The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Wonky Ears

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.


hope said...

I laugh only because I once had a pair of sunglasses which did that and I thought it was me...thankfully it turned out to be the sunglasses. :)

I have a pair for the computer which are tinted an odd orange: they're made for use at the computer as they counteract the white glare of the screen.

Can't stand them! Hubby, on the other hand, thinks they're great...but he doesn't spend as much time in them as I do.

Here's to the fun of having birthdays that turn our human parts into a science experiment when we least expect it. :)

Carole said...

Now your face has even more character. Nice.

Pat said...

I never know if I ought to wear my reading glasses for the computer or not.
How about you play the next game of Scrabble sans glasses?
Is anybody perfectly symetrical?
Not many gels I think.

Anonymous said...

oh are priceless! if I counted all the oddities of my body (and my mind) I'd probably be here way past the normal time my body will undergo its final collapse! at almost the big 70 finding a new oddity is the oddities of aging outweigh the oddities of genetics! ;-)

Guyana-Gyal said...

Holding down ctrl and the plus sign at the same time makes the words on the computer screen big.

My right foot is a tad bigger than my left...buying shoes can be such a bother, thank goodness I mostly wear sandals.

expat@large said...

LOL re: ears. My glasses sit obliquely because I keep putting them down on the couch and later sitting on them. Bending them back into a serviceable alignment is never satisfactory.

TalesNTypos said...


Rab said...

As hope said Kim get the glasses checked out too. I had sunglasses also which once upon a time had been fine but then started to sit squint one summer making me think it was my ears- turned out to be the glasses.

Like yourself I am selective in using specs but unlike the new you I really should be wearing mine more.

All the best


Jayne Martin said...

Oh, my friend... How you do make me laugh. My sympathies on your uneven ears. And I have several pairs of glasses and contacts, and still can't see worth beans. I'm always switching them up depending on the circumstances. And I think the people who print up labels are all sadistic bastards.

Anonymous said...

What a coincidence..I'm in the process a new eyeglass prescription too. Instead of saying to my optician what I knew knew that my eyesight has deteriorated, I said it's "matured". As really it has.

Anonymous said...

See I typed "knew" twice. The prescription is being processed..till then.

Kim Ayres said...

Hope - never tried tinted glasses for the computer. If the screen's too bright, I adjust the settings :)

Carole - I've been finding out it's not that uncommon - indeed nearly all of us have a whole range of unsymmetrical features. In portrait photography, for example it's extremely common to come across people with one eye slightly smaller than the other :)

Pat - if you find yourself squinting at the screen at all, then you should probably be wearing your glasses :) And I think you're right - I don't think anyone is perfectly symmetrical :)

Theanne - I certainly seem to have found a lot more since I passed 40. Mind you, I don't think I was looking as much before then - we become much more aware of our bodies not behaving quite like we expected as we age :)

Guyana-Gyal - I've heard there are websites where you can get together with people who have odd sized feet but the other way round, so you can match up with them and buy shoes together :)

Expat - I can imagine that would create a few problems :)

Adila - :)

Rab - it's definitely my ears - I checked several times and with my wife's glasses before writing the blog post :)

Jayne - even with my glasses on I couldn't make out the details on something the othe day and had to go and find a magnifying glass!

Allen - "matured" tends to imply it's improved with age. Are you one of those people who started out short sighted, but have got longer sighted as you've aged, so are now evening out?

Anonymous said...

I'm evened out, improved or not.

Kim Ayres said...

Nice to hear it :)

Attila the Mom said...

Kim, you can buy these funny little foam tubes---I put them on my oxygen nose hose to protect the back of my ears when I sleep. They come in different thicknesses and maybe if you put it on the lower side? LOL

Kim Ayres said...

Attila - you could be on to something there. Maybe I could try blu-tack...

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