Wearing glasses. I dont want to but i know life will be easier! help!
May 20, 2012 8:59 PM   Subscribe

The time for wearing glasses has come! What do I need to consider?

Over the last 2-3 years of eye checkups, the various optometrists Ive seen have suggested the time is coming but just hold off a bit longer....

Recently I was driving to a foreign place (in my city), it was raining and dark and the speed limit was high and i ended up in a huge fluster, 50 minutes late and incredibly stressed, all because i couldn't read the stupid road signs from the car. A few weeks later I tried on my brothers glasses, low and behold how much definition there is to the world around us! Surely I too am short-sighted? (as in i have issue with seeing long distance objects). One eye is worse than the other. Also I stare at computers all day for work but generally dont get headaches.

What do I need to know about glasses before i re-visit the optometrist (where my general distrust of medical professionals will undoubtedly kick in).

If the option for laser surgery is offered should i consider it? Will my eyes degrade once I wear glasses thus should I put it off longer (im 28)..? Will I become dependent on my googles and never take them off? Are contacts actually any good or just a total pain in the ass?

Argh not looking forward to this one.
posted by Under the Sea to Health & Fitness (37 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Seriously consider contacts. After wearing glasses for 30 years, I tried them for the first time and was amazed at how much I enjoyed not having to wear glasses. Unfortunately, I haven;t been able to find a prescription that works for me, but give them a go, because they are worlds better than glasses, especially if you have to wear them all the time.
posted by dg at 9:08 PM on May 20, 2012 [3 favorites]

I'm just going to say chill out and ask them any question you think of. I've been going to the same Americas Best for 15+ years (Im 26) and have worn both contacts and glasses, relatively problem-free. I'm sure an optomotrist will show up here, but just logic this out as wearing contacts/glasses is extremely common and no big deal. They become an after thought once you get used to them.
posted by DoubleLune at 9:08 PM on May 20, 2012

Doubling down on the 'chill out' posture. I've worn glasses since I was about 8 years old, and have alternated between specs and contacts. It is all truly no big deal (and I share your fear/distrust of doctors). If you don't want to wear glasses, contacts have become an absolute no-brainer with the advent of daily wear disposables. Wear 'em and toss 'em.
posted by pianoboy at 9:14 PM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

Operating a motor vehicle while not being able to read road signs is illegal in most, if not all, places. Not to mention dangerous for yourself and others around you.

I'm going to third the "chill out." This is seriously no big deal and it sounds from your post that your doctors have only told you that you are near sighted. I've been wearing glasses and contacts for most of my life. I like the option of having both because sometimes I don't feel like cleaning my contacts all the time and sometimes I don't feel like dealing with my glasses (like during exercise). And in my opinion, I think most people look better with glasses than without, YMMV.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 9:19 PM on May 20, 2012

I'll chime in on the opposite side -- contacts were a pain for me (they bothered my eyes - allergies or something?) and I prefer glasses.

-Glasses mean I don't have to buy cleaning solutions or remember to pack them for trips.
-Great frames can make your face look great. Bring an honest friend with good taste if you're picking frames.

-It is annoying to take them off for swimming or other no-glasses activities.
-It's annoying to need prescription sunglasses. (With contacts, you can just wear regular sunglasses.)

If you do get glasses, they take a little while (a few days) to get used to. You'll have a little weirdness with things like going down stairs, etc. This is normal and will go away soon; if it doesn't, go back to the doc/eyeglasses place and talk to them.

If you get glasses, they'll offer you various options: high-index plastic, anti-glare coatings, etc. Worth looking these up online to get a sense of what they all mean. Each option adds some cost.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:21 PM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

For what it's worth, it's a myth that you can "strengthen" your eyes by not wearing your glasses or contacts all the time or by putting off getting glasses. Nearsightedness is an issue with the shape of your eyes and doesn't involve any muscles you can like, work out. So go to an optometrist and get yourself some good vision already!
posted by MadamM at 9:42 PM on May 20, 2012 [8 favorites]

One thing to consider with glasses, which I know is going to sound minor but bugs the FUCK outta me, is getting 'stuff' on them that you have to clean off. I'm talking about particles of dust, rain drops, grease from cooking, et cetera. It drives me batty to have a speck of something in my field of vision and I. MUST. REMOVE. IT. before I can continue on. That said, whichever way you choose to go, be it glasses or contacts, come back and let us know what a clear, light pollution free night looks like to you before and after.
posted by ZaneJ. at 9:53 PM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

What do I need to know about glasses
Go to the optometrist to get the prescription for your eyes written down, then if you don't want to spend too much money you can order the glasses online. Cheap glasses for my prescription (very nearsighted) cost $300+ from my optician, and $60 online.

