My vision had been troubling me lately, so I had a visit to the optometrist the other day. I was surprised by the results: my eyeglass prescription was out of whack because my vision had improved. Wait, what?
The optometrist explained that sometimes when people lose a lot of weight, their blood sugar changes (generally for the better) and that can change their vision. I’d just lost a bunch of weight (50+ pounds, now I’m at 150, yay!) through diet and exercise, which apparently explains what happened. But boy, I totally wasn’t expecting this result. Even my astigmatism was different from before, and I thought that never changed.
So I guess I’m happy about this. I mean, I’m not 20/20 or anything, I still can’t read or view things up close without correction, but now I don’t really need glasses to drive, which is weird. I’m going to get a blood test tomorrow and make sure my blood sugar is actually better and not worse, but I’m not really expecting trouble (knock on wood). One down side is I have to replace all my lenses now. My computer glasses now have a focus point about 18 inches away, so they’re totally useless until the new lenses come in.
Last year I was also surprised to hear my eyes got better. I didn’t lose weight at the time so I have no idea why. This year I have lost a reasonable amount of weight so I wonder if now I’ll have super vision
That’s the .50 improvement (in both eyes) that Sarabellum mentioned, in the sphere (first number, the main vision “correction”). Plus it looks like you’ve definitely had some significant improvement in the amount of astigmatism (the cylinder, the second number) as well, so overall I’d call it a pretty impressive change for your vision. That’s especially true considering that your vision isn’t all that bad overall. (Worked in ophthalmology for about a decade, until recently, did refractions and such but IANAD/N.)
(The third number, the axis, is just the angle at which they apply the narrow “bar” of correction amount given in the cylinder to counteract your astigmatism, so that’s not really important here.)
Hubby, over 65yrs, last month returned from the eye Dr to say not only had his vision improved but she would be contacting Transport Canada to have “must wear eyeglasses to drive” removed from his license! (Most of his life he wore glasses to see far. Now he only needs glasses to see up close and read.) She did point out it likely wouldn’t last.
Yes, the same thing happened to me in my 40s. Before I went to the optometrist, I was perching my glasses (that I had wore all the time) up on the top of my head if I was looking at anything closer than 8’ away. It probably didn’t help much that that prescription corrected my vision to 20/10. The younger optometrist explained to me (and visibly trying to be tactful) as one reaches a certain age, one’s nearsightedness improves. On the other hand, the eyes become less able to contract/expand to adjust for close/far vision, so even though your distance correction might be less, you’re more likely to need bifocals for close.
And yeah, I had to get a new driver’s license in January. I thought I’d give the vision test a try without my glasses. I passed it. So for the first time EVER, I can legally drive sans corrective lenses. I still wear them, though. Why push my luck?
Jeff, that’s great, good for you! But I don’t think my experience is like yours - I’m farsighted, and my near vision is still lousy, before and after my vision change. I had the opposite happen: I can now see far away things more clearly than before.
IANAD either, but I’ve worked in ophthalmology for ten years and counting and I can perform these refractive exams myself.
From one year to the next, that’s a notable change but not terribly unusual. Judging from the +1.75 add power, I’m going to guess you’re in your fifties. Most people’s near- or farsightedness and astigmatism are pretty stable by then, but presbyopia is present and progressing. The way your sphere (the first number, indicating your hyperopia) and your cylinder (the second number, indicating your astigmatism) both converged on zero means that part of the perceived change may have been due to the technique of the optometrist performing the exam. (Note that your net refractive error [obtained by adding your sphere and your cylinder] stayed almost identical.) That amount of difference could be accounted for by dry eyes, fatigue, by having your corneas flattened slightly by recent contact lens wear…any number of factors.
Ultimately, the questions are: “Do you feel you’re seeing better without correction than you did a year ago?” and “Do you feel you see better with your new prescription than with your old one?”
Excellent, I’m 52. I’m impressed. Well, except I said as much upthread.
I’m not sure what to make of this. I just got a better exam than before? Or does the new prescription not truly reflect the changes in my eyesight?
Huh, I didn’t know my eyes were that changeable. FWIW, I’ve never worn contacts.
Absolutely yes to the first question. I’ll have to take a raincheck on the second question: I’m still waiting for my new lenses so I can’t judge how good the new prescription is. I can say that it’s really awful trying to use the old prescription; I can hardly stand it for computer use, and can’t use glasses at all driving in dim conditions because it’s too darned blurry.
Thanks large for the technical detail on the prescription changes, and to Ferret Herder as well!
My nearsightedness has improved (slightly) at each of my last three exams. The ophthalmologists (three different ones) have all joked that bifocal time is coming. But there has been no deterioration in my reading test. I can always read the smallest print very easily.
My nearsightedness got worse almost every single year from age 6 to 30. Then my prescription didn’t change for 15 years. Then there was improvement. I’ve gone from -8.5 to -7.5 in the main correction.
My father is 78. Doctors have been joking with him about needing bifocals soon for almost 30 years. His nearsightedness has improved from being in my current range to only -4.5 or so currently.
Being a somewhat cynical boomer, I am used to seeing little changes to accommodate we old farts as we deteriorate - anyone remember the “Relaxed Fit” Levi’s? "Hey you fat-assed old farts -it’s OK that you need “Wide Load” signs on you butt! We added a yard or two! ads?
Last time I went in DMV for renewal, I glanced up at te eyesight charts and noticed they had made those easier for the old.
Surprise! At age 60, for the first time in my life, I passed the test without my glasses! For the firs time, there is no “corrective lenses required”.
Up until this thread, I thought it was kinda cool - now I suspect it is a side-effect of my Chronic Kidney Disease. Oh well, at least there is some benefit…
I finally got my new glasses, so I’ll answer OneCentStamp’s question above:
Yes, absolutely. It was like night and day when I got my new progressives. After suffering blurry vision for weeks, everything is crystal now. Sadly the optometrist (or the lens maker) botched my computer glasses, which still have a focus point far to close to the monitor (I make it 21", jeez), so I’m going back. But the progressives are aces with the new prescrip, so yes my vision really did change that much.
Whelp, finally got blood work back from the doc, and it’s official: my fasting blood sugar went from just under 100 (“pre-diabetic”) before my weight loss to 80, which she said is a good number to have. So that explains my vision change.
OTOH, my PSA is elevated, so I’m getting a prostate biopsy tomorrow.