2½ years ago, I was aware my eyesight wasn’t quite what it used to be, so visited the local optician. After various tests he told me my eyesight was still ok, but I had abnormally small pupils, which had a side effect of giving me better eyesight than I should for the level of deterioration (for those who understand aperture settings in photography, it’s like having pupils set at f/8 when the rest of the population has f/5.6, thereby giving me a better depth of focus. For those who don’t understand aperture settings on photography – never mind, it’s not really that important).
6 months later I bought a basic pair of glasses from the cheap store (£1.99) just for those times when I was tired and couldn’t read the TV guide, or for checking the hideously small fonts used on the ingredients lists on certain food packaging.
6 months after that I went back to the optician and got a proper pair of glasses that took into account one of my eyes was fractionally weaker than the other.
For the past year I’ve been wearing them for reading and for doing Sudoku puzzles only. As such, they’ve always sat on the end of my nose so I can peer over them at the rest of the world, which is in focus without them.
More recently, I’ve been aware of my eyes straining more when at the computer, and with the need to write the book of the experience of being artist-in-residence at the Wigtown Book Festival, about 2 weeks ago I decided to wear them for computer use too. Suddenly the number of headaches reduced and I realised I should have done this several months earlier.
However, sitting at the computer I need to have the glasses on properly, pushed up my nose rather than sitting on the end.
This has resulted in the discovery that my ears are uneven, with my left ear positioned about a centimetre lower than my right, so my glasses lie with a distinct diagonal tilt on my face.
After 45½ years I find it amazing I can still discover odd things about my body I had no idea about.
Perhaps it’s time to revive the fashion of the pince-nez.