Fwiw, for me contacts were too much hassle and did not give as good vision as glasses.
posted by anadem at 9:55 PM on May 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

What you need to know is that this is not a big deal.

Go and get your eyes examined. Get a prescription for both glasses and contacts. Get a pair of glasses and two boxes of disposable contact lenses. This is important at the beginning, because if you hate the contacts, one falls out, you are in a huge rush one morning, whatever, you need to have backup glasses to hand. Alternatively, if you love the glasses, you may still want contacts now and then for dress-up, 3D movies, and emergencies if you break a lens.

In terms of choosing glasses, try on lots, ask the people in the shop for help. Do not buy your first pair online; you have no idea what looks good on you, or even of the measurements you need.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:16 PM on May 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Anecdata: I prefer my contacts over my glasses simply because I get better peripheral vision with them. So I usually wear contacts during the day and wear my glasses at night when I am at home (I make a point of never sleeping with my contacts in, it's healthier for the eye).
posted by vignettist at 10:17 PM on May 20, 2012

I don't wear contacts because the idea of putting something in my eye freaks me out.

Do you have vision insurance or something else that'll cover some of the cost? If so, I've found most of those plans only cover the most basic lenses. If you want anti-glare coating or better lenses, you may have to pay some out of pocket.

If it's anything like most of my appointments (I'm probably due for a checkup now that I think about it), you'll go in and the optometrist will peer into your eyes. They may dilate you, which means they put something in your eyes and you have to wear big goofy disposable sunglasses for a while while they check your eye's health. Then they'll put a big metal apparatus in front of your face and have you do A/B comparison tests to dial in your prescription. Then you'll go get frames and lenses made.

Above all else, I'd say take your time and ask questions and try on lots of frames. It's something you're going to wear on your face or shove in your eyes for a long time. Don't be in a rush.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:29 PM on May 20, 2012

If your work provides a Flexible Spending Account, you can put money into that to help pay for glasses/contacts.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:34 PM on May 20, 2012

Don't stress it. If you have insurance get the glasses where you get your exam. If you don't, get them online.
You've been managing without them, if you only feel like you need them to drive then just leave them in your car.
Avoid frames with wide arms. If you only wear them occasionally you wont get used to them blocking your peripheral vision.
posted by gally99 at 11:17 PM on May 20, 2012

I don't think you "become dependent" on them. I have a weak prescription in one eye, and often do without my glasses, without any problems.

Most of the cost is in the frames, so have a look online in advance and decide what style of frames you want.

If your eyes are changing a lot, laser surgery isn't so useful, as they will just change again and you'll need glasses later anyway. I'd say it's best to get an eye test and prescription every year or every couple of years for a few years, and see if your eyesight is pretty stable or changing quite rapidly. (I Am Not an Optometrist).

I don't usually bother with cleaning solutions, I just breathe on them and use a cloth. I think the solutions do work well though, I'm just not that bothered.

They will offer you a choice of coatings which you might want to think about in advance:

Scratch-resistant coating is usually standard at my provider, I think it's useful.

Anti-glare or anti-reflection coatings I think are also worth it. Without them you get a few little highlights which can be annoying.

I have some glasses with Reactions/Reactolite/photochromatic coatings which go dark in sunlight. I like them, but bear in mind that these react to ultraviolet light, so they won't go very dark if you're in a car, even in bright sunlight.

They may also try to sell you thinner lenses at a higher price, made out of a different material. I don't usually bother, but they are genuinely much thinner and lighter if you do get them.

Here in the UK, there are often complicated special offers available: two for one, discounts on a spare pair, free coatings, free prescription sunglasses if you pay X, that kind of thing. Just think carefully about what the best deal is.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 11:19 PM on May 20, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for the comments all. Here the government pays for a free eye checkup each year but optometrists typically work out of franchises and dont actually provide you with your prescription details unless you buy from their store, which is why Im asking for advice ahead to avoid their big sell-ups.

Money is not really an issue but im also good at loosing things / scratching my personal items so i dont want to spend lots where it can be avoided.
posted by Under the Sea at 11:40 PM on May 20, 2012

Here's a thing: if you have a degree of strabismus, your eye doctor may suggest that s/he include a prism in your prescription. To a certain degree, if you go this route, your eyes will grow accustomed to it and require prism in future lenses as well. The downside of this is that you can't generally get prism in your inexpensive Internet Glasses. So, no Warby Parker et al.
posted by mumkin at 12:25 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Regarding your question about laser surgery: if you can get by with glasses or contacts, try those first. Once you have some experience with vision correction, you might consider laser surgery.

