I have had many people approach me asking about my glasses in recent times, typically asking about different characteristics like the prescription, lenses, or frames, not necessarily what my visual acuity is. In honor of Blindness Awareness Month, here is how I answer the most common questions I receive about my glasses.
Whoah! Your glasses are huge!
Don’t they look awesome? While I get this comment less now that oversized glasses are in style, I still have had people be surprised that my glasses frame takes up a large portion of my face.
Why is there a scratch down the center?
Those are my bifocals, which allow me to read. It’s like a pair of reading glasses built in to a pair of regular glasses. I choose to have a lined bifocal because I don’t like using no-line bifocals at the computer.
You’re wearing glasses, so why can’t you see perfectly?
Just like crutches don’t make someone walk perfectly, glasses don’t always make someone see perfectly. Alternatively, the glasses I need haven’t been invented yet.
Why are you wearing sunglasses inside?
My eyes are very sensitive to light, and regular light for me is painful. So I wear these tinted glasses to decrease my sensitivity to light.
Can I try on your glasses?
No, I do not want to risk breaking them and the light hurts my eyes. I do have images that simulate how I see, though!
What do your eyes look like?
My eyes look like everyone else’s- I have two of them and they are brown in color. One of my eyes turns/crosses slightly inward because of a condition called accommodative esotropia. This causes my double vision.
How thick are your lenses?
My answer to this question changes depending on my current prescription. Currently, my answer is “pretty thick,” though I have had lenses that were extremely thick before.
What’s a prism?
A prism is like a magnifying glass that keeps me from having double vision. The power of the prism gets stronger when my double vision gets worse.
Can you take off your glasses?
I take them off when I am going to sleep or cleaning them, I do not take them off at any other time because of my light sensitivity.
You would look so much prettier without your glasses.
Well, I wouldn’t be able to see anything without my glasses, so I think I’ll keep wearing them. I’ve never been tempted to stop wearing my glasses or anything similar because I very much enjoy being able to see. I am inspired by one of my favorite musicians who wore glasses, even though he was pressured to go without them. Plus, there are plenty of cool artists that had vision impairments just like mine.
While I have seen many people answer these questions by insulting the person who asked in the first place, I much prefer to answer these questions simply, and maybe even with a bit of humor. Don’t make people feel stupid for not knowing something, instead educate them about whatever they want to know. It’s much more positive that way.