My life’s a blur

March 12, 2022 — by Hannah Lee
Whoever said carrots would be good for my eyes lied.

E, C, V … umm … a P? No wait, an N?

Oh, gosh.  Maybe I shouldn’t have watched so much “Wild Kratts” 4 inches away from the TV when I was a kid.

 

At my annual eye doctor appointment during 7th grade, I tried awkwardly to shrug off the fact that I couldn’t read a single line of the vision chart. It’s probably supposed to be a bit blurry, just like the whiteboard at school, I told myself.

 

According to the National Institute of Health, 6% of Americans are visually impaired. When it hit my overdramatic middle school self that I was now a part of that minority, I cried my nearsighted eyes the entire way home.

Looking back, I think crying was very much justified, given that it’s been undeniably downhill since. 

I refuse to put my prescription on blast, but it’s like I-mistook-a-lamp-on-the-ground-as-my-dog-just-earlier-today-bad. (Not that this ever happened, haha).

Still, I’m extremely grateful that my vision is correctable, and have tried several alternatives and prescriptions to aid my vision woes. 

Just like everyone else, I started off with glasses. Except, unlike everyone else, I look terrible in glasses. So after switching back and forth between Ortho-K, glasses and day contacts (sorry, Mom and Dad!), I now wear day contacts to school and switch to glasses as soon as I get home. Though I found that this combination has worked the best for me, I still haven’t gotten used to the daily struggles that come with my poor eyesight.

I have chronically dry eyes, for one. Having to hunt down a bottle of eye drops every month is just as annoying as it sounds. 

And constantly taking my glasses on and off — am I supposed to wear my glasses every time I look at my devices? The screen is far enough that I have to squint, but too close to view comfortably with my prescription glasses.

Don’t even get me started on looking for my glasses when I wake up in the morning — that’s a whole other level of frustration.

Also: awkward staring. I’m not sure if this is a universal contact-wearer experience, but I’ve noticed that I tend to unintentionally stare at things for an extended period of time. My apologies to anyone I’ve made uncomfortable by staring — I have a good excuse, I promise.

I’ll never get over the daily routine of reaching up to brush away what feels like a bothersome piece of fluff in my eye, but instead ending up smacking my glasses, leaving them sprawled crookedly across my nose. The bridge piece of my glasses are now awkwardly positioned, and the temples remain barely hanging onto my ears.

Another occurrence that happens more than it should is showering, forgetting that I have my contacts in and then wondering aloud about why my eyes burn extra today.  No, I’m not crying — my contact lenses are just violently poking at my cornea. 

And lastly, just not being able to see. As the only one of my siblings without perfect vision, I’ve had to endure my family’s persistent teasing, bearing the brunt of an onslaught of daily “how many fingers am I holding up?” jokes. 

I can only think of two upsides to seeing blurs. One is that when I chose to walk around blind during the summer, presenting in front of the class wasn’t the slightest bit daunting due to the fact that I saw a bunch of faceless figures. Another occurred when my cousins came over and offered to watch a horror film. Acting brave is a breeze when you can’t even make out the images on the screen. 

Through all of this, Lasik is an option I’ve definitely considered, but after hearing all of the stories of the possible side effects, I’ve decided that it might not be for me.

Truthfully speaking, many people have far worse vision problems and I’m mainly just ranting. Bad eyesight is not my biggest problem in life, and I’m incredibly grateful for the glasses, contacts and eye doctor appointments, despite my complaints.

But since I refuse to get Lasik and won’t stop whining about it, I guess I’ll just squint for now.

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