“. . . . As Those That Cannot See”

14 December 2011

We seem to be having a race to the bottom over who has the worst eye-sight.  I’m currently standing between Kris and Mary-Helen!

Mary-Helen’s story (in the comments on my last post) reminded me how I came to be wearing them – and it’s a very similar story to her’s.

The opthalmic surgeon I visited as a child was a “leading light” in the opthalmic world for his work on contact lens.  He recommended that I wear them as soon as I was able to be responsible for them as it would give me much better vision.  My parents had a small endowment policy of some kind which matured on my 16th birthday and they said I could have that for the lens.  It was sixty pounds, and the lens cost 62 (oh, what a memory I have!).  Sixty pounds, incidentally, would have been more than three times the average weekly wage at the time.

So on Valentine’s Day (I even remember that) at 16.5 years I got my first pair of lens.  And I could get rid of the dreadful pebbled glasses.  I’ve never worn them since.  AND I’ve never lost a lens (well I lost one for about 48 hours once but it turned up in the butter dish!). 

I also remember that my second pair, about 4 years later, only cost 20 pounds because presumably in the meantime, mass production had been introduced because of the demand. 

So once again, I was a trend setter. 


  1. What a funny place to store your lens!

  2. I missed out on the competition for worst sight! Mine is -8.25 and -6.75. I get my lenses by post and when I opened the latest delivery a couple of days ago, I found they were all for my left eye. So if you see someone winking at you, it’s me trying to manage to see out of both eyes…

  3. I lost many lenses over the years. I’ve spent hours crawling around bedroom and bathroom floors. It’s hard to find such a tiny thing when you’re legally blind in one eye. I even got married wearing only one lens. And I wore the ‘hard’ lenses too, Sally. I was told that my malformed astigmatic eyeballs were improved by wearing those, whereas the soft ones would just ‘wrap’ and not correct. But technology has moved such a long way – there are probably other alternatives now that I dont’ know about.

    I had surgery to remove cataracts in 2004 (right, worse eye) and 2007 (left), which also meant that most of the anatomical faults that caused my myopia were corrected, and now I don’t need contact lenses, just slight correction for remaining myopia in my left eye and reading glasses, as befits my age.

  4. M-H – yes, ethre are now really good corrective lenses for astigmatism. I’ve got a weird one (funny angle or something) and Clare’s got a stonking one, and now is the first time they can correct hers with contact lenses.

    I’m now losing my accommodation, though – in the last year, I’v started taking OFF my specs to read close print. Ho hum!

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