I am very nearsighted, and I wear contacts every day. Except for some occasional bouts of dry eyes, they work very well and I usually can't feel them at all. They are not a big deal. If you want to avoid the cleaning solutions and cases and all of the routine involved (which is really not a big deal and takes less than a minute in the morning), ask about daily disposable lenses. You don't need to care for them. You throw away your current pair every night and open a fresh pair in the morning. No solution or cleaning is needed.
posted by twblalock at 12:39 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

I didn't need glasses until I was over 40 and the far-sightedness kicked in. I went and got my eyes checked and got my prescription. My family has had good luck with eyebuydirect.com for spare glasses and the main ones. My bifocals were about $40.

I can't stand the idea of contacts. Poking things onto my eyes freaks me out. It's actually been comforting to me to have something between my eyeballs and the rest of the world.

Over the past year, my prescription has changed, obviously to me, so I need to go to my eye doc again. I'll still be ordering my glasses from the same place.

Even if you have to buy your prescription, it may be overall less expensive to do that than to buy glasses from them.
posted by lilywing13 at 12:41 AM on May 21, 2012

Wearing glasses really is a non issue. If you decide to go with glasses as opposed to contacts for every day wear the main thing is to make sure you like the frame and that it fits - all you can do about the lenses is to make sure you are really comfortable with the corrections they identify for you during your eye exam. If that means they have to try a few more options before they have the final prescription make them try as many as it takes.

- try on different styles and ensure in particular that the length of the arms is right for you. If the arms are too long or short the frame is not for you. The last time I bought glasses I found later that the arms are fractionally too long. You don't notice this if the optician places them on you and they place them right back on your ears but subsequently I found that the frame just slides forward a fraction more than it should and it is rather irritating at times...

- Most frames have the little wings with the nose pads, which can be adjusted and even replaced and there are different kinds of nose pads, too. But some modern plastic frames do not have them. If you're not 100% comfortable with that kind of frame don't get that style.

- It is well worth paying to get the extra antiglare and reflection coating they offer if you can at all afford to get it....I held off a long time paying for this and it was a revelation when I finally felt a bit more flush and got it with my last pair of glasses.

- If you take more than a few days to adjust to your glasses and to 'forget' you're wearing them something is wrong - take them back and insist they double check the prescription matches the lenses they cut for you and to make any fit adjustments. If they still do not become unnoticeable after a few more days get them to double check the prescription is right for you. You really should not notice your glasses after a few days.
posted by koahiatamadl at 12:58 AM on May 21, 2012

My opinionated advice is to go to the best -- perhaps the one with the most stylish decoration or salespeople -- optometric in your area. (Do not shop online! If possible do not go to a chain. Buy you glasses on your next trip to the next big city, etc.) He needs to take time to find your prescription; these people make mistakes when in a hurry. You should get beautiful, fashionable frames. Glasses can be thicker or thinner, non reflective etc. -- in my opinion, these (costly) features are not as important as having frames that suit you. You'll likely wear glasses every day of your life -- or even if you also choose contacts (you always need glasses in addition to contacts), in the evenings and two days a week. It will be your most salient fashion-item. People will know you by your glasses as they do by the color of your hair.

Wearing glasses is not per se a bad thing -- bluntly beautiful frames on a woman are very attractive. Think of going to the optometric as going to the jewelry store -- as something enjoyable. It's definitely worth spending some money on you glasses -- honestly it's expensive, read "nice leather jacket"-expensive. Bring a stylish person to help you choose. Go several times. Shop around -- in my experience, no two shops have the same selection. (Granted my experience is not from the U.S., so I won't rule out the possibility that the way you buy glasses in America is very different, so cum grano salis etc.)

Also don't drive with bad eyesight. You need eye correction. You'll never enjoy the theatre without it.
posted by faustdick at 1:01 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

I never could get used to contacts, though I know a lot of people don't even think about it. I've had glasses since I was 13, and I feel weird without them on now, even for the few things I don't need them for (reading a book, ...I guess that's about it). Buying yourself glasses is like upgrading from a terrible TV to a nice flatscreen 1080p. We live in a world that has many beautiful moments, don't let them be blurry.
posted by Drumhellz at 1:13 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

From your update I wonder if you are in Australia. If so, go to Specsavers. They are so much cheaper than other places, and often do two pairs for the price of one, which is handy for a back up. Maybe go to a fancier place first where they have useful advice, and try on lots of frames, and then when you know what suits you, go to Specsavers for something similar and cheaper.

