Finally, I can see without glasses

Kate Livingstone
Kate Livingstone

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they are required to wear glasses.

For me, that time was when I was five-years-old and my teacher noticed me squinting at the blackboard.

It transpired I had pretty poor vision and needed specs as thick as milk bottle ends.

As I got older and wanted to catch a gentleman’s eye at the dancing, I would frequently go out without my spectacles and them bump into pillars, people and tables all night.

As technology advanced, the glass in my specs became thinner and the designs of frames got trendier so I accepted wearing frames.

On a recent shopping trip, I noticed now many high street stores sell glasses without any prescription strength glass in them. I was flabbergasted - I cannot believe anyone would want to have frames on their face if they didn’t have a medical purpose for them.

Years ago I tried to get contact lenses but as my eyes are a funny shape I had to wear hard lenses which I found very uncomfortable. I tried to persevere, with my optician telling me I would eventually get used to them, but in the end I gave up. I decided wearing glasses was better than having red eyes and mascara dripping down my face and just resigned myself to being a speccy.

Until my last eye test.

My optician asked if I fancied trying lenses again.

It turns out technology has advanced further and now even people with odd shaped eyeballs can wear soft contacts.

After showing me how to put them in, my optician gave me a few pairs to take away before I committed to signing up to a contract.

At first I found them fiddly, and once again was suffering watery eyes, but after a few days I found them tolerable and now I don’t even notice they are in.

It’s fantastic, after 50+ years, I’m not sporting glasses. People I’ve known for years have been walking past me, not recognising me and I’ve had compliments saying I look 10 years younger.

Well, most of the reaction has been positive.

When my grandson Jack first saw me he clocked straight away that I’d ditched the glasses.

He said: “Now you’ve not go glasses, you can see all the wrinkles round your eyes better Gran.”

Nothing like a cheeky five-year-old to put you in your place. As they say, out of the mouths of babes...