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Posted on Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

Dave!I have abysmal eyesight. Mostly because my vision got very bad, very fast when I was young. The good news is that once my eyesight plummeted to a -6.75, it stayed there and never really got any worse (thankfully, or I would have gone blind years ago). I've been fluctuating between -6.5 and -6.75 for the past 25 years, and seem to be stuck there.

I started out in glasses. But when my eyes reached their apex of badness, I switched to contact lenses because the glasses were just too thick to be comfortable. I had what were commonly referred to as "Coke Bottle Glasses," and hated them. Soft contacts had just come out, and they were fantastic. I felt transformed...

Dave Contacts

Well, not THAT transformed. I still had years of fashion therapy, braces, and vats of Clearasil before that would happen...

Dave Contacts

But lately my contacts have been increasingly uncomfortable. Where I used to be able to wear them for days at a time, I'm lucky to make it 9 hours now. I've thought about having that laser surgery where they slice your eyeball open and then zap your vision to perfection, but then you end up with reduced night-vision and problems seeing things close-up. On top of all that, I've got lots of little floaty things in my eye, and laser-zap-o-fix-a-vision might make them noticeably worse.

So now I've come full-circle and will probably end up wearing glasses again.

Getting old sucks ass.

And I'm totally pissed that my optician just laughs at me when I demand a prescription for Retinox 5. Where's Dr. McCoy when you need him?

Categories: DaveLife 2007Click To It: Permalink


  1. SJ says:

    Your problem may not be permanent. Having worn contacts for so many years, your corneas are probably bruised (it happens over time even with soft lenses). I had this condition in my early 40s, and had to go back to glasses for six months. But after that contacts were comfortable again, although I couldn’t wear the sleep-in-them kind anymore.

    You are going to look HAWT in glasses, I betcha. Like Daniel Jackson hawt.

  2. Rob says:

    Dude! My wife and I had the custom lasik surgery. It’s been since 9-06 and I have not had any problems with my night vision or my close up vision. I heard the same thing when I was talking to friends and family but after getting it done I figured it was a way they were trying to talk me out of it. It has been the best spent money I have ever done.

    And even if in a few years I have to use reading glasses to do work on the computer then so be it. Everything else is A-OK!

  3. Laurel says:

    No, getting old sucks big hairy ass…
    I’m in the same boat, one eye 6.50, one 7. Try lubricating drops (B & L makes the best one), I can usually wear my lenses much longer with a shot or two of that stuff throughout the day…
    Be sure to have an ophthalmology exam – I had floaty small light flashes that I almost ignored for too long and ended up with retinal surgery. Gruesome…

  4. RW says:

    Heh. How many fingers am I holding up?

  5. andi says:

    I also have bad eyesight but now feel a bit better because I’m only -5.45. I had similar problems and my eye doctor gave me some samples of lubricating drops (Refresh and Blink) to try and relieve the problem when Natural Tears just won’t cut it. I don’t know if doctors in the states do that but I would check for free samples from your optician. He also suggested I look at environmental factors that could be influencing it and we changed our furnace filter. Finally in reference to how thick your glasses both my dad and I now have received featherweights so that most people can’t tell how bad our eyesight is by looking at us. Check on that when you get your next pair of glasses. Finally consider the fact that you may have become allergic to your contacts as that happened to a friend of mine but it passed and she was able to return to contacts. Good luck!

  6. delmer says:

    Dave, the ex had Lasik several years ago. Her vision was so bad that she couldn’t make out my facial features when we were sitting next to each other and she had her glasses off. She called me after the surgery — she was lying in bed reading the titles off books about 10 feet away.

    Having said that, a friend of mine is an eye doctor — and he won’t have the surgery.

  7. delmer says:

    I should have added that you couldn’t pay me to have Lasik. I’m just not that strong.

  8. Karl says:

    I’ve heard nothing but great things about the lasik thing. Don’t think I qualify for it, though. Never even considered contact lenses because I just can’t fathom touching my eyeballs. Ew!

    I’m happy with glasses, though I went many years without them, since it’s really only one eye that is bad.

    Either way, if you wear pocket protectors, dude, they’ll be the biggest fashion accessory in no time.

