It has been nearly three years since I had laser eye surgery (LASIK, to be specific) to correct my -3.5 short-sightedness. I regularly forget that I ever wore glasses and I take my 20/20 vision completely for granted now, but as a few people have asked me about it recently I thought I’d come up with a list of just some of the ways it has CHANGED MY LIFE…
1. I no longer have to suffer through people asking to try my glasses on. Why does anyone think it’s acceptable to grab your glasses off your face to ‘try them on’? a) they’re making you temporarily blind b) they won’t be able to see what they look like anyway unless by some miracle you share the same prescription and c) GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY GLASSES.
2. I can see better than ever before. I thought getting LASIK would mean that I would see the way I saw with lenses/glasses but without the hassle factor of lenses/glasses. Ohhhhhh how wrong I was! I’ve never had vision like I do now, it’s better than 20/20. I can see things in such crystal clear precision that it’s hard to believe this is how ‘normal’ people see ALL THE TIME. The lucky swines. There used to be an annoying ad on TV where a woman said “it’s like seeing in HD” and, irritatingly, she’s 100% correct.
3. Cheap high street sunglasses become a viable option. Be gone, prescription Chanel sunglasses! Hello, £10 pairs from Topshop that you can wear in the sea! Instead of being one of your most prized possessions which you constantly worry about losing, sunglasses can be what they’re supposed to be: trendy face accessories that you can get wet/sit on/lose at a festival without needing to extend your overdraft.
4. I can watch TV in bed. I always thought I was “above” watching telly in bed, turns out that my snobbishness was just driven by the fact I couldn’t see the screen. Now that I can be half asleep with my face smooshed into a pillow without glasses digging into my facial bones, I quite like watching TV in bed. (I love watching TV in bed).
5. I have a lot less headaches. Contact lens headaches are a special kind of hell and lots of people with eyesight issues suffer from particularly nasty migraines. I don’t now. Praise be!
6. I don’t have to put up with people assuming things about me because of my glasses. Wear a certain type of frame whilst also daring to be female and you’re “trying to look like a sexy secretary” (nope, just trying to see thanks!), wear a thicker style and you’re a hipster, wear another style again and you “must be really smart”. The worst thing though was people thinking I wore glasses “to look cool” rather than “to see”. WHY WOULD A SANE PERSON DO THAT?!
7. Allergies and hayfever become that bit more bearable. Sure, sneezing/coughing/scratching is still suitably hideous, but it’s a lot better when you’re not constantly rubbing itchy hayfever eyes that have contacts in. Ever rubbed a contact lens into the back corner of your eye and had to spend hours trying to fish it back out? It doesn’t feature on many “Top 10 Things To Do” lists.
8. I don’t have to remember to pack lens solution and all that other nonsense every time I go away. Nor do I have to try to store my contact lenses in washed out shot glasses when I unexpectedly find myself staying out overnight. (Worse still? When someone accidentally drinks your contact lenses when hungover the next morning).
9. The unbearable gritty pain of wearing contacts at a computer all day has vanished. You have a few crappy days post-surgery, sure, but after that you’ll barely be able to remember what it feels like to peel bone dry contacts off your desperately bloodshot eyeballs.
10. Flying is a doddle. No more worries about gaggy recirculated air drying out your lens wearing eyes or – if you’re a glasses gal – losing your glasses in the back seat pocket.
11. I can see when I wake up. There’s something a bit frightening about not being able to see if you wake up in the night. I felt genuinely vulnerable. Sure, your glasses are probably on your bedside table, but sometimes mine weren’t and there’s nothing like the joy of looking for your glasses whilst NEEDING YOUR GLASSES TO BE ABLE TO FIND THEM.
12. People have learnt what I actually look like. On the occasions when I wore contacts, I was always bemused by the number of people who’d say “oh wow! I didn’t recognise you without your glasses!”. Like, really?! You genuinely didn’t know who I was without the plastic around my eyes? Ok then.
13. I don’t have to spend a week and a half wearing the same ‘daily’ pair of contacts because I forgot to order more. I was constantly running out of contacts, then refusing to pay optician prices for more, then waiting two weeks for super savvy economy delivery of weird ‘online only’ lenses, then wondering why my eyes were REALLY REALLY SORE.
14. Swimming has become a thing I can actually do. Yes I know that prescription goggles exist, but who has the time for such luxuries?! Getting back into swimming was the best thing that happened to me after my LASIK. Being able to see in normal goggles and not worrying about being blind or getting chlorine in lens sensitive eyes is an absolute delight.
15. 3D films are easy to enjoy. Nothing like not wanting to wear contacts, so having to wear 3D glasses over your regular glasses at the cinema. Mmmmmm speccy six eyes.
16. No more hours lost fighting the losing battle of keeping my glasses clean. I wore glasses for more than a decade, in that period there was probably no more than three minutes where my glasses were smudge and smear free. It was a constant fight and it’s a fight that’s impossible to win.
17. I don’t have to constantly fret about losing my glasses. Losing your glasses is a VERY BIG DEAL. They’re horribly expensive to replace and, in the meantime, you won’t be able to see. Lucky you!
18. I can actually see my face when doing my make-up. When it comes to wearing glasses, the make-up application struggle is real. Doing a bit of eyeliner, putting your glasses on to check you’re doing it right, doing a bit more, checking through your glasses again, doing a bit more (repeat to fade) is NOT MUCH FUN.
19. I have an actual interest in wearing eye make-up. Glasses are good for hiding behind, sure. But eye make-up is great once you get into it, plus you don’t have to worry about stupid bloody ‘contact lens friendly’ mascara…you can shove any old nonsense on your face!
20. I don’t have to worry about sensitivities generally. Cleansing, SPF, make-up…all that good stuff that can irritate the hell out of contact lens wearing eyes? WORRY NO MORE! You could probably rub shampoo in your eyes if you wanted to. (Don’t though).
21. I don’t have to worry about the cost of glasses/lenses/check-ups. My prescription was always changing so I couldn’t always justify getting my glasses updated. Wearing glasses is not a cheap business. Sure, it’s a lot better now thanks to online sellers, but it used to be normal for me to go to the opticians and leave a few hundred pounds poorer every single bloody time. And I always resented my contact lens bill. “Why should we have to pay more than everyone else just because our eyes don’t work properly?” whinges were my speciality.
But nearly three years on? Still the best thing ever.
If you’re thinking about it, just do it!