She placed the lens in front of my eye. The letters snapped to attention and I could suddenly read what had a second ago been blurry. It felt like a miracle. Perfect vision in the blink of an eye. If only my hearing were so easy to correct. But unfortunately, hearing aids are not yet like glasses.
When you have hearing loss, your eyesight is critically important. Visual clues are essential for communication and also to keep you safe when out and about, since we may not hear cars or bikers approaching. I typically visit my eye doctor once a year for a check-up and vision test to keep things operating smoothly.
But when my eyesight changed unexpectedly, I balked. Even though I said out loud at least twice a day, “I can’t see,” I ignored it. Maybe it is a bout of vertigo, I thought. Or the change of seasons. I let it go for weeks, even months, which was very foolish.
In hindsight, this reminds me of how people treat their first indications of hearing loss — explaining it away and denying it, sometimes for as long as 7 to 10 years! Why was I making this mistake with my vision?
The last straw was when I almost cut my finger while slicing something in the kitchen. I had been lucky to avoid injury and went right to the phone to call my eye doctor. After a thorough exam, she determined that my eyesight had actually improved! My contact lenses were over-correcting my vision, leading to the difficulty in reading and with balance. I didn’t know your vision could improve with age! Maybe it is all the yoga I do.
My new contact lens prescription was like a miracle cure. Instead of declaring in frustration every day that I couldn’t see, I could now enjoy the crispness of the letters as I type. I could see rather than fumble with my locker combination at the yoga studio. A slight shift in my prescription and my vision problems were solved. I felt like I had won the lottery.
If I had typical hearing, I think I would have taken this experience for granted, but knowing how I still frequently struggle with my hearing, even when wearing hearing aids, I appreciated how easy it was to restore my vision.
I am very grateful for my hearing aids, but eagerly await continued technological advances. Perhaps one day, hearing aids will be more like glasses. We can always hope.
Readers, do you take good care of your eyes?