Reading between the lines

In Accessories, Glasses, Spectacles, Style icons on July 16, 2013 at 9:54 pm


I confess I’ve been rather smug about my eye sight. In recent years when I went to a restaurant with any of my older siblings I’d try not to gloat, as they fumbled around to get out reading glasses, while I happily scanned the menu and then read out the blackboard specials to them.

I can still read the bottom line of an optician’s chart without much strain, but recently something strange happened to books; they started printing them in smaller type. A similar thing was going on with packaging, which now all seems to be typeset in four point and quite often in pale grey. How was I supposed to read instructions printed like that?

A routine eye check at my wonderful optometrist (Richard Banks in Woollahra, Sydney ) revealed the terrible news. I’ve used specs to look at my computer for a while, partly to protect my eyes from damage, but now I needed reading glasses. And not just those cheapies you can get in a pharmacy, but special expensive lenses with prisms for my astigmatism.

At first I was rather thrilled at the new shopportunity and immediately chose a pair of the frames by iconic New York brand Moscot, which I’d been admiring on a friend’s face for ages.


They’re the same ones Johnny Depp and Woody Allen wear (the style is called Lemtosh) and I rather fancied myself as looking rather terrifically bookish, sitting up in bed with them on, relishing the contrast between the black Superman-style glasses, my French bed linen and cotton nighties. A bit Grace Kelly – above – who wore specs better than anybody.

Then I got the train up to London and found I couldn’t read the paper comfortably. It hadn’t occurred to me I would need to take the bloody things out and about with me.

And so whole new world of anxiety has emerged; having to remember my reading glasses and worrying about losing them. Spectacles have gone from accessory to essential without passing pose.


Carter Burden Party Hosted By Woody Allen

Within a few weeks, I realised I needed a spare pair, in case I did ever lose them – imagine not being able to read! It would kill me. Also, so I could have one pair by the bed and another in the kitchen in case I needed to check a recipe. Like a total NANA.

But now I’ve moved into a whole new area of spectacle stress: reading in bright sunshine. After the most gruelling winter and crappiest spring I can ever remember in the UK (which is saying something…), we suddenly have some good weather, so I thought I’d spend Sunday afternoon lying on the beach reading, while my daughter splashed in the water with her pals.

I couldn’t read a thing. If I wore my reading glasses the glare was too bright, if I wore my sunglasses, the type was too small. I realised I need reading sunglasses. Especially as I’m off on holiday in a couple of weeks and plan to spend most of it horizontal, reading.


My crafty plan was to take a cool pair of vintage frames I found in an op shop to the nearest optician, with a copy of my reading specs prescription and get the dark lenses put in.

Not so easy, it turned out. I was crisply informed – and it was the same in the next two I tried – that heating the 1960s frames to put the lenses in would probably make them crack and break. What I needed to do, was to buy a pair of their really nasty new sunglasses, with prescription lenses. No thank you.

My friend Tom Herrington, who has the brilliant eyewear company Rockoptica came to my rescue and said he would get the special lenses fitted into the vintage frames for me. (I have his style Key Largo, below, as sunnies.)

keyblack_1316167558So it seemed I had it all sorted, but then I was standing in a shop this afternoon and a woman came in with two pairs of glasses perched on her head – one clear, one dark. Presumably one for indoors and one for strong sunshine.

I suddenly realised that would be me on holiday. Constantly swapping between reading sunglasses and normal sunglasses – because I can’t see a thing when I look up in my readers.

Grace Kelly glasses


I could clearly picture the scene where we’ve yomped for miles over rough terrain to get to a secret secluded Croatian beach, I’ve blown up my special back rest, laid out my padded mat and then realise I’ve left my bloody reading sunglasses behind.

So it will have to be those ones that go from lightish to darkish, which I now discovered are called ‘photochromic’, which is another word for even more expensive.

But before I make this major investment – can any of you tell me, are transition lenses any good?

