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I took my glasses off today. I didn't wear them in the street and in the café, I felt a little rebellious, and a little naked. It felt good - yes everything was a little blurry. But also not magnified (glasses, well mine - see below - are essentially magnifying glasses) .. so the world seemed smaller - and equally I felt bigger, taller. And also somehow more normal, stable and balanced. And relaxed, more 'me' weirdly. I first noticed this when I was having trouble with balance and judging distances while snowboarding, cycling and skateboarding - taking the glasses off helped, but the blurriness was not ideal moving fast on a board/bike. I got some contact lenses which were better: they are closer to the eye and therefore require less magnification to correct the focus. But I have never really got along with putting them in and taking them out. Nor wearing them for that matter, kind of irritating all round. But it was nevertheless the contacts that made me realise how much I disliked wearing glasses.

I am not advising taking off your glasses for important activities - not for driving, extreme sports, reading, form-filling and so on, but for just walking around, having a coffee, catching the bus. (Please see the disclaimer below). Keep them with you of course but slip them off and slip them in your pocket if you can get by a little blurred for a while. They are there if you need them. You see I have never been happy since I was told to wear them all the time, a 'weaker' pair for long distance (driving, daily stuff) and a stronger pair for reading - computer work necessitated my first glasses some years back. We are talking about magnifications from 2.25 to 3.75 - my eyes differ slightly, and are getting worse - but this is the general range of correction - quite strong. So quite a significant effect in terms of clarity when I wear my prescribed lenses, yes, but also significant enlargement distortion that comes with the correction. And its that magnification of the world around me and how it affects me physically that is one of my major dislikes. And then there are the glasses themselves ..

I have wondered for some time if wearing glasses affects social interaction. Most people don't wear them. Many do of course, but I really have considered if they affect how people see you. See me. And maybe how I see myself ... Are people subconsciously "glassist" ? Yes, just a couple of plastic lenses over your eyes but equally very evident and somehow significant. Almost intrusive, almost a disability. If you wear glasses, look in a mirror and take them off - see how different you look (if its not too blurred 🙄). Likewise if you have a loved one or friend who wears them, do the same - with and without the specs is more remarkable than it somehow should be. And so during my first day I am wondering if maybe people react to me differently without them, or maybe, and in addition, I am seeing myself differently too.

I am not sure of my exact optical aberrations but I think I have hyperopia / presbyopia with some astigmatism - essentially nothing is clear - near or far. I need stronger glasses for reading/computers, and the last few years a permanent less strong set for everything else ie. driving - especially at night, shopping and general day-to-day. Annoyingly there is a middle-distance around 1-2 meters away where neither pair I own are correct - shopping glasses I need. I have tried progressive lenses but never got on with their requirement to look through a particular band of the lens depending on the situation and level of correction needed.

So more eye-nakedness tomorrow - this research is ongoing! Please add comments in the meantime.

Disclaimer - This is a discussion for mutual intellectual advancement. It is not advice and is without professional sanction. I am not a professional. You should wear your prescribed eyewear as advised by your medical specialist and always in situations where you are responsible for your and others safety. If you choose to experiment with alternative eye correction please do so only when it is safe to do so and always away from vehicles, machines, animals and children, and never when there is a risk of endangerment to yourself or others.