I pretty much hate wearing contacts and I love my glasses, but I keep a pack of daily disposable contacts on hand for playing sport (climbing, skiing, soccer), going to 3d movies, cycling when it is raining, going sailing, etc. Glasses are a pain in wet conditions because you are always having to wipe them. And obviously can get broken in sport (skiing is the worst for me). If you are travelling, you can also take the contacts as a back up for if your glasses get lost or broken, which gives you time to find a replacement. (Especially important if you need them to drive). I also always keep my prescription on me for emergency replacements (used to keep it on card in my wallet, but now I just have it in my email).

I started off with weak near-sightedness, so that it was only borderline necessary to get glasses, and I shouldn't have had to wear them all the time. But I LOVED being able to see so crystal clear, and I also found that headaches I used to get cleared up. So I wore them always. My eyesight has worsened, but I think that's just age, not due to wearing the glasses. From what I hear you are more likely to do your eyes damage from NOT wearing corrective lenses when you need them than from the reverse.
posted by lollusc at 1:51 AM on May 21, 2012

im also good at loosing things / scratching my personal items

I would say this is the one thing you should watch out for, and try to watch out for it on your end. Get a HARD case for your glasses and be sure they are in there when you're not wearing them.

It will be a tough habit (and I speak from experience) but do try to get into it.

Also I would recommend ignore any advice about getting a "look" that's yours, and how glasses are so attractive. The number one priority you want is to have the maximum amount of your range of vision covered by the lens. While these glasses may not look very snappy, neither does having to tilt/swing your head around so you can actually see things. For the first pair of glasses *I* picked out I was trying to do what one of the above poster was going on about - trying to make a look for *me*..... the glasses ended up being more annoying than helpful and I hardly wore them outside the initial fitting. Oh they were snappy as all get out, and certainly gave me a "look", but they were pretty awful to actually see with in any practical way for day to day things (head level and straight ahead *only*)

With my second pair vision and comfort were my only goals. The saleswoman actually insulted them (even though they were more highly priced than the others she was recommending) saying, "well, I suppose they're okay if you're not planning to leave the house...." but honestly I couldn't be happier with them - and I do leave the house with them, and no one's run screaming in terror yet.

A "look" may come organically...but for now, comfort and vision.
posted by Lt. Bunny Wigglesworth at 1:56 AM on May 21, 2012

By the way, I also think the anti-glare and anti-scratch and anti-everything coating is great. I wouldn't bother with the extra light option unless you have a very strong prescription (-5 or more) because a small amount of correction doesn't require thick lenses anyway. And although I recommended Specsavers, I think buying glasses is something worth spending money on (i.e. don't be afraid to spend an extra $100 to get frames you LOVE rather than saving $100 and getting ones that you are meh about). I treat it like any other part of my wardrobe, assume that the glasses will last around three years, and divide the cost by 3x365 to get a daily cost. That usually means the glasses are working out to about 50c a day, which I will gladly pay for something nice that sits on my face and makes me look amazing.
posted by lollusc at 1:57 AM on May 21, 2012

One last comment then I'll shut up:
but optometrists typically work out of franchises and dont actually provide you with your prescription details unless you buy from their store

Play the long game. Buy the first pair from that optometrist, sure, but at the same time ask for a copy of your prescription. If they seem unwilling, make up something about going travelling overseas and needing it in case your glasses get broken. Or if you order contact lenses, your prescription will come written on a sticker on the box. So you can always order a small pack of contacts to trial, and then you'll know your prescription and can go shopping elsewhere (or online, which is MASSIVELY cheaper for contacts than buying through the optometrist). (Although I think contacts and glasses can have slightly different prescriptions, it hasn't been an issue for me to order one based on the other).
posted by lollusc at 2:04 AM on May 21, 2012

The only thing I can add to the great advice above is ... if you're getting your frames at the same time as your exam (my eye doctor is in the same building as LensCrafters) get there early and try on frames before your appointment. It's so much easier without your pupils dilated and your eyes weary from the appointment.
posted by ladygypsy at 3:11 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

If they offer the brand name Cryzal anti-glare coating, do it. I have a hard time without it. I have had lesser success with off brand anti-glare coatings, but of course, YMMV. For your first pair of glasses you should definitely go into a nicer boutique-y store and try on everything. A good fit is essential to liking (or even wearing) your new specs.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 4:04 AM on May 21, 2012

While optomestrists in Australia may not be keen to give you your prescription, my experience is that they'll hapily give it to other optometrists. Last time I got glasses, I got my free test done at a fancy place with all the bells and whistles, then bought glasses at Specsavers - they happily gave the prescription to them over the phone.
posted by dg at 4:53 AM on May 21, 2012

First: chill. This is really no big deal, most people will need vision correction at some point.

