Swimming Pool Simulation

“This is the reason why I seldom swim”, Jeany told me, while showing the picture below. “Without glasses, I can’t find the swimming pool!”

The picture to the left is how Jeany see, without her -20 correction, and the one to the right is how Jeany sees when she wears her glasses. Everything look smaller, but sharp and clear. And Jeany can find the swimming pool.


Difficulties with Extreme Myopia

Everyone knows that someone with myopia is unable to see clearly distant object. And glasses or contact lenses correct myopia by altering the focus of the eye so that distant object become clear. However, as myopia grows stronger (or severe), things are not as simple as that.

General consensus usually classify severe myopia to those who need glasses stronger than -6D in order to see distant object. With prescription of more than 3 times of the limit, my friend Jeany definitely qualify as someone with severe myopia. In fact, some reference classify it as extreme myopia.

Jeany recently share to me on how her severe (or extreme) myopia is different to low-moderate myopia.

Being Without Glasses

Lets admit it, us glasses wearer must have 1-2 incidents that forced us to go without glasses. For low myopia, it is probably an inconvenience. For those with extreme myopia, it is a disabilities to be without glasses.

To give some idea, Jeany allows me to test her vision:

  1. In order to see clearly to read small print, Jeany need to put the material 6 cm from her eyes. That is like almost touching her nose.Also, at that distance, the eyes can’t converge, so Jeany sees double unless she close one of her eyes
  2. If I’m sitting next to her, which is around arm-length, Jeany won’t be able to recognize me without her glasses. My facial features become visible (not clear) .just few centimeters from her eyes.
  3. At 1 meter, Jeany can’t tell if someone is there or not, unless he/she moves.
  4. The big E on the chart will completely disappear from Jeany without her glasses. Heck, even the doctor with her white coat will be very hard to see unless she moves

Difficulty of Getting Glasses

Glasses is part of fashion style, especially for those who need it to even get around. However, getting stylish glasses for those with extreme myopia is not easy, for several reasons:

  1. The lens will be thick. To hide the thickness and make it more aesthetically better, extreme myopia is limited to small glasses
  2. The frame should also strong enough to hold those thick heavy lenses. Most of rimless frame is out of the question. And usually extreme myopia will be limited to glasses with thick frame
  3. It is expensive. It is hell expensive, because probably they know that we can’t live without it. Therefore it limits on how many pairs that one person can afford.
  4. It is also a bit of a hassles to try glasses frames. As Jeany said, it is impossible to see her whole face without any correction because she need to be ridiculously close to mirror, while trying a new frame. Fortunately, camera phones save the day.

Putting on Make Up

With glasses, you can’t put a make up around your eyes. Without glasses, you can’t see well enough to put on the make up. Jeany need to have her nose touching the mirror to see clearly to put on make up. And then she don’t have enough space between the mirror and her eyes for the brush for the make up.

Solution? Get someone to help, or do like what the girl in the video do.

Switching Between Glasses to Contact to Glasses

Glasses distort vision. And as the power goes higher, the more distorted the vision is. Which is why for most of the time Jeany choose to wear contact lenses. But one can’t wear contact lenses forever. The eyes will scream

Once I was with Jeany traveling on airplane. Jeany need to switch from her contact lenses to glasses at the airport. She almost trip a couple of time, not because she can’t see, but because things are, in her words, so small, far and curved.

Light Sensitivity

I’m not sure why the extremely myopic eyes are very light sensitive. At least that is the case with Jeany, compared to my (also high myopia) eyes. However, switching to just any $10 sunglasses won’t definitely works with Jeany. She will definitely look and act like a blind lady.

For Jeany, she choose to spend more money to buy another sun glasses. Not a cheap one, but some quite expensive glasses..

Night Blindness

On the other extreme, Jeany also have poor vision in low light condition. At one point in time, I need to hold Jeany’s hand in a club in order for her not to stumble into things.

Without her glasses in low light condition, she will need to feel her way around.


“Hands, have you found my glasses?” Eyes asked impatiently.

“Not really, wait a moment”, answered Hands. Then a sound of something being dropped was heard

“Ummm…. I think I dropped your glasses”, Hands continue

“WHAT? What do you mean you DROPPED my glasses?” Eyes shouting. “I can’t see without them”

“Wait… wait…. I’ll find it for you.” Hands answered. Now Hands is groping all over the floor.

“Have you found them? Are they broken?” Eyes feel wet as tears begin to show up.

“No, I still can’t find them. Can you help to tell me where they are?” Hands sounds helpless

“I can’t see anything. You know I’m blind without my glasses. Everything is just shapeless colors running together without glasses.” Now Eyes were in full tears and sounds panicked.

“I can’t find them,” Hands give up. “I think we need Mouth to call for help.”

