This Is Near… This Is Faaaar!

Most people my age are already wearing reading glasses on a regular basis. When I had LASIK surgery almost ten years ago, the doctors had a plan to use my nearsightedness to hold off the onset of “cheaters.” Their plan worked. They corrected my right eye for distance while leaving my left eye slightly nearsighted for reading, giving me monovision.

The Campbell Cunningham Laser Center gave me the surgery in exchange for doing endorsement commercials at my first radio job in Knoxville. The doctors recently bought an advertising schedule on Star 102.1, which would give me the opportunity for an enhancement, should I be a candidate for more surgery.

At the time of my surgery, the doctors told me that my distance vision would get a little worse over time, just as it had my entire life. I started wearing glasses when I was ten. Every couple of years I would need a stronger prescription. About six years ago, my distance vision began to degrade, as predicted. Dr. Allyn Hildebrand gave me a prescription for glasses that I use when driving or when I’m in a theatre.

On Monday, I got an exam from Dr. Hildebrand. My eyes are in better shape than I realized. He said the flaps from my surgery looked great. My new prescription is almost exactly the same as the glasses I’ve been using. He advised me to not rush into choosing more surgery.

If they correct the vision in both my eyes, I would definitely need reading glasses. They could give me surgery in just one eye, maintaining my monovision but that has its pros and cons. In my case, I would be able to read with my left eye and see things in the distance with my right. However neither eye would focus clearly on objects about one meter away.

Dr. Hildebrand gave me a single contact lens so I could “test drive” the potential surgery. It worked great driving home from the exam and driving to work the next morning. It also felt good during Tuesday night’s Einstein Simplified show. It did not feel good at work. The computer screen I use at the radio studio is about one meter away, which puts it in the “dead zone” for me. By the end of the morning, I had a feeling similar to a mild case of motion sickness.

In the time since Monday’s appointment, I’ve come to think that the best answer for me is the contact lens. When I am emcee of an event or appearing on television, it would be nice to be able to see both the notes in my hand and the audience or the teleprompter. I could pop in the contact lens for those situations. Every morning when I need to see the computer screens in my “dead zone,” I could go without the lens and without the “dead zone.” I still have a few more days to think it over before my follow-up visit next week.

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