With glasses, I'd recommend the plastic lenses over glass --- glass is harder to scratch, but easier to break; and depending on how strong your prescription is, coupled with the fact that you are not currently used to wearing glasses, the lighter weight of the plastic lenses will be easier to get used to. (It'll probably take you a week or two to get used to wearing glasses; just hang in there, all will be well.)

As for frames: there really isn't any reason I've ever seen to pay huge amounts for big-name "designer" frames, unless you really, really LIKE giving rich strangers your money --- I'm too cheap for that! Oh, and about frame styles/colors: a general rule is that most people look better with frames that are lighter-colored than their hair, unless you really WANT the glasses to stand out. (I don't, and wear so-called 'frameless' glasses)

Personally, I'm extremely anti- both contacts and laser eye surgery, but that's because I freak at the concept of sticking things anywhere NEAR my eyes. Obviously most people are fine with them, and YMMV.
posted by easily confused at 5:11 AM on May 21, 2012

Just for contrast regarding contacts, I freaked out at putting anything near my eyes and putting contacts in was always a problem for me, but I found them worth it, especially after I tried the weekly disposables so only had to do it once a week. Even if you think you'll struggle, give it a go.
posted by dg at 5:28 AM on May 21, 2012

Looks like you're about my age and at about my level of nearsightedness (I can usually get by fine, but things like road signs can be hard to make out).

Go to your appointment early. Spend some time trying on pairs of glasses to find the style and frame that you like. (I have dark brown plastic ones, because I wanted a certain look. There are other styles that are less noticeable, like partially frameless - this is going to depend a lot on your personal style.)

Don't get Transitions. They're terrible.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 6:38 AM on May 21, 2012

Definitely get some disposable contacts just for backup, even if you think you'll primarily wear glasses. Sometimes glasses just aren't convenient.

I've found that when you get contacts the first time the way they usually tell you to insert and remove them is the most difficult way that no one actually does. With soft contacts, it is much easier to insert them in the side of your eye, over the white, and them slide into place. A lot of people balk at aiming something right at the center of their eyeball. And avoid sleeping in your contacts, even if they tell you it's okay, it's really not great for your eyes.
posted by catatethebird at 7:45 AM on May 21, 2012

Buying glasses online is definitely a great way to go (both for price and because it's fun to be able to color-coordinate glasses with my wardrobe), but you might want to get your first pair from the doc, just so you have something to compare them to in case there's an error in your prescription.

Recently I had to get a stronger prescription, and the first day of wearing them I got a migraine. For the next few days I would switch between my old pair and my new pair, whenever my new pair would start to give me a headache. I was in the new pair completely within a week, though. Just something to consider - you might want your first day or two of wearing them to be on a weekend, especially if you already suffer from migraines.

Re: photochromic lenses (brand name Transitions), I found them useless as, at first, I only wore my glasses when I was on my computer, and when I went outside they never got dark enough, especially for driving where the windshield blocks the UV that darkens them. Online sites are cheaper in that regard too, if you want to get a pair with it and try it out.

I understand how you feel about wearing glasses. Even having worn them for around 4 years now, when I renewed my driver's license I took the eye exam without my glasses, as I hated the idea of having a restriction on my license, even though in practice I never drive without my glasses on. You'll get over it quickly, especially when you realize how much better you can see. Right now words probably don't look blurry to you, but when you put on your new glasses, and then take them off repeatedly to check out the difference, you'll realize how problematic your vision really is, when you see how clear things can be.