Glasses Store Experience for -20 Myopia

Jeany, a close friend of mind, shared her experience in visiting a glasses store to make new glasses. She usually wore contacts, but she said that many of her recent colleagues seems to admire girl with glasses. And Jeany, when she wore glasses, is not an ordinary girl with glasses. She has very high myopia, with -20 glasses prescription. And this is her story, with some twitch.

I crossed the street to McShane Glasses Store, leaving my car in front of the fast food restaurant where I just finish my early dinner. Since the day is still pretty early, I think I’ll just pay a visit to this glasses store to make new glasses. Not that I need one, since I’m mostly wear contact lenses. But it seems that some colleagues that I met during some business meeting seems to adore Girl With Glasses. Few of them also pretty nice looking, and I won’t mind being adored by some of them, for business or maybe, for long term relationship.

“Good evening, welcome to McShane. May I help you?”, a man behind the counter greeted me.

“Yes. I need new glasses. Can you make glasses for very high myopia?”, I implored. Not so many optical shop can make glasses in my range, especially glasses shop in a small village.

“Yes we can. What is your prescription? Do you have it with you?”

“Ummm, I can’t remember. It has been a while since I ordered a new glasses. I’m mostly wearing contact lenses these days, and they are at -18 range”, I answered.

The man paused for a moment. “Yes we can, but it will take a while as we work with a lab to make the glasses. It will be around 1 week. Is it OK with you?”, he finally responded.

I will be in the town for 2-3 weeks, so this is not a problem to me. “Yeah sure”, I said. “You will need to take new measurement for me. Where can I take out my contact lenses? I will also need contact lenses case and new contact lens solution”, I said.

The man grab new lens case, and a bottle of contact lens solution. “The lens case is free if you decided to buy glasses from us. The solution is also free for use by our customer”, he said as he handed me both.

So, I walk into the bathroom, wash my hand, and took out each of the lens, and put them into the new contact lens case. I’m used to the routine every day, but I usually do it at the comfort of my well known home that I can walk around with my eyes closed. But taking out my contact lenses, and being without correction for my high myopia made me feel blind. Once I walk out from the bathroom, I almost feel the urge to feel my way around. However, I save myself from such humiliation, and able to walk back to the showroom.

And another problem emerge. Without my correction, I can’t tell where is the counter, or the man that serve me. Everything was so bright and blends together, making it impossible for me to discern anything. So I bit the bullet and open my mouth.

‘Hello”, I said.

“Over here”, I hear a voice. I tried to look into the origin of the voice, but unable to really see if someone there. Even when I’m squinting hard.

“Are you there? I can’t see you”, I said. Not long after I see a shadow coming closer to me.

“Over here”, I heard he said while taking my hand. “Lets walk to the examination room.”

He helped me to walk into a dark room, and get me a chair to sit on. I can see a shadow of a device in front of me, to which he asked me to put my chin on. An auto refractor. I put my chin on the chin rest, and he pushed few buttons. First I see some light on my left eye, then my right eye.

“The machine can’t refract your eyes. Please sit on the chair behind you,” he said. I look back, and see a big dark shadow. Slowly I move to the shadow while putting my hand in the front. Once I feel the chair, I set myself to sit on it.

I can see a light in the distance, but unable to make anything out of it, until he put on trial lens in front of my eyes. I can see the big E. Not in focus, but good enough to tell that it is a big E. However, once he pushed a button and make three rows of smaller letters, all I can see is few black smears.

“I can’t read anything. Is it a D or and O?” I asked

“It is a D. Not bad. What about the next line?” He responded

“Not a chance.” I said

“OK, this is your current contact lens prescription, -18. I’m going to put more power”, he said as he put another lens. The additional power helped to put the letters in focus. I thought that is the 20/20 line, but he clicked further to show 3 rows of even smaller letter, which I can’t read.

“Holy shit. I thought that was the 20/20 line,” I said. “I think I need more lens power”

He complied, and switching the trial lens with another stronger one. This time everything come quite focused. However, the letter become too small to read. I can successfully read the first row with few mistakes.

“The 20/20 line is on the 2nd row. Can you make anything out of it?” He asked

“No”, I said. “They are very small”

“OK, that’s all I can do for now. You are now at -21, 3 diopter over your contact lens. If I add more power, it will make you dizzy. You are at 20/40, and it should allow you to drive”, he said. “Now come with me to choose your frame.” He took off the trial lens and start walking to the door.

“Umm… actually, can I keep the trial lens? I really can’t see anything”, I told him.

“Yeah sure, it is to your left”, he said.

I look to the left, and see nothing that resemble glasses. I started groping when I heard a voice.

“Here you go,” he said while putting the glasses on my hand.

“Thank you,” I said, a bit embarrassed on how blind I am without any correction.