PS I’m rather obsessed with Moscot -here’s the link to their site

When I was in New York, earlier this year I stumbled upon their original shop, still there at Orchard and Delancy, which is a pretty iconic address, for such a legendary Manhattan brand. Here’s what the outside of the store looks like, a detail of the quirky interior and one of their brilliant ads.


moscot 2


  1. Oh Maggie it’s such a slippery slope, this aging thing isn’t it? I have bought packs of 1.5 cheapies in the states (from Saks on 5th outlets) which I have in handbags and car and then have my fabulous real glasses at home for reading…. and (it gets worse!) I have bought one of those glasses chain things for home… I know what you’re thinking… But really I kept on losing them and this way they are always with me…in my defence the chain is made of gorgeous freshwater organicy shaped little pearls… But still a glasses chain xx

    • I know it’s only a matter of time until I have to go the chain… I wish I could use those cheapies, it would make life so much easier. My lenses cost a stink!

  2. Like you I have come to the realisation that having glassess is not simple. I recently went from reading glasses only to multi focals. However, the multi focials were impossible when using the computer or for reading for any length of time so then I needed a pair of reading glassess. I also got a 2nd pair of multi focals with a transiiton lense. They are Ok but when I have a chance I intend to get multi focal sunglassess, in Australia I think we really need them.

    • I think you do…. I’ll probably end up with multi focals, but not yet. I’m holding off as long as possible!

    • I have had Transition multi focal specs for years now, and am currently wearing a bookish, redish tortoiseshell Calvin Klein pair – they look good when clear and sexy as sunglasses. Most important is to get the exact fitting right, the prescription must be spot on. I have no need for all the hassle of carrying around two pairs of specs, and I feel that specs give my face a bit more definition now that I am on the other side of 60, quickly heading towards the other side of 70!

  3. Maggie I’m sure you will have lots of replies for both the yes and no vote but my experience with transitional lenses was that they didn’t settle down quick enough when I came indoors after being out in the sun. Like you I thought this would be the answer but for me it wasn’t.

    • I agree with Sue – I used to have photochromatic lenses and they sound like such a wonderful idea but when the light changes, you have trouble seeing through them whilst they adjust. So I recommend two pairs, one for sun and one for indoors.

      It’s funny reading your post because you’re covering all the issues that us spec wearers encounter, but you’re hitting them all at the same time! I’ve recently got multi-focals and am struggling with the changes in my vision and need to get one of those little chain things (like Lyn above, I’m eyeing the lovely pearl ones) but am not ready to feel like a nana. Plus, to make things worse, my optometrist told me that the rapid deterioration in my eye sight suggests I might be in for an early menopause! Noooooo!!!

  4. I don’t know whether they have improved since I had a pair of transitionals but they always had a slight darkish cast to the glass indoors which I absolutely hated with a passion. Have only ever had clear glass for indoors and proper sunglasses for outdoors, but I don’t need them as yet for reading just for distance so time will tell if I will soften my stance on transitionals. It is so boring this aging business isn’t it?

    Cindy F

  5. I have multifocal transition Calvin Klein glasses that I wear everyday, and multifocal Oroton sunglasses that I wear outside. There is still an eliminate of changing from glasses to sunglasses but not so much. And, this is after having Laser eyesurgery seven year ago!

  6. Maggie, I hear you. I love the look of the sexy librarian but pulling my glasses out of my bag to read a price tag or wine label got old very quickly. I now were high oxygen contacts that I can leave in at night. They last for a month. You want to take them out once a week and clean them but it’s so convenient. The prescription is for a different one in each eye – one for long distance and one for reading, and the brain adjusts to suit whatever your doing. (so clever). I’ve had them six months and after the initial, learning to stick your finger in your eye part, I love them. I still use glasses when flying because of dehydration issues on the plane but other than that I can recommend. The other option you might want to look at is Ortho-k. These are lenses that you wear while you sleep, then take them out during the day. Anyhow, hope that’s informative.
    Love your work

    • Yes, I have friends who swear by the two prescription lenses – how amazing is the human brain??? I only need glasses for reading at this stage, so I’m very much at the whip them on and off stage. It’s annoying, but much better than not being able to read!

  7. Make sure you pack an uber-cool basket for the beach with all your goodies in tow … Including reading glasses AND A SUN VISOR … Sounds daggy I know but beats trying to read in the glare !

