# Holy crikes, my eyes are bad.

Really, I already knew this. I’ve been wearing glasses or contacts since I was about 11. I never really knew exactly what my visual acuity was, but I figured it was in the high 20/100s.

This summer was when I realized that I was well worse than 20/200, when I looked at a Snellen chart from twenty feet without my contacts, and could barely tell there was a chart there, let alone see the big E at the top. So, I figured, my vision is closer to 20/300 or even 20/400.

Went to the optometrist today. I finally got around to actually asking what my vision was. Her answer?

“It’s hard to say exactly, but I’d estimate about 20/800.”

In other words, I don’t see none too good. (Actually, I see fine. With my contacts, I’m about 20/15. But jeez, 20/800’s a big number.)

Your contacts must be pretty sharply curved if they do that much correction. (That is how contacts work, right? They deform your eye into the right shape?)

No, I’m pretty sure they just act as a normal lens, just right up against your eye.

AFAIK, myopia is caused by the eyeball being too long. A contact wouldn’t correct that. I also imagine that such a device would hurt like a son of a bitch.

Doesn’t 20/800 vision make you legally blind or something?

Legally blind is 20/200 in the better eye with correction. So no; my eyes are completely correctable. Just really crappy without my lenses. At least my wife now understands why I have to send her looking for my glasses if I take out my contacts without locating them (the glasses) first.

What’s your prescription? They’re measured in “diopters.” If you’re nearsighted, a prescription of -3 diopters (negative is nearsighted, positive is farsighted) means you can focus out to a maximum distance of 1/3 of a meter, -5 means 1/5 of a meter, and so on. (I think +5 means you can’t go inside 5 meters but I’m not sure.) There’s two numbers though, sphere and cylinder, and I don’t know how they add.

Personally I am still really unhappy with one particular thing about how nearsighted I am. When I was a teenager I could comfortably lie in bed and read a novel without my glasses. I figure it was better that way, basically focusing as far as I could but not straining, as opposed to reading with glasses and focusing in all the time when I’m already nearsighted.

For several years though, my sight has been bad enough that I can only focus out to something less than a foot. My prescription seems to have stabilized at least, but it bothers me. I’ve constantly wondered if there’s anything I can do to help things just a little bit. There’s the “See-Clearly Method” of exercises which seems to have been discredited.

Still, I have pretty much always read a lot. It seems to me that I always got glasses intended for me to see out to infinity (standard glasses), then I focused in on books. My eyes got worse, then I would get stronger glasses, which meant I had to focus even closer to read. It seems unlikely that this couldn’t have any effect at all, any relation.

I’ve never really given much thought to contacts or surgery because I’m really wary of doing anything to mess with my eyes. If there were any exercises or something that could just get it back to where I was when I was like 18, that would be good. They say I might be stable where I am for some time, so it’s just that I wish I could stabilize at a bit better point, you know?

Didn’t I see you last night?
We were watching “Time enough at Last” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Enough_at_Last

-7 in my right eye, -6.5 in my left.

Spherical lenses, I believe, correct myopia, and cylindrical lenses correct astigmatism. Bizarrely, I used to be fairly seriously astigmatic, but that seems to have gone away, and I use regular spherical lenses now.

Got you beat. Mine are -8.5 and -9.0.

I got my eyes LASIKed, and now I see slightly better than the average person with good eyesight, though I don’t know the digital code representation of them.

Damn. Renee beats me. Mine are -8 and -7.5. I can’t see anything with my glasses off. Can’t even read.

Same as mine!

I can still read, though, if I have the book really close to me…

And yes, I can also see color and I can tell where some things are without my glasses… and I can distinguish some shapes… it’s not as if without my lenses or glasses all I see is dark. :rolleyes:

Everyone’s gotta compete.

I can read from about two inches away, but that’s a bit tedious and kind of hurts. I can still distinguish shapes from across the room, just not with any detail.

It’s fun that I now have a number I can toss at people who don’t believe that I really can’t see.

I can understand that, especially if you have a three-inch nose.