Freedom from Eyeglasses

Aristotle thought that an old man would see as well as a young man if he had a youthful eye.  I have an appointment to discuss cataract surgery in January, but I still have not decided which way to go on that.  There are basically three options available to me and they are having my near-sightedness or my far-sightedness fixed or getting both fixed with Multifocal Intraocular Lenses.  The third option is the expensive one, but this would let me say goodbye to glasses forever.  If I choose to just get either my near-sightedness or my far-sightedness fixed, then it would require me to wear glasses for the one that wasn’t corrected.  Thus, if I get my distance vision corrected for driving, it would put my reading out of focus and I would need glasses for that and vice-a-versa.

Medicare will only cover the cost of standard monofocal intraocular lenses used in cataract surgery and the multifocal intraocular lenses will probably cost $2,500 per eye.  I want the freedom, but I am indecisive about how much I am willing to pay for that.  Having to wear glasses is a burden and even using extended wear contact lenses can be a pain.  The medical technology exists to improve the quality of my life and I could have the freedom to see at distance, intermediate and near without the need for glasses.  Everything should be fine, as I don’t develop an astigmatism, but there is no need to worry about that now.  Determining to wear glasses, or not to wear glasses is a Shakespearean decision for me, but not in the same realm as what Hamlet was considering.  Writing this has helped me to make up my mind and I want it all, so I will go the expensive route and get the multifocal intraocular lenses.

Around 1000 AD, Ibn al-Haytham known as Alhazen, an Arabian mathematician at Cairo, made significant contributions to the principles of optics and he became known as the “Father of Modern Optics.”  Fourteen of his works on optics have survived, including his Book of Optics and his Treatise on Light.  Several 11th century hoards found at Viking sites on the island of Gotland, Sweden, contained biconvex lenses made from rock-crystal.  These are called the Visby lenses and they provide evidence that sophisticated lens-making techniques were being used by craftsmen over 1,000 years ago, at a time when researchers had only just begun to explore the laws of refraction.  It is said that the lenses are of such high quality that they could have been used to make a telescope.

It is generally accepted that spectacles were ‘invented’ (more likely improvised) no later than the last quarter of the thirteenth century by the Italians (rather than the Dutch or the Chinese).  In 12th-century China, they started wearing flat panes made of smoky quartz, that were used as sunglasses and they were a status symbol, as they had no corrective properties.  In 1266, the English Franciscan Friar, Roger Bacon wrote about the scientific principles of corrective lenses in his Opus Majus, but there’s no evidence that he applied that knowledge.  Bacon described the magnifying properties of lenses (spectacles came into use soon after), and he elucidated the principles of reflection, refraction, and spherical aberration.  In 1286, the first eyeglasses were made in Pisa Northern Italy, by Friar Alessandro della Spina.  By 1301, there were guild regulations in Venice governing the sale of eyeglasses.

Written for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #113 image prompt where I went with glasses.

23 thoughts on “Freedom from Eyeglasses

  1. You left out doing each eye differently, one for near and one far. My wife opted for using reading glasses, which are readily available and low cost. So, glasses have been around for about 700 years. Wow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I did not discuss that option as my doctor felt it would not work for me. I did discuss it with her and I was disappointed that I this cheaper option was not recommended. People back in Roman times were using stones to look through that did make objects larger, but there was not a lot of information on that however Pliney the Elder did write about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree that writing gives clarity of thought and facilitates decisions. And this is a critical decision. Glasses change appearance, and need to be managed well. But there is no option at times.

    I believe there are graded glasses which work well for both near and far-sightedness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. People who wear glasses can purchase an all-in-one pair of prescription glasses with progressive lenses, or they can get an all-in-one pair of glasses with bifocal lenses. I still have time to decide what I am going with, but if I decide to get the Multifocal Intraocular Lenses put in to replace my cataracts, it will be more expensive, but then I wouldn’t need glasses.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Whatever you decide to do I hope it’s an improvement in your sight. Is this a one time only procedure or will you need it done again at some point? When I see how much glasses cost, having the cataract surgery isn’t a huge amount more than having to buy glasses over a period of time. I’m glad you included the video as I’ve never seen exactly what they do. And it can take as little as 10 minutes??? That’s impressive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most of the complications that result from cataract surgery are due to the anesthesia, but there is a chance of developing an astigmatism which would mess up your vision. Once a cataract is removed, it does not grow back. Over time, this membrane may become hazy and that can be treated with a laser procedure,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One thing I might worry about with the lens that fixes short and long sidedness both is if you have to move your head up or down to use the part of the lens you need it for at the time? I’m thinking of glasses and how they work… Not sure what astigmatism is? Where one eye goes one way and the other goes another? If it does develop can it be repaired with a different lens?

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I have only very early signs of cataracts, so I’ll probably die before I need cataract surgery. I wear glasses and I don’t mind. I did wear contact lenses from the time I was 30 until around 55, but I went back to glasses. I have progressive lenses and also transitional lenses that darken when you’re outdoors in the sun and lighten when indoors.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.