    Australian woman

  8. You must have seen the UK version of me ..2 pairs on the head or if Im being fashion forward one pair splayed over the top of my top.

    I really must get my eyes properly tested am relying on the chemist glasses ..though the price of the frames is v. expensive here in Australia

  9. You tell my story, Maggie! The first time I was told i needed glasses (also after many years of quietly and smugly thinking that I alone amongst my friends had been blessed with superior eyes), I was quite horrified and told the optometrist that I was sure i could last a little longer without them. That very night I just could not thread a needle and phoned for another appointment the next day in a state of mourning and despair. It was a steep slope down – my eyes seemed to get worse by the day – but i suspect i had been fooling myself for a while. In the beginning I raged against the idea that i was tied to carrying them around with me everywhere (how did I ever read the labels in the supermarket before?!) but now – 2 years later- discover i am becoming quite happily attached to my glasses. I am trying to work out why the emotional upheaval and change of heart. Is this an acceptance of aging? But I do often think how lucky I am to be able still to read. There must be many, today and in the past, who without access to glasses found that reading just became impossible when their eyes started failing. Now that is a great sadness.

  10. Maggie, I feel the pain. I have recently had to move to two sets of glasses – reading and distance. Then, like you with the fear of losing a pair and not being able to see the computer at work, invested in a second pair of reading glasses. Yet to take the step into sunglasses… fear that I would need to set sets of scripted sunglasses!! Last shopping trip to the optometrist set me back close to $1000 out of pocket!! Nothing to do with the Tiffany frames I purchased of course. Mel xo

  11. Dear Maggie, I can’t recommend the lovely gals at Dioptics in King Street Sydney highly enough. They have guided me through this stuff, and they have only very recently started allowing their clients to have the transitions lenses. I have a pair, and the do seem to work. They also have the best selection of interesting frames I have seen anywhere in the world.

  12. Transition lenses have got quicker to change in recent years. However the problem I had with my last pair was that though the glasses looked good when clear, they looked hideous when they went dark. Some shapes just look wrong as sunglasses. So they’ve been relegated to only at home alone glasses, and a lot of effort was spent finding frames that suited me in both phases.

  13. I feel your pain! I loathe having to wear glasses – love the look of them but hate the inconvenience. Until the last couple of years I hadn’t realised how essential to comfort and survival they can be, though. Actors scrabbling for their glasses to read awards on the Oscars used to irritate me – how pretentious! – but now I UNDERSTAND.

    I need reading and distance glasses, but unfortunately I am one of the small percentage of people who can’t tolerate multifocals (they make me feel sick), so I am forever shuffling between my collection. And reading in the sun…! How about taking photos?? I can’t see a thing! I have a lovely pair of Missoni frames converted to sunnies for driving, though.

    Transitional lenses sound like a good idea but for me they are still firmly rooted in images of nerdy maths students with biros in their shirt pockets. An unfair association and probably a reason for me to seek therapy.

    Maybe you can try what my husband and I often do:we use our daughter for reading the small print. If she is close at hand in the kitchen, supermarket or wherever, we often beg her for help.

    I may investigate laser eye surgery: some friends swear by it. A bit scary, though…

    • Multi-focals make me dizzy, too.
      I have transitionals, which are OK but I just use them when reading in the sun.
      I guess I have more than 9 pairs of glasses now.
      I have big ones, heavy ones, light ones, Homer Simpson ones – where you can look over the top of them.
      One pair at my desk at work for the computer and one pair for reading – yep, I need different strengths for each.
      One pair in my bag – the transitionals – for when I’m out.
      One of each by my bed because I read there and use the computer.
      One for reading in the kitchen – for recipes, reading instructions, etc.
      One of each on the coffee table because I read and use the computer there.
      AND, you may not be at this point yet, a +4 pair – just from the chemist for now – super magnifying – for sewing and cutting my nails!
      I used to think wearing glasses would be really cool – now it’s a bit of a chore.

      • I used to think they would be cool, too: I wore my first pair the day I had to present a biology tutorial in 2nd year uni. They were an essential prop, aimed to make me look cool and intelligent, and more importantly to distract from my woeful lack of preparation.

