Presbyopia: When Your Eyes Feel the Forties
A week ago, I started having headaches, with heavy, sometimes throbbing pain on the top left side of my head. It came on and off for three days. It made me lose sleep, kept me from enjoying my daughter’s football tournament and caused me to cancel on a family commitment. I rarely suffer headaches, and these episodes reminded me of how much being sick sucked.
A trip to the opthalmologist confirmed my suspicion – it’s my eyes and my age. I spend many hours a day doing close work or near work, such as reading books, reading online and writing. Some months ago, I noticed that I couldn’t read very clearly anymore while wearing my eyeglasses for my nearsightedness. I just resorted to removing my glasses when I needed to read something. Now, it turns out that I need eyeglasses to see clearly not only at a distance, but also for reading and close work. As the doctor put it simply, I’ve hit my 40s, I have presbyopia and it’s time for progressive lenses, i.e. new lenses for both distance vision and near vision. Without the help for reading and close work, my eyes are exerting more effort and this eye strain is causing the headaches.
And so I’ve ordered new lenses which would take about a week to be made. Since last Monday and until I get my new glasses, I’ve been giving my eyes plenty of rest. I’ve avoided reading a book (argh!) and till now, I stopped blogging. I forced myself to spend less time with my computer and my phone. I’ve been listening to music, playing with my dog, sitting and just resting, and trying to declutter my desk. I’ve been looking up and looking around. And it has been an eye-opening experience (pun intended).
I cannot, will not permanently stay away from reading, writing and going online. I will, however, remember to be more conscious of how I take care of my eyes and eyesight. And I will remind myself to strike that balance between looking down and looking up and around.