As a child, I used to get terrible headaches at school. Teachers complained that my handwriting was poor and that I never copied information down from the board correctly. For several years they assumed I was lazy, although I was in fact naturally quite bright. It was aged 8, after complaining of seeing white lights in my eyes that my Mum took me to the opticians. It turned out I had needed glasses all along.
After being kitted out with a standard pair of prescription lenses, my handwriting and spelling improved rapidly. The terrible headaches disappeared, along with the bad moods and feelings of frustration I had often experienced, presumably because of the fact that I couldn’t see anything properly. Now that I had glasses I wondered at how I had managed without them. Everything was so crisp and clear – the whole world seemed to be new.
The only downside to wearing glasses was that, inevitably, children at school started to make fun of me. I’m not sure whether they just thought I looked funny, or whether they somehow associated glasses with being annoyingly clever. Either way, the next couple of years were a misery. My ever-loving mother tried to spice up my spectacles by painting the frames in bright colours, but this didn’t seem to do the trick. In fact, the kids laughed more!
In the end, I decided enough was enough. At 13, I was apparently old enough to start wearing contact lenses, as long as they didn’t interfere with my eyes. So along I went to a new optician in the centre of town, to have a trial pair of contact lenses assigned to me.
Just as before, it was a miracle to be able to see clearly, without having to wear anything on my face. Contact lenses made me feel so much more confident and positive about the way I looked. I vowed I would never go back to spectacles again.
Thirteen years later, however, and my situation had changed. Although I still loved wearing contact lenses, I often found that my eyes felt tired and dry after several hours of wearing them. Perhaps it’s because I wore lenses from such a young age, but more and more often I had to take them out before the end of the day. So, I needed to find a pair of glasses to wear again, in order to give my eyes a rest.
I approached the task of choosing new frames with trepidation. All the old insecurities about wearing glasses came rushing back. I needn’t have worried, however. The website I looked on had loads of fantastic glasses, including designer frames from Emporio Armani, Lipsy, Bench and Diesel. I was spoilt for choice and ended up settling for a simple, but stylish pair which I thought would work well with either casual or work wear.
Now, I strike a balance between contacts and glasses. I know that, unlike as a child, when I wear my frames now I look and feel fabulous!
Jane Downton was pleased to find a range of prescription glasses when she started searching online.