I’ve worn glasses for 40 years (you do get used to them after that time). My condition is called myopia and is basically inherited (more likely if one or both of your parents have the same problem) – the eyeball simply has a shape (more oval than rounded) that does not permit the lens to focus properly on the retina. Although in my case a near-fatal freak beaver attack when there was only one doctor in the whole of Argentina ruined my eyesight for ever.

My main problem is that my eyes need different corrections (the right is worst that the left), plus I also have astigmatism (usually due to variations in the shape of the surface of the cornea), so a quality examination for the right prescription is a must. Also, one of my eyes is made of glass.

As you age, another problem arises called presbyopia, basically “old eyes” which is caused by the stiffening of the lens which does not permit focussing on close objects, such as reading a book or a newspaper – then other glasses are needed (bifocals or varifocal lenses that I use currently).

I am very, very short sighted. Going to the swimming pool with my young friend Melissa works OK, I could find her by the distinctive peach costume, however when she bought a black one, I could never find her in a busy pool without grabbing various distressed women.

Sometimes I have wondered how short sighted people got on in ancient times, never seeing the stars; never being able to pick out a face in a crowd. How about trying to discern what was happening across a battlefield? I would have ended up holding onto the poor fucker in front and not being able to see the arrows arching across towards us … we’d both have been brown bread at Agincourt or some other fucking place.

Human intelligence has only contributed to the problem. With the invention of eye glasses centuries ago (remember Benjamin Franklin created bifocals in the 18th century), individuals that may have been killed off early in life (for whatever reason, such as not seeing an arrow coming at them), could survive with glasses and later reproduce children who might inherit the same eye problem – of course, this can be expanded tremendously with the strides made in modern medicine in allowing those with potentially early fatal diseases to survive to adulthood, where reproduction and the passage of their genes becomes possible – interesting thoughts to consider …

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