  9. Hilly says:

    Oh, I’ve been researching Lasik for about a year now and went with my old boss for his procedure. It was amazing how quickly he recovered and had no problems. I think that if I had no fear of someone making me blind, I would have already done it.

    You know that my vision is exactly as bad (well -.25 worse) as yours and I feel the same way that you do. I wear my glasses almost all of the time when I am at home and sometimes even at work when I really don’t care. I love the freedom of having no glasses but still…I get all foggy after 8 hours.

    Uhm, I could have just said “like totally”, huh?

  10. Liz says:

    You sound just like me. I’ve gotten progressively worse for the last 18 years and am at -7.75 in both eyes, could probably go to a -8. Thought about surgery, but the idea of something in my eyeball scares the crap out of me. I have tons of floaty things too, but had never heard surgery could make them worse. Plus my night vision already sucks, no need to make it worse! Have fun with your glasses, I’m sticking with my contacts as long as I can, bring on the rewetting drops.

  11. Avitable says:

    At least if you go back to glasses, get some that have a skull and crossbones in the middle ala Rick Vaughn from Major League. That’s what I plan on getting when I have to get glasses soon.

  12. Mooselet says:

    Wow, I thought my eyes were bad @ -4.25 & -3.25, but now I feel better. The right eye is fairly stable, but the left keeps deteriorating. I was given the daily wear disposables as my usual extended wear had been recalled and while I dislike them because I cannot sleep in them & therefore walk into door frames when I get up to feed the baby at 2 am half asleep & now partially blind, I admit they are super comfortable during the day. Maybe a change of brand or type is in order?

  13. I’ve had glasses since I was three…somehow, I’m not feelin’ your pain.

    Cheer up, dude. SJ is right – glasses can be very sexy.

  14. Stacey says:

    I second the first comment about the bruised corneas. My scrip is within 1/4 diopter of yours, and I’ve been wearing contact lenses for 23 years. A few years ago I had a “eyeball meltdown,” (my very scientific terms,) where I got down to only about 7 hours a day in contacts.

    I went to the opthamologist and he told me that although my scrip had changed very little, my eye shape was different. The lens brand I was wearing was squeezing my corneas. I had developed an indentation, (not a bruise or abrasion,) on both corneas.

    Solution was a two week break from lenses, and a switch in brands. It took about 4 tries before we found one that sat on my eye correctly, but the ones I have now are comfortable.

    Doesn’t help my stinkin’ night vision, which is getting worse, but at least I don’t have to wear my bottle bottoms.

  15. caramaena says:

    Hey Dave, I can empathise here.

    My script was -5.25 and -5.75. I start with glasses, went to soft lenses, developed an allergy to those so went to hard lenses. Hated those with a passion (and could only wear them 6 hours a day approx) so went back to glasses – which I also hated.

    Late 2005 I had LASIK surgery and wished I’d done it sooner. My near vision did take a little while to settle down (a month or two) but it’s fine now.

    Can’t really comment on the night vision thing though as mine was never great to start with – but I don’t feel that it’s deteriorated at all.

  16. Tal says:

    What is Retinox 5? Have you tried Oasys contacts? They rock.

    Don’t feel too bad though, I have a friend that is -12! Besides, glasses make guys look WAAAAY sexier.

  17. I know exactly how you feel. While my eyesight is just slightly better than yours, I, too, have worn contacts for years and used to wear coke bottle thick glasses. I hated those damn things….and when I went to contacts in 8th grade all those years ago I never got another pair of glasses – until last year. That was almost 20 years I went with nothing but contacts. Not sure why I wanted to get a pair of glasses last year – I guess just for backup sake – but I was VERY happy that they are no longer coke bottle thick! You can get our terrible prescription lenses in a very thin lens now! That makes growing old not sooooooo suck ass right? 🙂 And besides, glasses can be sexy and distinguished. 😉

  18. Kapha says:

    I actually cringed a little when Stacey said, “…was squeezing my corneas.” – OUCH!

    BTW: I think the second Lil’ Dave “After” has been into the ‘shrooms again… 😉

  19. SmurfQueen says:

    I had the eye laser surgery about 5 years ago. Best thing I’ve ever done. No problems with night vision or seeing things up close*.

    Mind you – I had the older-style surgery – the one where they *don’t* slice open your eye – they just laser away the surface. It has a much longer recovery time – and it’s more painful during recovery but you have no chance at all of ending up blind.

