They say that with age comes wisdom. Unfortunately, with age does not come better eyesight. Quite the contrary, in fact. In recent years, I have had more difficulty seeing at night, particularly when driving. A few years ago, I broke down and got glasses to improve my night driving vision, and all was well. This year when I went to have my eye exam and get new glasses, the doctor told me that my astigmatism was one degree worse than it had been, but, good news! my nearsightedness was the same as it had been on the previous visit.
For those of you who do not know, astigmastism is a medical term that means if you want contact lenses, you are going to pay through the nose because they are a lot more expensive than the regular ones. OK, actually it has to do with the shape of your cornea - - your cornea is supposed to be shaped like a sphere, but in people with an astigmatism, it is shaped more like an ellipse, thus making regular contact lenses unable to work for those of us with our weird-shaped corneas. An astigmatism makes it more difficult for the cornea to focus light and has a tendency to make things, like in my case, signs on the roadside, blurry and hard to read.
For the last several years, I have been content to have my driving glasses in the car - - and it's not to say that I can't drive without them, but I know that I obviously see better when I am wearing them. I will fight tooth and nail before having a restriction placed on my drivers license for having to wear corrective lenses to drive. A few years ago, a friend of mine went to the DMV to renew her drivers license, and she too wanted to leave that pesky corrective lenses restriction off her card. As she took the eye test sans glasses, she read a row of letters in the machine and the technician deadpanned, "would you like to guess again?" She begrudgingly dug her glasses out of her purse and reread the line perfectly. Her license now bears the big "R" for her vision. At the time, I said to her, "It's not like you don't always have your glasses on anyway? What's the big deal?" But I think I am beginning to understand.