First Eye Exam in 30 years. Plus pictures of my brain.

Had an eye exam last week. First one in about 30 years.

Over the past 5 years I’ve noticed that I really need reading glasses. And since I’m someone that hopes for the best but expects the worst, I was a bit nervous that something had slowly been going very wrong with my peepers over the past few decades. I’ve been using various over the counter reading glasses that have been working well for me, but I figured it was about time I got a professional exam.

Turns out I’m not doing too bad. Age happens, so yeah, my ol’ eyeball lenses are having a more difficult time focusing on the closeup stuff.  After talking with the optometrist and going over my prescription (here’s a helpful page for interpreting eyeglass prescriptions) I decided to get a pair of  glasses with progressive lenses. I hate having to keep taking my reading glasses on and off, so I’m going to try wearing these new glasses all the time.

They should arrive in a couple weeks. I opted for Silhouette TNG frames and Varilux S Series lenses.

I asked the optometrist to email me the digital images of my retinas. Because why not? I think they’re beautiful, like outer space nebulae or something. Maybe I’ll use one as desktop wallpaper.

The retina, a layer of nervous tissue, is a direct extension of the brain (brain -> optic nerve -> retinal tissue). So this is basically a picture of my brain.  Cool beans.


Right Eye – Optomap Ultra-Widefield Retinal Image


Left Eye – Optomap Ultra-Widefield Retinal Image

The Silhouette website also has a neat little app where you can virtually try on the glasses.


Finally, I really need to give props to Pro Optical Boston. I was in the neighborhood and walked in to schedule all this on the spur of the moment, and they accommodated me wonderfully. Whole exam and fitting took only about 45 min. Very professional and friendly and helpful. Especially for someone like me who is a total n00b at all this eye exam stuff and generally skittery around doctors. Highly recommended.

Anyway, as a soon-to-be new member of the eyeglasses wearing population, if any of you have any advice or suggestions, please let me know in the comments. I’m an eyeglasses newbie and need to learn stuff!

UPDATE 10.07.2016
Glasses came in the mail yesterday! Fast service! And so far I love them. So great to be able to see things clearly close up again.


-John “Pathfinder” Lester


11 thoughts on “First Eye Exam in 30 years. Plus pictures of my brain.

  1. Hey you-) I had to finally get glasses because my far sight was getting more and more distorted. I think they call this near-sighted? Then over time I was prescribed bifocals, which are really hard to get used to, and a slight miss in the location also throws things off a bit.

    But the first time I wore glasses and looked around I was amazed at how sharp and detailed things such as trees looked. Over time I had just not realized.

  2. That is one of the best optomap images taken on a 200DX that I have seen in a long time! Kudos to the doctor! As an Optos employee, I see a lot of images!

  3. Welcome to the world of aging eyes! I’ve been nearsighted since age 8, so eye exams have been an annual routine for a long time. BUT, even an annual visit to an optometrist can’t always catch everything. Along with presbyopia, aging can lead to problems with the vitreous and, potentially, retinal detachment. You don’t want that to happen. I’m recovering from reattachment of a detached retina at the moment. Prognosis is good, but you want to avoid this, and it could have been avoided had I had an exam with an opthalmologist who would have seen the warning signs. Find yourself an ophthalmologist you like and visit every once in a while.

  4. As someone who’s worn glasses since the third grade, I may have a somewhat different circumstance, but there are a few things that I think are applicable.

    1. Don’t skimp. Especially if you’re going to be wearing them all day, every day, make sure you like the way they look and feel. If this means paying more, and you can afford it, do so.

    2. Consider different glasses for different tasks. I couldn’t adjust to progressives, so I have plain old bifocals. But the “reading” area doesn’t work very well for me at a computer, so I have a pair of single-correction lenses for the computer at work (in a nice frame) and another at home (in a cheapo frame). The computer glasses have a different correction from either the reading or distance correction areas in my regular glasses. If you find yourself searching for just the right place in the progressives, or you have to hold your head at an uncomfortable angle, consider plain lenses intended for that distance only.

    3. Treat them carefully (they are, after all, expensive), but don’t make them into something precious. You’re likely to need to replace them every couple of years anyway.

  5. Welcome to the 4-eyes club. My advice is to always take them off by the bridge or lens pieces, and not by grasping the ears. Use caution cleaning them – I try to get the extra hard coatings.

    I’ve worn glasses since I argued with a teacher that the Q in the A B C D E F … Z above the board was the same as the O.

  6. Wow, I have great sympathy John. I went bi-focals a few years ago which is great for reading / walking but I was still struggling at the computer screen. I’ve since gotten a specific prescription for focusing at arm’s length and at the same time got the blue filter. The ‘computer glasses’ have really relieved eyestrain and I love ’em.

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