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The vast majority of spectacle wearers find out they need them when they are still very young. At school teachers quickly spot a child having difficulty reading the blackboard (or, these days, the interactive internet-enabled whiteboard, I suppose).
But I did have a work colleague whose condition wasn’t detected until he was in his late twenties, and he had quite a lot of trouble adapting.
I have three sisters who started wearing glasses when they were still at infants school, and although it was annoying when the glasses were broken (which was often) they didn’t seem to have much trouble adapting to them.
He’d suffered increasingly from headaches which we assumed were psychosomatic. Having a psychotic manager didn’t help, nor did the workload. But we were wrong.
Eventually his doctor suggested an eye test and sure enough glasses were the cure. They were bought and the headaches went away. But Brian was caught in two minds about this.
On the one hand, he was pleased that the headaches were gone. He was also pleasantly surprised that he could see! At work you aren’t under scrutiny in the way you are as a child in class, and the problem wasn’t so severe that he couldn’t read or see most things in detail, it was just a lot clearer with the glasses.
But he was, to be honest, quite affronted about the actual glasses wearing thing. When he broke the news to me it was as though it was the end of life as he knew it. Or at least his social life. It would have been rubbing salt into the wound to point out the parlous state of his social life, so I refrained.
It took him a long time to get used to having glasses around all the time, not leaving them at home, on someone else’s desk, constantly having to find a cleaning cloth, all those everyday things. But the one he actually mentioned the most was swimming – how annoying it was to have to find somewhere to safely store his glasses and how he now missed being able to see properly.
We got rid of the safe storage problem pretty quickly. “You take your mobile with you, don’t you? Car keys, wallet? It’s just one more thing like that.”
He accepted that, but was quite surprised at the other solution. “Prescription goggles? Can you get those?”
Sure enough, a quick visit to prescription swimming goggles website and he was made up.
“I can see!” he said, “I mean, I can swim up and down all right anyway but now I can see the clock, and I haven’t tried to get into the wrong locker for a week!”
He’s now a happy man, charging up and down wearing his IST G40’s and was pleasantly surprised that they were only £17.00 (at the time of going to press). And he’s now ordering a prescription mask for his upcoming diving holiday, taking in Malta and Gozo.
At least I know he won’t get lost.
Feature writer Chris Hogan
This featured article is editorial sponsored by Prescription Swimming Goggles
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Open 9am to 5pm, Monday-Friday
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