I followed him to the display room. The next few minutes is a repetition of me putting off the trial lens, putting on blank glasses, took a selfie, take off the blank glasses, putting on the trial lens and look at the photo on my phone. Sometime I missed, because I can’t really see the phone screen through the blank lens, so he ended up helped me to take my picture.

“OK, I’m down to these 3. Which one will you suggest?” I asked him.

“Hmm….. your glasses will be heavy, so I would choose a frame that is strong enough. It will also be thick, so a thicker frame will help to hide the thickness. But nevertheless, the lens will still protrude from the frame.” He paused a bit and pointed to one of the glasses. “I think this one is better from function-wise.”

“OK. I think I will be very dependent on my glasses, so better choose the strong one. I can always pick and choose my blouse and change my hairstyle to hide the thickness. By the way, how thick are they going to be?” I wondered.

“It will be very thick. Kinda fitting the description of coke bottle. We don’t have a very high index stock that go to that prescription.” He said.

Now I’m ecstatic. I’m pretty sure my business colleague will enjoy the sight of a girl with very thick glasses. And it will also help with the business discussion. In fact, this is the reason why I want a new glasses. So I immediately agree and pay the price.

“Your glasses will be ready in 2-3 days. Now, if you want to put your contact in, the lens solution is still over the counter”, he said.

“No, no need,” I said as I took off the trial lens. The whole world immediately turns into shapeless world. “I have spare glasses in my car across the street. I’ll just wear my glasses the whole evening.”

With this I took the order sheet, and bid him farewell. Once I turn, I just realize that I don’t know which way is the way out. So, with another embarrassment, I look to him and said: “Can you show me the door? I’m sorry but I’m really blind without my glasses”

“Oh sure. Follow me.” I followed him, and he was kind enough to open the door for me. Otherwise, I will probably walk into the door.

“Do you want me to help you cross the street and find your car?” He asked.

“No, I’ll be fine”, I said, saving myself from another embarrassment.

“OK, have a nice evening,” he said as he close the door.

“When I turn my back and head towards the street, now I really realize that I’m totally blind. I can see the restaurant neon sign across the street, where I parked my car. But that’s about it. I walk carefully, making small step, because I can’t see what I”m stepping on. The black patch can be a hole, or a gravel, and it make me tripped couple of time.

I come to the side of the street. I can see headlight from the left, but unable to judge how far are they. So, I decided to wait. Once the car pass, I make my way to cross the street. I gave up and stretch my arm in front of me. I’m so relieved when I arrived on the other side of the street and my finger touches the fence.

Now, how am I going to find my car? I know in general direction of where I parked my car. But then the parking lot was so dark. There are few lights, but they made me dizzy instead of helping. I feel my way around the fence, and get into the other side. Letting the fence go, I started to walk to where I think I park my car. In order not to humiliate myself, I didn’t extend my arm, and paying the price. I hit a pole, and fell.

Few people come and help me stand. Immediately after I stand, I feel disoriented.

“Are you OK?” I heard a familiar voice

I decided to give in and ask for help. “No, I’m not OK. I lost my contacts, and I’m blind without them. I have spare glasses in my car. Can you help me to get to my car?”

“Sure”, the gentleman said. He asked for my license plate number, and held my hand to the car.

“Thank you,” I said. Then something struck me. “Are you the guy from the glasses shop?”

“Yes I am”, he said

“How come you can help me so fast?” I asked.

“I’ve been following you. I know you can’t see well because my mom also wear glasses as thick as your glasses. She is really helpless without glasses, and will put out her arm in front, just like when you cross the street.”

I’m blushed. “I really can’t see anything. Everything is so dark, blurred and the light make me dizzy”


“There you go young lady. This is your car”, he said. Do you need another help?

“Yes, if you don’t mind. Can you please take my glasses from the drawer?”, I asked, totally humiliated

“Yeah sure”, he said. After few minutes, he handed me over a case. “Here you go”

I feel blindly until he took my hand and put the case in my arm. I opened it, and put the glasses on.

“Thank you so much”. I gave him a kiss in the cheek. “I owe you a dinner.”

“No problem. You are customer, so you owe me nothing”, he said.

“BTW, I haven’t got your name”, I asked him

“Adam”, he said

“OK Adam. Lets meet somewhere for dinner in 3 days, and you can take my glasses”, I teased him

“Ummm OK. I’ll give you a call”, he said. “See you in 3 days Jeany”

Super Power: Seeing Things Up Close

In Response to WordPress Discover Challenge: Superpower

My super power is the ability to see things up close, very close, like 8 cm away from my eyes. And this super power allows me to read very small prints, which normal people unable to read without magnifier.

Like most people with super power, they hide their power to blend in with normal people. I wear glasses to hide my power most of the time, a -12 glasses to blend in with normal people.


2016 Popular Post

In response to WordPress Discover Challenge: Retrospective

I am always happy to check on the statistic of this blog. Not because on how many visitors read a post, or comments  or likes that a post received, but more on which post caught people’s attention most.

