.

In my defense, my eyesight isn’t deteriorating nearly as fast as it used to. And once I started noticing things like how I was actually looking below my glasses to read (I am very much nearsighted and can still read a book without any glasses), we were just beginning this insanity called COVID, so I wasn’t in too much of a hurry to schedule an appointment.

But then I started getting probable eye-strain headaches, so I knew I couldn’t put it off any longer. Sure enough, after going through the “which is clearer, #1 or #2, a or b, etc,” it was very clear that a new pair of glasses were in my future.

While my previous pair had been bifocals, these new glasses are initially posing a few problems. My previous prescription had a less drastic difference between the nearsighted and farsighted sections of the lenses. I could seamlessly transition from one to the other without even really noticing. With this new pair, I’ve noticed at certain times how my vision will go in and out of blurriness if I try to look at different distances without moving my head. They told me this would be the case until my brain gets “retrained” to seeing things differently. 

I have found this to be true already, but at the same time, my eyes are definitely having to work harder, especially when doing things like what I am doing right now by typing up this column on one computer screen while keeping my eyes on my emails on another. Luckily, this isn’t the case with my photography as there is no such issues. 

The other problem is my new glasses naturally aren’t the same size and shape as my old ones, resulting in my clip-on shades not fitting. And to make matters worse, I couldn’t find ones that fit just right. The least expensive solution was to get a pair of sunglasses that fit over my regular glasses, but even that has its pluses and minuses, mostly based on some weird idiosyncrasies I have.

On the plus side, I’ve always been secretly jealous of people who get to wear shades close to sunset. When it gets too dark, they can hang their shades from their shirt collar, slide them to the top of their head, or place them above the brim of their cap. You can’t do that with clip-ons. The only thing you can do with clip-ons is slide them into a pocket, which inevitably leads to them getting scratched, broken, or lost. 

 On the negative side, I don’t completely like the way I look in these sunglasses. I look at other people wearing shades and they look cool and stylish. Even the people wearing ones that are obviously over regular glasses look cool. But when I look at myself wearing them, I think I look like I’m wearing some of those stereotypical “blind man” glasses. At least with the clip-ons, ones that nearly perfectly fit made them look more like designer shades.

Ultimately, I guess the most important thing is that I can see things more clearly now. I have in the past and will again adjust to all the other changes. And I can always keep in mind that besides not naturally seeing 20/20, my eyes are very healthy (a direct quote from my doctor). 

BILL STICKELS III is editor of the Isanti-Chisago County Star. He can be reached at 763-689-1181 ext. 107 or editor@countystar.com. 

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