        I think I will go down your track and develop a cache of them. I am sick of getting in the car and realising I’ve forgotten them. I was very naughty yesterday and thought, bugger it, I’ll just drive blind (country road and not far to go…).

      • How did that tutorial go? ha ha ha

      • Reading your comments I know I am looking at my future! x

  14. Oh Maggie yet another nerve hit! I have found the deteriorating eye sight the WORST thing about ageing. I can cope with having to wear glasses but spend my life frustratingly searching for the 2 pair I own. Now I mostly switch between having them on my face or perched on the top of my head which is most annoying when I am wearing what starts out as a neat nicely brushed back pony tail and then the little nose rest thing gets caught in my hair, dragging out bits of hair each time I move them backwards and that I end up looking dishevelled AND blind!
    I too spend summers reading A LOT on the beach or in the glare but was warned by all my friends that Transition glasses are the living end! Ugly, daggy and just not suitable irrespective of what other niceties I let slip over the summer holidays. So I have resorted to wearing my sunglasses over my spectacles. Ridiculous I know & certainly not the perfect solution but this is what I have been doing now for about 5 years in the absence of anything better!

  15. My aunt always wore those reading glasses which detect the sun and become dark and then lighten up indoors. They were a sassy fuscia colour and had 50s style frames. She looked amazing and was a very fussy woman, so I presume they worked a treat or she would have killed the company director. But yes, very expensive to be sure, but totally worth it.

  16. Two years ago I needed readers only then this year multifocals so I was able to get contacts! No more fumbling for specs! So liberating. And much cheaper!! Can’t swim in them so possibly prescription sunnies this summer. So far been alternating readers and sunnies on the beach but glare def an issue.

  17. My plan, when I get to this point (I’m still at the specs in front of a screen only stage) was to get contact lenses, and continue to wear whatever sunglasses I please. Although I suppose reading glasses aren’t for wearing all the time. Oh damn! Never mind me, then.

    I do love the Grace Kelly pics. Some good shapes for a square-faced gal like myself. I feel a trip to the optometrist coming on!

  18. I’m with you, Maggie. I keep one pair of reading glasses at work and the other pair travels in my handbag so I can read on the bus and home.
    You also need to beware of the small clutch. I went out to dinner on Saturday night, forgot my specs and had to have my husband read the menu to me. This of course leads to lots of, “What was with the fish, again?” and “Remind me, how was the chicken cooked?” Very frustrating given after wearing glasses since childhood, he had laser surgery last year!
    On holidays in Vietnam in April, I found sitting under a pool umbrella with a hat pulled low that the reading glasses were enough most of the time. And there is the added benefit of sun protection with this option, although this is not an easy option without the comforts afforded by being in a resort.

    I too have noticed that transitions tint, so fear I’ll need prescription reading sunglasses too…

    • ah – yes, it’s a whole new world isn’t it? carrying the bag big enough for the glasses…. I’m just about adjusting and have now found myself whipping them out to read ingredients on things in the supermarket. It does make me very grateful though that I had as many glasses free years as I did. Most of my family and friends succumbed much younger. x

  19. Haven’t solved this dilemma either so I make sure my sunglasses are large enough to slip over the front of readers or multifocals. Dorky but it works.

    • It worked OK. They don’t go as dark as I like my sunnies to be, but they were OK for reading on the beach and I keep them in my bag as my general carry around specs.

  20. My boyfriend just got transitional lenses and he HATES them. He says they don’t cut glare as well as regular sunglasses for some reason, and they never lighten up quickly enough.

    • They’re OK on the time of changing for me because I only wear them for reading, but I can see if you need glasses for general seeing they would be really boring. So they did the job for reading on the beach, but I wouldn’t want them for every day wear.

  21. I vote no for transition lenses – I had some and found they were useless as sunglasses: not dark enough outside, take too long to clear up inside (or not at all in a bright room) and the lense size was too small for sunnies, they didn’t keep out the (Australian) glare. I’m still shortsighted although it is improving as I age and will eventually progress to longsightedness, so I have been swapping between sunnies and normal glasses for years. I hate it. I also have to have non-prescription sunnies for those days I am wearing contact lenses. I never have the right ones with me. You’ll quite often see me in the school pick-up queue with my non-prescription sunnies on OVER my normal glasses, surely an even worse look than the sunnies on head/glasses on nose look. And I’ve tried so many times to emulate Grace by copying her glasses, clothes etc: the problem is not that I can’t find the same glasses but that I don’t have the same face (or figure)! Aaaargh! I shall read further comments with interest, as I am dying to hear the ultimate solution to this (admittedly First World) nightmare.