My last tip: Buy several lens cleaning cloths (soft and lint-free). Keep one in your purse/wallet, one on your nightstand, etc. I HATE having a smudge on my glasses.
posted by IndigoRain at 8:12 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Like you I had to start wearing glasses in my 20s (in my case I could barely pass the vision test when I got new driver's license). I hated it at first, and eventually got to tolerate glasses, but never completely got used to them. I enjoyed better vision immensely, but other than that did not like wearing glasses. At first I was driven to distraction by every speck of dust on the lenses; that got better but never resolved completely. I hated shelling out money for prescription sunglasses, as I am pretty tough on them (I had one pair disintegrate after falling off while I was on a motorcycle, and there are perfectly good pairs at the bottom of the Savannah River and Clarks Hill lake, among other mishaps). I never considered contacts as I can't stand to even put in eye drops and I am aware of too many ptential problems with them (and if you don't trust medical professionals, contacts can require a lot more interaction with them). Finally, After I felt my prescription had stabilized and the technology was advanced enough, I opted for LASIK. Although I have some minor degradation of my night vision (halos around bright object that don't really annoy me) I wish I had done it years earlier. If I had it to do over again I would try glasses for a few months or years, and if I didn't get used to them I would get LASIK or similar surgery much sooner than I did. Since I first got glasses in the mid-1980s, that wasn't an option for me, but I wish it had been. If you do eventually go the surgery route, don't rush it and take time to find a surgeon you trust, who takes the time to explain everything to you in as much detail as you need. Also be aware that if you are nearsighted, having surgery will mean you need reading glasses somewhat sooner. In my case I am 48 and beginning to really notice the onset of presbyopia, but I am kind of lucky it didn't happen sooner (when I had my LASIK the surgeon was surprised to see I still had good accomodation at age 39, so I knew I was on the good end of the curve when it came to reading glasses). I would still rather have to wear reading glasses than to wear glasses all the time for driving and so on.
posted by TedW at 8:13 AM on May 21, 2012

I'm you, about 2-3 years in the future. According to my eye doc, i'm *right* on the border of legally needing glasses to drive (and so its not yet on my license), but I don't feel comfortable driving without them -- especially if its dark and/or rainy (and I'm in Vancouver, so thats 75%+ of the time). My recommendation - get your first pair of glasses the old fashioned way (I got mine at Costco), but get the rest online. I swear by Zenni Optical. This way, you can have dozens of pairs for the price of one you'd pay in a brick-and-mortar store. To buy online properly, you'll have to ask your optometrist to measure your PD (pupillary distance), and get a copy of this and your prescription. Note you will have to ask, because optometrists know exactly what you're planning on doing with it, and they'd much rather you but the overpriced lenses from their store. Also, if you're buying online, get a pair of prescription sunglasses as well (any pair with a 80% tint). Seriously, they are the best thing since sliced bread for driving.
posted by cgg at 9:07 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

As a long time glasses & contacts user, here are my 0.02€:

- Your vision doesn't change just because you're wearing glasses. In my teen years, my vision got a lot worse in just a few short years, but then remained unchanged for the next 15+ years. Don't believe those stories that your eyesight is a muscle to be trained, and that you can improve your vision by not wearing glasses.

- Contacts can be a life-savior or a hindrance or anything in between. I used to wear them daily, for 18 hrs/day, but I now prefer glasses so I can sleep 2 more minutes in the morning. :) Try them out and see for yourself. It's handy to know how to use them.

- Don't expect to get used to glasses/contacts immediately. Give it some time, like 2-4 weeks.

- In general, if you notice you're wearing glasses/contacts (after a period of getting used to them), something's wrong. Either the frame doesn't fit properly or the prescription isn't right. My local shop will fix the frames I bought from them as many times as necessary, tweaking it until it fits well. (One of my eyes is higher than the other, so they have to actually pull and twist the frame until it's no longer horizontal.)

- When choosing frames, take into consideration if they "work" with your hairstyle. I bought a super-cool frame with laser-cut stylized vines. Of course my bangs got tangled in the "vines" about 8453 times a day.

- If you're a driver, try to find a frame that doesn't hinder your peripheral vision. I had thick frames with very broad sides. I was afraid to go driving wearing them, because I couldn't see anything on my side and had to turn my head at strange angles to glimpse things in the next lane.

- YMMV, but I had issues wearing contacts while working on a computer. I think I was blinking less regularly (the "computer zombie stare" effect) so the contacts dried out faster and became uncomfortable. Nothing major, but I felt relief every day when I finally came home from work and took them out.

Despite all these warnings, wearing glasses is quite a non-issue. You get used to them and they become second nature. And sometimes you get to appreciate them for other reasons, eg. not getting dust in your eyes, or holding out much longer when you cut onions. :)
posted by gakiko at 9:12 AM on May 21, 2012

I have a wide head. Most glasses are too tight and they look stupid with the earpieces flayed outward toward my ears. If you get glasses, look for a pair that fits the width of your head. :-)
posted by tacodave at 4:07 PM on May 21, 2012

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