What to do when You Have Trouble Seeing Close Up

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This post is sponsored by Zenni.

I'm thirty-three years old. Three years ago, I had laser eye surgery to correct life-long nearsightedness. Before the surgery, I had no trouble seeing close up. Books, computers, cell phones and faces in conversation were easy. What caused me to squint were things like street signs, chalkboards and clocks across the room. The doc warned me that my vision may swing the other way after the surgery: based on my eyes and genetics, I'd likely have trouble seeing close up sooner than most people. Surgery could help me travel and navigate airports or roads, but soon I would probably find myself holding reading material and menus further away, struggling to make out words that were right in front of my face.

She was right.

1 Trouble seeing close up

It was smooth sailing for a couple of years. I did make the warned-against choice to get pregnant shortly after the surgery, which threw my hormones out of whack and had me squinting sooner than I would have liked. Even so, I don't regret any of my decisions. It's a blessing to be able to get out of bed and care for my kids, viewing their unblurry faces like I never could before. I'd prefer to have perfect vision both near AND far, not needing to throw on reading glasses to see my phone or check my email. Given the choice, though, I'm pretty happy that I have trouble seeing close up instead of the opposite problem. I think my reading glasses are cute, too! I frankly don't mind looking studious in the office in exchange for clear vision in EVERY other capacity of life.

Zenni eyeglasses case

The doctor says that my prescription now is mild, but oddly lopsided. One of my eyes has always been stronger than the other, and it appears that the “focus” muscles in the weaker one are giving out more quickly than the other. She wrote me a fairly minor prescription, explaining that most people could limp along with such a small discrepancy. With my profession as a writer and photographer, though, it was bound to irritate me more than the average person. I have to see the words that I'm typing and the colors that I'm correcting.

Zenni face upload

Since my eye strength and resulting prescription differs between the right and left, I couldn't just pick up standard readers at the grocery store. I wouldn't want to, anyway…I'm pretty particular about stuff like this. I like having the ability to customize and tweak options based on my needs. I uploaded a picture of my face to Zenni and spent an absurd amount of time digging through the choices.

Nate leaned in and offered insight into his favorite looks: he thought that a sleek, simple pair and a more fancy, decorative pair would offer versatility. I followed his advice and bought some boxy black frames along with some ornate tortoiseshell and silver patterned frames in a more traditional reading glass style. I KNOW you guys are bummed I didn't get the clear octagon ones.

Mom looking over kids

We both loved the black pair, instantly. I took the kids to school for a meeting with their teachers, and I'm only mildly embarrassed to admit that I threw that pair on in small part to help me with the paperwork and in large part to make the teachers look at me as a “sophisticated grown up.” I had my oldest kid when I was relatively young – at least for this millennial age group who tends to put child-rearing off until their mid-30's – so I'm always one of the younger parents in my oldest son's room.

I thought that the reading glasses themselves might make me feel older, but that's not the case. I wore glasses for much of my life and have ordered numerous pairs from Zenni over the years, so the process was thankfully familiar and easy. If I hesitate at all in the face of the aging process, it's because I feel trapped in the interim as opposed to stressed about the years adding up. I'm on the older end of the millennial spectrum and sometimes I just wish I could group myself in with the Gen X crew. They're a less rambunctious bunch than my millennial peers. Maybe life would be easier I fell in with them. But my wanderlust and obsession with technology is too obvious for that. Yet my die-hard, stressed-out compulsive responsibility isolates me from my immediate peers.  So this is where I find myself. Stuck in the middle, trying to look somewhat put-together at the 2nd grade parent conference.

Mom working on computer

Back at home, I crash on the couch and put on my more traditional, somewhat older-feeling spectacles. They pair perfectly with my husband's hand-me-down homemade pajama bottoms that I cinch tightly around my waist. Yup, I'm in my comfort zone here. Everything is exactly as it should be and this style is one that I know how to rock.

Zenni ordering options

It's a comfortable setup, especially since I customized my Zenni glasses with the oil and fingerprint resistant coating and UV Blue Blocker to keep my glowing screens from giving me a persistent headache.

Traditional reading glasses

Because I'm a grown-up, and that's how I roll. Making adult decisions, but still on my own terms! I may be losing my ability to read the words on my hipster menu, but I'm totally not worried about it because I have modern solutions to make this whole thing easier.

Do you have trouble seeing close up?


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