  22. oh, I have been through this saga too – almost word for word (and why CAN’T they put my prescription in vintage sunnies?) but with the opposite problem – I don’t need glasses for reading but am short sighted. After no longer being able to wear contacts (the best solution) my new solution is – a pair of transitional multi focal lenses for normal wear, a pair of multi focal sunglasses for driving etc, a pair of ordinary sunglasses for reading outside, and a further pair of glasses for working at the computer. sigh!

    • They can put your prescription in vintage sunnies! you just need to find an independent opthamologist who isn’t trying to flog you their own range of frames. I had to hunt a bit, but it was worth it.

  23. I vote no for transitions. Not dark enough for the Australian sunshine, particularly when driving they don’t transition properly because you are in the car. Another reason, In my opinion they also age you.
    A few years ago I bit the bulllit and switched to multifocal lenses. I wear them most of the time, and the world is clearer
    I first went to an optician that offers 2 for 1 and purchase sunglasses for my second choice. there is a chain that offfers some really nice modern frames.
    My health fund allows me to claim optics every 12 months, I now go to a more upmarket optician and buy regular glasses one year and sunnies the next.
    My eyes have slowed in their regression so my prescription hasnt changed

    • I’m only going to use them for reading on the beach, so I think they will be OK. Then I don’t have to take 2 pairs of very expensive reading glasses on holiday with me, which was making me nervous…

  24. As a long-time specs wearer I must cast a firm NO for the transitions lenses – when they remain (spookily) lightly shaded it does give one the appearance of a survivalist/conspiracy theorist. When added to my Albert Einstein locks I could frighten small children!

    • This made me LOL!!! Sorry but they are awful – the ad for them here in Australia does nothing to make them more appealing either.

  25. I hated getting to the age and stage when I had to wear glasses so I’ve gone to contact lenses. Can’t praise them highly enough. I wear them for 4 weeks without having to take them out. Then give my eyes a couple of days break. I have one eye ‘long’ and one eye ‘short’. It took a few days to get used to it originally but the freedom of not wearing glasses is fantastic.

    • This is the second time I’ve heard about this 2 different contact lenses thing. At the moment I only need the specs for reading, but down the line, that sounds like the way to to.

  26. I do adore you Maggie, and your tackling of the big issues! Yet to worry about the transition, prescription sunnies line of the glasses world. I still have young children that need to be constantly watched whilst at the beach/pool so it will be quite some time til a book at the beach becomes a dilemma. I discovered the beauty of specsavers here when I realised that I did need reading glasses (again – I had come to that conclusion earlier, lost them and left it at that) and I now get two pairs every year (or at least the last couple of years). Not that superstylish but I love that its all covered by that health insurance. So there are 4 pairs floating around the house. Good luck sorting out this issue – keep us posted!

  27. Funny isn’t it the glasses dilemmas ,I have them all over the apartment. I hate it so much have been investigating laser but that has its own issues. I tried contacts, too tricky for me with eyelash extensions and they are only number 8 in length. Invested in a pair of transitionals this year, and I like them, as my glasses are just for reading , I take them off when I go indoors and have no problem.
    As for the ad in Australia, it’s based in the Serengeti,what isn’t to like about that.

  28. Dear Maggie, don’t you hate it when they print the books like that these days!!! (A friend recently confessed she will only read books on her electronic reader these days – no need for reading glasses/pure vanity of course!) I have similar to Mr Depp’s Mascots – love them (my reading in bed at the end of the day specs; currently reading the Great Gatsby – I know, I know – but I’ve never read it and the writing is luscious. Any time is a good time for a classic, non?)BX

  29. The wearing of glasses does become a major part of ones life, as you noted that once you have started down that path you can’t turn back! My wonderful optometrist convinced me to go down a totally different path to the transitions lenses. I now have a groovy pair of Chanel sunglasses that address my astigmatism for distance vision and and has a bifocal for reading at the bottom. Great for driving and keeping check on the instrument panel and for looking cool on restaurant verandas and being able to read the menu! I also have a pair of clear vision bifocals, to make driving easier at night (the oncoming lights are not so glary) while still reading the dash, as well as being able to watch tv and read a mag at the same time! I wouldn’t be without these two pairs, as well as the full reading glasses. I just need a bigger bag, but I’m prepared for whatever the occasion needs!

