This is a featured post, written in collaboration with 1-Day Acuvue Moist Multifocal contact lenses
There are many great things about getting older.
I have a well-established career that I adore, and a recently renovated house that I’m excited to come home to. I know lots of stuff – when my girls ask me questions I pretty much always know the (actual real) answer, which makes me feel very smart and wise (FYI: I’m also a font of vacuous celebrity gossip – anything Kardashian related, I’m your girl).
I have opinions that I know are based on fact and experience, so I feel confident speaking my mind (in a kind and helpful manner). I solo travel around the world, and don’t care if people stare when I’m dining in a restaurant alone.
I understand myself almost completely now: I no longer worry that I’m just being rude when I turn down invitations – I know that I’m an extroverted introvert, and need time to recharge between social interactions. I’ve also stopped apologising for being the girl who’s always slightly late (never so much that it’s rude, more ‘just-in-the-nick-of-time kinda late), as I know that’s just part of my personality – a little bit of pressure lights a slightly panicky fire under me and I get much more done than when I have all the time in the world.
But what is not great, however, is the old lady eyesight. You know, that thing where you have to hold things further and further away just to read them, while squinting and turning your head from side to side. That.
I’d always had perfect eyesight – in a life punctuated by accidents and injuries, my vision sometimes seemed like the only part of my body that actually worked properly. Then, almost as soon as I turned 40, I began to notice a change. It was gradual at first – it would take me a moment longer than usual to focus on something. I’d have to stare a little harder to make out small writing, but when I brought it closer it would go even blurrier. If the light was dim, the words would swim about and almost blend into the background, making them impossible to read.
It took me a while to realise what was happening – my eyesight was degenerating.
It’s called presbyopia and it’s an unavoidable part of ageing. Basically, once you hit your forties, the lens inside your eye begins to harden, meaning the light being directed through your eye lands slightly behind the retina, rather than directly on it. This, in turn, affects the way your eyes focus – specifically your eye’s ‘near point’ (the nearest point at which you can keep an object in focus). The near point becomes further away from our faces, which is why we find ourselves having to pull things further and further back to be able to see them clearly.
In a way, it was a harder pill to swallow because my eyesight had always been so perfect – better than 20/20. To lose even the tiniest amount of clarity seemed like such a big deal to me (when many others would probably be thrilled to have what I still had!).
Reading to me is non-negotiable – I love books, writing is my job, and I work on a computer every day. But here’s the thing – I dislike glasses with an almost irrational passion. Not on other people, I should add (some people – Big Sis included – can totally rock a pair of funky frames), I just don’t like them on me.
Even as a child one of my biggest worries was that I’d be made to wear glasses. I don’t actually know where ‘the fear’ came from, maybe because I have one of those faces that just doesn’t carry accessories very well (I stopped wearing earrings for the same reason, as I always felt I looked like an overdressed Christmas tree).
So while the idea of slowly losing my near vision was alarming, the idea of wearing glasses to correct that sight loss was even worse. Silly, I know, but that’s how I felt.
But then I discovered something that made me very happy; there are contact lenses to fix old lady eyesight!
ACUVUE® makes one-day multifocal contact lenses that sharpen up your near vision without sacrificing your long vision (how well you see objects further away). By wearing them you can turn back the years and dodge the need for traditional framed glasses.
When I was invited to try them for myself, I was seriously excited; I’d finally be able to read instructions on the backs of packets again.
Before my lenses could be fitted I needed to have an eye test to confirm my presbyopia, and then I booked an appointment with an optometrist, who ran a series of tests to find out exactly how much my vision had been affected and what strength of lens was needed to make the correction.
‘You’re an interesting case,’ the optometrist told me, ‘as the presbyopia has only just started to affect your eyesight, and your long vision is still exceptionally good.’ He went on to explain that his job would be to find the right combination of lenses to sharpen and improve my longsightedness, without reducing my ability to see things at distance.
‘We’ll start by trying these… ‘ he said, handing me a box of 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST Brand MULTIFOCAL Contact Lenses. ‘Let’s see how you go putting them in.’
Read more about how I did fitting my multifocal contact lenses, how they felt to wear and the differences I noticed in my next post (watch this space… ).
- my 1-DAY ACUVUE® MOIST Brand MULTIFOCAL Contact Lenses were provided for the purpose of trialling and reviewing; if you’ve also noticed your eyesight getting worse in your 40s (or any age!), you can apply for a free contact lens trial here.