A woman is looking straight ahead while trying on eye glasses. There are shelves of glasses behind her.

My Vision Journey (Part 1)

When I was a junior in high school, I failed the school vision test. I could not read the letters below a certain line from far away the way I had been able to before. The person who was instructing the test handed me a slip of paper and said I should be referred to an eye doctor to get glasses. Secretly, I was thrilled by this news.

I had always wanted to get glasses. Something about the way glasses make people look different excited me. I wanted to know who I would be and how I would look if I had to wear glasses. With glasses, I could picture myself differently, at least, that’s how I imagined it would be.

My first pair of glasses

My mom took me to her eye doctor, who is still my eye doctor today. He looked at my eyes and did a vision test. My distance vision was a little blurry. He prescribed lenses with a small prescription since the change in my vision wasn’t drastic.

The first pair of glasses I got was a small rounded pair with a black and white flowery-type pattern on both sides. I was obsessed with them. I would wear them even when I didn’t need to because I thought I looked cooler with them than without (when really my appearance didn’t really change but it’s the thought that counts, right?).

The obsession lasted a few months until I settled into a routine of forgetting them when I needed them. I went through a phase in college where I would put them on my shirt and wear them as a fashion statement.

New glasses for new reasons


As the years went by, I developed an astigmatism in one eye. I got a couple of different pairs of glasses. I leaned into bigger rounded brown frames for a while. My far-away vision fluctuated a little but I never needed to wear my glasses every day. My vision was always a little off, like words on a menu or an exit sign would be hard to read depending on the text size but it wasn’t like everything was blurry all the time.

Wearing glasses because I developed thyroid eye disease

It wasn’t until seven years later when I was 25 that I first needed glasses that I was forced to wear them every day. This was because I developed thyroid eye disease (TED). The circumstances I found myself in forced me to wear glasses. No one told me it was mandatory for me to wear them all the time. It was a natural choice to wear glasses when my life dramatically changed due to TED.

It’s silly for me to now think of how I would wear my glasses before I developed TED. I would wear them not sure if they were actually doing anything to help my eyes. Could these actually help me see better? Or was the difference ever so slight that I had no proof that my vision was being improved by wearing glasses? Until everything changed in one day, the day I developed double vision.

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