  30. Transition lenses don’t really cut the mustard in bright sunlight for beach reading. You need the prescription sunnies(sorry to give the bad news). I’ve had mine for ages and recently simply had new lenses fitted. There must be somewhere in London that sells gorgeous frames for sunglasses. Good advice re wearing a visor – you can whip it off when someone wants to chat.

  31. Transition lenses are great for everything except driving. They need direct sunlight to darken and this doesn’t happen in the car.

  32. Just got my first patio of transitionals. Sometimes they go dark inside which is very strange. They look daggy when still shaded inside, but are handy when going in from shop to shop. It’s sad when you need specs to go shopping in order to read labels & price tags. BUT it is good to be able to sit outside & read & my new frames are very nice- black frames, nine arms but of course expensive!

  33. Lyn gave you the right answer first comment. Cheapies in every handbag and in the kitchen and proper ones by the computer and in the living room. Cheapies don’t all look awful. Just get the rimless ones and you don’t have to decide about frames. I don’t know how anyone learns to carry them around with them unless they wore them as a child.

  34. Maggie – my transition lenses are fabulous and I wouldn’t be without them. Gorgeous Fendi golden tortoiseshell and certainly not daggy! Been through the separate prescription sunnies – needed bifocals to manage the lens size – readers, computer glasses and variables infinitum. Adapted very quickly to multifocals and then transitions and now just ONE pair to worry about – of course have the standby multifocals just in case I should mislay my transitions. So go for it – it’s worth the investment and guarantee you won’t be disappointed. Enjoy the holiday!! Suzie aka Ziefie xx

    • Thanks Ziefie – I’m getting very mixed messages, but Tom Norrington tells me he can get me the latest thing, which are better, so I’m wondering if that’s what you have. I’ll report back!

      • Hi Maggie – to recap…my transitions lenses are new as of January this year and yes the latest here in Oz! No problems with colour. They perfectly clear inside and even coming from bright sunlight outside ( where they are quite dark) settle back into “normal” in just a few moments. Also adjusting to multifocals has been problem free – had them for a couple of years now but did get the very best multi available as that offers by far the best wide vision. Did cost $680 just for the multifocal lens but our eyes are irreplaceable! Don’t hold out too long as the difference and convenience is extraordinary and for whatever reason my eyes are currently stable! I literally put them on in the morning and take them off at night! Multi-purpose and multifocal!! Cheers Ziefie x

      • I’m not ready to go multifocal, but I have made the plunge and ordered the transitionals… Tom assure me they are the best you can get, so it will be interesting to see.

  35. You can thank us for the weather! Just back from a UK holiday – always hot when we are there. My glasses problem – don’t (quite) need them for reading but do for distance – I’m the navigator on trips – looking from the map to the signs – always flicking the glasses on and off. Such a pain.

  36. I knew we were getting old when we needed a bag just for the medications and specs when travelling! I can’t manage multifocals when moving, only for TV and knitting, so, 2 pairs for driving (sunnies and plain) and a pair for reading with a sunvisor. Def a first world issue tho.

  37. Welcome to the club Maggie. I vote no for the transitions -they stay shaded indoors and look weird. Good luck

    • I’m getting such mixed messages! Tom Norrington says there are some new super duper ones, but I’ll have to see how much super duper ££$$ they are!”

