Sight for sore eyes

Aging means creaky joints, trouble sleeping, and not eating fried onion rings anymore – where does it end? The worst of it is aging eyes. Yesterday I got my old eyes back. And it only took three pairs of glasses to do it.

Once upon a time I had 20/15 vision. Yep, my vision had to get worse just to become normal. As I got older my eyes did become normal for a while, meaning they got worse. Then they slid right on past into bad.

For the past few years I’ve had two pairs of glasses. My “walking” glasses are bifocals that allow me to walk, drive, and work in the shop in crystal clarity. The reading portion of those glasses allows me to read labels, tape measures and the like without hindrance; I just tilt my head back a bit to look through the bottom portion of the lenses.

However, I spend most of my day sitting in front of a computer. Bifocals are awful for this, as you spend your entire time with your head tilted back just to read the screen. Fine if you have the cervical vertebrae of an owl; not so good if you’re human. So for straight reading and computing tasks I’ve had a second pair of “sitting” (reading-only) glasses for years.

This worked fine till I lost my sitting glasses last week, and that’s when I discovered that those glasses worked for the computer because they were at least five prescriptions too old. The new pair of readers I got has my current reading prescription in them. They’re great for reading a book held in your hands, and I quickly fell in love with them – books haven’t been that clear in years! Unfortunately, they require that I get about 15” from my computer screen to see it.

My eye doctor said he’d redo those readers to my typical computer distance, but as I was being fitted for the replacement lenses they suggested I consider a third pair. That way I could keep the other new ones for book/magazine reading, and use these exclusively for the computer. I got the cheapest frames they had for that third pair and I am one happy guy because those computer glasses give me a workshop bonus. Turned out my preferred distance for viewing a computer screen is the same as for close work in the shop. Typically I always wore the bifocals in the shop and did OK, but having the option for increased magnification with this third pair is fantastic.

Best of all, since they approximate my eyes from about six years ago, I can pretend I’m younger.

Till next time,



  • Ya-but… how many extra pockets did you have to sew onto your shirts to keep all those specs in?

  • David McDonnel says:

    Good luck on the pretending to be younger part! It usually works until I walk away from the bench and the knees start creaking or I bend over to pick up something and the back complains!

    I too recently found a pair of full lens magnifying safety glasses (Highland Hardware) to replace my old ones that were in bad shape. What a pleasure to have clear vision again. I pretty much wear them full time in the shop. Distance vision is comprimised a bit but it’s a fair tradeoff.

    David McDonnel “Mac”

  • A.J. Hamler says:


    I try to avoid the pocket thing — that’s how I lost my other glasses in the first place. Ever since I started wearing reading glasses, I’ve been slipping them into my pocket and then going about my business. Then, the first time I bend over (usually within five minutes) the glasses fall out onto the floor. I’ve been wearing reading glasses for a decade, and still have not learned this lesson. I suspect I lost my glasses on trash day when I bent over to take the bag out of the trashcan, and my glasses probably fell in. Instead of the pocket thing, I try to just leave them out on the desk. Of course, that creates a Fred Sanford situation where I have to play trial and error finding the right ones.


    Of course, since I’ve managed to remain quite immature well into my 50s, I have no trouble pretending to be younger.


  • David Gold says:

    Hi A.J.
    I too use a different pairt of glasses for work on my computer, however I found that an old pair of reading glasses works fine.
    I went one step futher than you did in that I asked my oculist to give me an RX for a pair of bifocals for the shop. The bottom part is geared for close up work and the upper part is set for about 15 feet to give me the best use in the shop. One more thing, this pair is made of polycarrbinate with side peices for more protection. At 81 I hope to be in the shop for years to come.


    For the last 10 years I have two different pair of glasses. One is normal and the other is safety. Both are trifocals and I dearly love them. Part for reading, part for computer, and part for distance. I went from no glasses at birth to a pair of single vision at the age if six. I got bifocals at app age of 40 and my trifocals at app 50. The transition from one to the next was never a problem. I also have a pair of sunshades that are bifocals.

  • You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but
    I find this topic to be actually something that I think I
    would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me.
    I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try
    to get the hang of it!

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