    *normal close – it was only when I was contemplating the surgery I discovered normal people cannot see each individual ink drop in an 1200 dpi print job if they hold the paper close to the face**. I can’t focus that close anymore – but I can certainly focus on things that are about an inch from my nose.

    ** that was actually a bit of a pain – I used to work in pre-press and it freaked the apprentices out that I could examine a job and say “Hmm the colour’s off because the registration’s off by a couple of pixles.” Not any more.

  20. I’m in the same boat. I’ve worn rigid gas permeables since I was 10 and my doc says I only have about 2 years before my eyes get too bad to have the surgery. The thought of someone hacking into my eyeball scares the crap out of me but it would be nice, even with some loss of night vision, to open my eyes and not be legally blind.

    That being said, guys in glasses are sexy.

  21. karla says:

    Dave, please stop being the boy version of me.

    Bad (yet hauntingly beautiful) -6.75 eyes? check.
    Wore contacts for years but then started having problems? check.
    Eyesite steady, prescription wise, but still horrible? check.
    Floaty things in eyes? check. (I hate those).
    Want surgery but worry, yadda yadda? check.

    However, after years of not wearing contacts, I can wear them again. Not every day, but all day, which is new. There are some new ones out that are much more water soluble and are quite good, especially if, like me, you also have astigmatism out the yin yang and so need the Extra Special Expensive Contacts.

    Try a different doc. For reals….

  22. Kyra says:

    Well, my husband had the surgery about 5 years ago. He could see 20/20 by the end of the proceedure (which, considering he was legally blind in one eye, was pretty cool) and has no problems with upclose work OR night vision issues.

    But, if you decide to go back to glasses, because they’re so much better at making them (no more coke-bottles) honestly, there are some glasses out there that are actually rather sexy on young guys like yourself. So, really, it’s not bad whichever direction you go in.

  23. Hey, I’m -7 and have floaters and can’t see at night and have all kinds of issues. I’ve never considered Lasik sugery because it CREEPS me out so bad. I wear glasses in the evenings and, sorry to say, they’re still coke bottles even though I pay for all the special indexing and light-weight crap they offer. But I agree that glasses can be hot! In a naughty school teacher/student fantasy kind of way.

  24. SJ says:

    Tal, I’m so sad that you don’t know about Retinox-5! Unfortunately, like James T. Kirk, I’m allergic to it.

    All System 47 users, raise your hands. Anyone?

  25. Bogup says:

    Best advice: go to the best optomitrist in the nearest large city and get a thorough and complete exam and accompanying options. Small towns may have a good one, but it’s a crap shoot if there is a good one or bad one, so go to where the best Dr. is… That’s true for brain surgeons too.
    From there you can get recommendations as to lasik and/or glasses — both technologies have greatly improved over the last decade, which is why there aren’t many folks walking around with white canes anymore. Lastly, to reiterate the obivious, eyesight is very important, so don’t skimp on the source and quality of advice. Seek out the best and go with it.

  26. Tracy Lynn says:

    I had the same thing. But since I think glasses are white hot monkey sexy, it’s ok.

    Lasik sounds pretty good, though

  27. sizzle says:

    men in glasses are hot.

  28. Michelle says:

    Well, I’m just happy to see the hair has come so far in 25 years.

  29. Bre says:

    I know that I shouldn’t complain about having good vision, but I always thought glasses were cute and I wanted to have them. I guess the grass is always greener..

  30. My vision has always been perfect, which isn’t nearly as great as it sounds. When you’ve grown up idolizing Elvis Costello and Woody Allen, you feel somehow lacking if you don’t get to wear a pair of stylish geek-chic specs. I suppose I could opt for non-prescription “vanity” glasses, but then I’d become one of those annoying Weezer-wannabe indie hipsters, and people who actually NEED to wear glasses would have every reason to loathe me.

    Growing old does indeed suck. But poor eyesight is a far better way to grow old gracefully than realizing you need to shave your back or wear shirts that don’t emphasize your man-nipples.

  31. Tracie says:

    What’s with the floaty things? What does that mean? It’s totally heebing me out so someone please explain what is floating in your eyeballs??

