My daughter Lucy will turn fourteen in two weeks. She got her first pair of reading glasses this week.
My daughter Taylor is twenty-two, she got her first pair of reading glasses at seventeen. She wears them all day while at work.
I am fifty-five. I got my first pair of reading glasses at thirty-nine. My prescription was almost doubled two weeks ago.
When you look at those numbers you don’t have to be a genius to figure out what is going on.
My eyes started to go at the normal age. Forty is pretty much – or shall we say, was pretty much the norm for people with a history of 20-20 vision to start holding the book closer or further away. To squint and shake their heads to try and make the print look the way it used to.
Forty is the time when your eyes are supposed to weaken. For years, forty was the average age when people needed glasses to help them see better.
But thanks to the tiny little machines and the big ones we all stare at all day the age for glasses is becoming lower and lower.
I remember when Taylor got her glasses I thought she was young to start having eyesight issues. She was at the forefront of the kids who got their cell phones at 12 or 13. But they were not instant messaging as much then. It took off when she was about 14 or 15. She did spend a lot of time on her computer. She watched a normal TV. She did not stream her shows on her computer or iPhone. Her entire form of communication was not texting. She did the old fashioned thing with her phone, she talked on it.
But the eight years between them has made a big difference. Lucy knows nothing other than an iPhone. Since she was seven, she has been staring at tiny screens for much of her day. And it has without question wreaked havoc with her vision.
I asked my eye doctor about this and he confirmed the age is getting lower and lower for those who need glasses. And no matter what the age, people need stronger and stronger glasses. So you are not losing your mind when you think things look blurry and your eyes feel dry much of the time, you are just losing your iSight.
There is no real point to this – other than it makes sense and I find it disturbing.
There is no solution. We are all addicted to our smart phones and our computers. We won’t give them up. We will just all wear glasses that get stronger and stronger and we will start needing them younger and younger.
I am shocked when I see mothers handing babies phones to play with. I watched a kid in a restaurant the other day, he could not have been more than a year and a half. His parents handed him the iPhone and he played with it nonstop while they ate lunch in peace. So it has now become a great babysitter too.
Lucy quite likes her glasses. She thinks they look Jenna Lyons cool. Taylor likes hers too; she looks very professional.
Wait until they can’t see a menu without them or need them to see print of any size. Wait until they spend hours looking for them, because they are panicked they lost them and know without them they are sunk. I actually hate to think of how bad their eyes will be by the time they are my age if they are wearing glasses this young.
Maybe the phones will be like the ones in HER and they will read to you and come with a free pair of glasses with every purchase.
Progress always has a price. Too bad this time it’s our iSight.