So, from the stats, I look into the full year’s search engine terms that bring people to this site. And this is the top 5

  1. “see blackboard from 3 meters”. Google search on that term put page 2 of “Going Without Glasses” category as top result.
  2. “blind without her glasses”. This search term seems only for someone who are obsessive towards girl with glasses, and that is really describing me and what I’ve written in this blog
  3. how i see without my glasses“. A generic search term for someone who are wondering about myopia and how a person who need glasses see without them. I’ve post many simulation of my vision without glasses.
  4. going without glasses“. If number 3 above is those who want to know about the vision, this search term is for those who are curious on how we survive without our glasses. Not easy for a high myope like me.
  5. sex with glasses“. And finally, the S word. I don’t write much about it, so I’m a little bit surprised to see the search term landed an attention to this blog.

Happy new year everyone. Wish you a stellar 2017.

What do Glasses I wear Tell About Me

In response to WordPress Discover Challenge: Outer Layers. What story do the things you wear tell about you?

Blind! It is very difficult to hide the thickness of glasses with double digit correction. And the stereotype in the society is that when someone wear a thick glasses, he/she must be blind. It is funny, because those I am (partially) blind WITHOUT my glasses, not when I’m wearing one.

Nerd! This is another stereotype in the society that those who wear glasses must be a nerd who spend his/her time mostly reading books. This is not entirely bad, as they think nerd are also smart.

Weak! While this is more concerning for men, women also somehow has some issues with it. Besides, all you need is to knock my glasses, and I won’t be able to see you, right?

Maturity! Pick a thick rimmed glasses that suits your face, and it will add to your charm. It shows power, that you are in control.

Seductive! Remember that sexy secretary picture wearing low cut shirt biting her glasses? Seriously, if you know how to play it, glasses can be very seductive. No grown up men ever say no when I need help with my glasses. In fact, I usually have more conversation afterwards. And biting the temple of the glasses does help!

In Constant Frame

Being someone with myopic eyes, especially very myopic one, means that you always view the world through the frame of your lens. There are many choice anyway, as the world beyond the lenses is only smears of colors, and blob of lights of indistinguishable object.

Photo by Cathy 

This post is created in response to WordPress Photo Challenge: Frame

Live with It and Move On

“Here is a piece of advise for you”, said a friend of mine. “High Myopia is not that terrible and scary.”

As a high myopia, I will usually jump on that. However, I was talking to someone who not only a high myopia herself. I was talking to someone who myopia is so sever that will need to grope with her hand to find her way without her glasses.

We always think of her as a glasses obsessive, because only someone who are obsessive about glasses can be so grateful to need to wear such awful one. Her glasses, well over -20 range, distort her eyes so bad that it looks really small. She invested in such a good frame and lenses that even in such high prescription, it still look nice on her. “And the benefit of being a girl is that you can always put your make up on your eyes to make it nicer.” her response when anyone comment about how her eyes look behind those glasses. My problem? With her prescription, how can she even put on make up?

“Yeah, but it is the dependencies to glasses that sucks. Don’t you feel it? Especially when you need to have your glasses to find them. Everything is so blurry without them”, I still countered and took off my glasses. My vision, while bad, is nowhere near her vision without glasses. But still I feel vulnerable. Everything is so blurry that I can’t even tell anything. I immediately put my glasses on when I saw her coming towards me

She put 2 glass of tea on the table, one for me, one for her. “Agda, here is the thing”, she said while took off her glasses. Her eyes turns much bigger without those lenses. “I can complaint, or accept it and move on. Both won’t change my vision. So I decided the later and move on.”

Live with it, and move on

This post is made in response to WordPress Discover Challenge: A Piece of Advice

Reading with -3.5 and -12

Ever wonder why that person with -12 always said that she need her glasses all the time? Even for reading? Well, we know that -12 is bad for myopia. Every literature put it as high myopia. And if those with -3.5 myopia also complain that she need her glasses all the time, of course -12 will need it even worse, right?

Well, the pictures below will put things into perspective. The first picture is someone with -3.5 myopia reading a magazine. On the left side is vision through glasses. It is sharper than the right side without glasses. While it is impossible to read the smaller print, the larger print is pretty much readable with  some difficulty.

-3.5 Reading Magazine

The picture below is the same magazine, but from the point of view of someone with -12 myopia. It is impossible to read anything without glasses, even the large print on the right side. Texts are just black smears. But surprisingly, even the text on the left is much harder to read. It is smaller, distorted and also have some color fringe.

Reading Magazine -12

Thankfully, the brain of -12 adjust from those distortion and color fringe, having to adapt of wearing glasses for long time. However the brain can only adapt to the blur for so much, and -12 blur is definitely too much to adapt.