  32. Tracie says:

    What’s with the floaty things? What does that mean? It’s totally heebing me out so someone please explain what is floating in your eyeballs??

  33. Tracie says:

    What’s with the floaty things? What does that mean? It’s totally heebing me out so someone please explain what is floating in your eyeballs??

    ok i’m getting internal errors on this comment. If it posts 3 times, sorry!

  34. Tina says:

    husband had lasik done several years ago before he hit 40, he used to have contacts and grew up wearing coke bottle glasses. now he has to use reading glasses to read the paper.

  35. suze says:

    Ugh – I feel your pain. My eyes are worse than yours and I had to give up the contacts a few years ago for the same reason (granted, I was wearing the rigid gas permiable types). I just got soft lenses in January, and I must say I like having the freedom of choice, but I’m still a big glasses fan. They can do some sexy things with glasses these days. And, if you’re willing to pay, they can make the lenses nice and thin.

  36. kapgar says:

    Okay, I don’t feel so bad about my bad eyes. Not to make fun of you or anything. I’ll leave that to your optician. Oh, and I’m too lazy to read all the comments… Retinox-5?

    BTW, a lot has happened in 25 years. You shouldn’t need to worry about having to wear Coke-bottle lenses anymore. Also, I’m sure all your swooning female readers will still find you sexy as all get out even with glasses. They may dig the intellectual look. Will your future Davetoons reflect the change?

  37. diane says:

    I’m with Bre. I do have a slight bit of farsightedness which seems to have improved since I’ve been working from home and sit a reasonable distance from my computer monitor. And generally no problems reading, either. I’ve been helping my friends pick out new glasses…ALL of my good friends have glasses and I find myself getting glasses-envy. I even picked out a cool pair of red square frames and considered getting non-prescription lenses put in. Pretty silly, huh? But only proves all the cool kids wear glasses. 🙂

  38. RW says:

    Ah hah. Wrong!

  39. Bec says:

    I’ve worn glasses since I was nine, the year I moved ‘up North’ I got a pair of pink plastic glasses that are now seriously trendy.

    I did a trial of contacts but I’m with Karl, touching your eyeball – ew!

    I’m in an agreeing move – man in glasses – hot hot hot.

  40. Bec says:

    I’ve worn glasses since I was nine, the year I moved ‘up North’ I got a pair of pink plastic glasses that are now seriously trendy.

    I did a trial of contacts but I’m with Karl, touching your eyeball – ew!

    I’m in an agreeing move – man in glasses – hot hot hot.

  41. bram says:

    I would go through the ‘Tibetan Eye Chart’ exercise, before going for surgery. It sounds overly holistic but for many people it has had great results.

  42. Lewis says:

    GO FOR THE EYE SURGERY…..I had my Lasik in Vancouver, BC, five years ago this month….and haven’t looked back (not that I haven’t actually turned around to see what’s behind me….say, when backing out of a parking spot…but you know what I mean, I hope). Took a few months for the “halos” and such to heal…but now it’s all good. I was -4.75 or so in both eyes and couldn’t see a flea on the ass of ……well, I don’t know where this is going. But do your online research and ask the eye doctor.

  43. Shannon says:

    Lasik would creep me out. And I have to agree with everyone else that said men in glasses are sexy!

  44. RisibleGirl says:

    Hey there!

    I don’t comment here often, but I read here DAILY (via bloglines, usually).

    Anyway, being the ultra-helpful person that I am, I wanted to let you know that I looked into CRT because both my husband and I had eye surgery (I had PRK and he had lasik) about six years ago and we’ve both reverted back to glasses. I refuse to have another procedure done on my eyes.

    Anyway, CRT is a procedure whereby you wear contacts at night to mold your eye, giving you perfect vision without contact lenses or glasses during the day. I posted about it in my blog and will be giving reports on how it works, if you’re interested.

  45. Dariush says:

    Dude, I feel your pain. I just had that freakish transition from the Lenscrafters “hey we can do your glasses in an hour” to “Dude, we have to send them to Cincinnati for fabrication, so get to waiting, Mr. Magoo.”

    It sucks.

    And the flaming diahara (family term for it)? Bummer. Just bummer dude. You better make peace with your g-i tract before it decided to declare war in a much more unpleasant way.

    Yes. There are much more unpleasant ways.

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