  38. Hi maggie, I work as an optical dispenser , I think you need what is called an access lens .you can have a lens that is split . no visible lines . You can have a distance and reading lens or an intermediate and reading all in one lens . speak to your optom and I am sure they can sort out a perfect lens for you . Go for one pair of sunnies and one pair clear glasses. Transitions are fine but not for all day in the sun. I have them in my specs , but have a pair of sunnies for any long term outdoor activities. Hope this helps

    • Thanks Jenni – an expert opinion! I have ordered the transitionals, specifically for reading in the sun. I’ll have my general sunglasses with me for all other uses, as I don’t need a prescription for that. So I don’t think I need the split lens yet, as apart from reading and the computer I don’t need specs.

  39. I too was smug, at least my eyes lasted longer than average.
    I have a few different practical solutions to some of the problems.
    I keep a largish old fashioned style magnifying glass (cheap plastic) in my kitchen drawer for jar labels and such and you can buy little credit card sized ones for your handbag, handy in the supermarket.
    The receptionist at the optometrist said she wore one contact lens, apparently your eyes adjust and process the information from each eye.
    As a friend was wont to say “Better over the hill than under the hill !”
    Good Luck

    • Gosh, that one contact lens sounds freaky! Isn’t the human brain amazing how it can adapt? The magnifying glass is a brilliant plan for the kitchen, bathroom, dressing table, all those places where I need to see the small print. Thank you x

  40. I too need only reading glasses and after experimenting with various options for the outdoors, found that multifocal sunglasses were brilliant. Can’t stand multifocals otherwise, but the bigger frames seem to allow them to work better. Great for driving (now I can read the numbers on the dash) as well as outdoor reading, shopping etc. I just leave them on while in the shop. Got the eyesight sorted, but now my teeth have started to wander from their allocated position, putting a new twist on things. This ageing is the pits!

  41. I love my transitions in cool black Chanel geeky kind of frames. They work really well and I am never without them. As a long term glasses wearer it did take me a while to get past the daggy image of transitions and give them a try but so glad I have them now.
    Hope you find what’s right for you too.

  42. my partner has new transition lenses (bought in melbourne very recently). they are SHITE! they never quite become clear. if you’re travelling through asia on the way to and from, you can take your glasses and have new prescription ones made up VERY cheaply. like $20 instead of $400. Also I’ve had lots of op shop sunnies made into prescription ones over the years. and some very nice ones bought in a service station, which often attract positive comments. so there, cheap n cheerful!

    • I’d be nervous of those cheap prescriptions as astigmatism is very specific. Had some cheap ones made up here in desperation once and they were useless, but glad to hear it works for you.

  43. Re my tutorial (1978) – it was a dire as you can imagine. I still remember Lorenzo P (who was brilliant at rat and rabbit dissection and went on to become a seriously cool Sydney restaurateur) laughing like a drain. I was the dizzy blonde (not sure how that happened) of a group of mainly serious types. At the time I was trying to do a triple major in English, Psychology and Biology. What was I thinking??

  44. I seriously had no idea about anything like this. I am going to stop being smug about my eyesight!!

  45. I crossed this bridge by first having laser surgery which gave me a few glasses free years. Rather than going through another round of that, I faced up to needing glasses. I hate the hassle of remembering them (let alone wearing them) but you do get used to it…..keys, wallet, glasses…! I got 2 pairs – one of them transitionals which I really didn’t like the idea of but have found great. I live in Sydney and travel lots – they’re excellent for reading outdoors and I use them other times too. I do think they’ve ‘improved’…..

  46. Been wearing transition lenses for years they are great

  47. You are right about grace Kelly in glasses. Probably my favourite gorgeous Hollywood lady is Natalie Wood your thoughts ?

  48. Boy, did I relate to your article! Try “Sunreaders” are what you’re after. They’re bi-focal, so have the reader section at the bottom and plain sunglasses in the top section of the lens. Perfect for on the beach last summer in Lorne and for Noosa next week (Can’t wait!)! It’s not an Aussie holiday if you can’t read for hours outdoors and look up to chat and admire the view as well, Cheers JenniJ

  49. I haven’t read all the comments above so perhaps someone has already said this. There are lots of magnifying glass apps for smart phones. In an emergency they are good for reading labels etc when those numerous pairs of reading glasses are hiding.

    • Gosh, I can’t imagine how that would work, but I’m going to check it out. I’ve got astigmatism, so I can’t just sling on the $2 reading glasses – soooooo annoying.

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