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An older person holds sunglasses that fit over their regular glasses and looks over their shoulder at two other pairs of glasses.

Readers, Sunglasses and Blue Blockers

I went shopping at Costco the other day. In the middle of a pandemic! They had a special on 2 pairs of reading glasses. They had 100% UVA and UVB protection reading sunglasses, as well as what I was looking for: blue-blocking readers. The sunglasses had no top or side protection, so not a good option for anyone with macular degeneration.

Finding new glasses

I’m ready for new glasses, but mine are not too far off what I need, and I’d rather wait for this virus to have a vaccine before I go to a different office for the exam. My retinal specialist said my eyes were stable enough that getting new glasses now wouldn’t be a waste of money. Those injections were doing their job. As a matter of fact, I recently had one after 12 weeks, and still no bleed!

Readers

I had taken my friend with 2% vision with me to Costco. We’ve discussed my macular degeneration and her stroke, which caused her loss of vision, so she understands the basics - but when I settled on the 250 strength readers she said something about “you can’t have poor eyesight if you only need 250!” This leads me to believe there must be many out there who think they understand, but really don’t. I think most people don’t realize that glasses can’t help macular degeneration. No glasses are going to get rid of that little grey smudge in the centre of my right eye.

Glasses, technology, and the sun

My current glasses have photochromic lenses, which were perfect when I bought them a few years ago, but now when I’m trying to read, or do anything requiring close vision outside on a sunny day, not so great. Especially trying to use the iPad. The glasses darken, then the iPad dims in the sunlight!

As we need to wear sunglasses that block the UV rays at the top and sides, these transitions are not the answer anymore. When I wear my “fit-over” Cocoons sunglasses, my prescription lenses still darken just enough that it is too difficult to see anywhere but in strong sunlight. When I have new glasses that stay clear, the Cocoons will again be perfect.

Sunglasses for driving

The next thing on my shopping list was sunglasses for driving. I had broken the arm off my favourite pair. They were old, but the only ones with a colour that allowed me to still see the electronically generated words and symbols by the map display.

The perfect pair

Even the amber colour of my Cocoons makes it too difficult to see the display well. The search began. I bought a few pairs, took them to the car to check, and returned them right away. One shop even let me just take some out to try!

But I finally found the perfect pair at the local drugstore. They provide 100% UVA and UVB protection, are amber coloured, but just the right colour to still be able to see those orange electronic letters on my car’s dashboard. Another big plus is that the tint is graduated; much lighter at the bottom. Some of the newer cars are looking at blue as the default colour for all user interfaces, which should make it easier to see. But that supposes we could afford one.

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