First Person || Bifocals are just one step too far – for now

As someone who has worn glasses to read since I was about 20 years old, I understand the importance of getting your eyes checked on a regular basis.

So if my optometrist is reading this – I’m sorry it’s taken me this long!

It’s kind of funny – no really it is. Perhaps it’s an unwillingness to accept that I am indeed getting older and just maybe my eyes can’t keep up.

So I went to see my optometrist the other day. After several reminder letters I finally made the necessary appointment.

He sits me down and what’s the first question he asks: “How long has it been since your last eye check?” How rude!

Well it’s hard to lie when it’s right there in black and white in front of him – so I have to tell the truth. “At least two years – but probably closer to five,” I bleat out.

I squint as I say this, as you do when you’re trying to get away with something. I think he knows it’s been closer to six, or even seven. 

“Right” he says and looks away, as if to hide a smirk. I hang my head in shame. I should have gone back sooner, but life gets in the way. Doesn’t it? 

So begins a full half hour of checks and more checks.

“Your perscription has changed a bit since you were last here,” he says.

“Yep”, I say.

We have a bond my optometrist and I. We communicate on a whole other level. 

He then goes on to tell me my prescription is vastly different from my last appointment – “because I am getting older”.

Though he says it seems to have dropped off more quickly than usual and will probably plateau out and then not change much at all – fingers crossed. 

Well, there it was – the age thing. Like a wet washer slapping me in the face.

A lot of things change as you get older. Some you can work on, and might even be able to improve slightly. Exercise for example might be able to keep those extras few kilos under control. But there are some things you just have to accept.

Bifocals though are not one of them – not just yet at least.

I draw the line at two in one glasses – I am determined to take mine on and off for as long as I can – inconvenient or not.

It’s not that I have anything against bifocals - or the people who choose to wear them - I just think for me, it’s a step too far. 

Maybe next time.

Fiona Ferguson is a Fairfax Media journalist.

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