Prescription glasses

I started wearing glasses when I was about 50. I had never needed them before, but suddenly I could not manage without them. I have two pairs of glasses, one with photochromatic progressive lenses, and one pair of reading glasses, adjusted for my weaker left eye and astigmatism.

I used to get my glasses done in South Africa, where I lived near an Oakley factory (very VERY cheap) and my local optometrist would put lenses into Oakley frames for me. But I don’t travel to South Africa so often anymore, and my eyes have deteriorated, meaning I need new glasses every 2 years or so. I chose a local optical chain (Smarteyes) that just have their own no-name brand frames that are very well designed and never scratch or break.

This time when I went they had a summer 75% off sale of their designer collaborations. I got one pair of Efva Attling and one pair of Oscar Jacobson. The frames were nice and they had fancy cases. They cost about $25 each for the frame. I was well chuffed!

At this optical chain you receive a second pair of glasses – either prescription sunglasses or prescription reading glasses for 50% off. I have transition lenses anyway and I do a lot of work with text so I always choose the prescription readers. I find the reading area on my progressive lenses too small to work with text for hours.


I keep my current two pairs of glasses and their predecessors, in case the current ones break or need to go in for adjustment or repair. Any previous glasses then go to Optometrists without borders, who use them to help people who do not have access to glasses.

When my South African friend visited me for the first time in Stockholm a few years ago, she commented on how many people wear glasses. And it is true. Nearly everyone wears glasses. This is a result of people having access to and funds for eye tests. So many people do not have that, and as a result they cannot function as they should. Imagine how many times a day you need your eyes? I know I can do very little without my glasses. Even to put makeup on now I need a 10 x magnification mirror stuck to the bathroom mirror. So I am thrilled when my old glasses can help someone.

Did you know the difference between an optician, optometrist or ophthalmologist?

An optical shop usually has optometrists that test your eyes and opticians that do the fitting and adjusting of eyewear.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

2 thoughts

  1. I had some progressive glasses made about 18 months ago. I just couldn’t get on with them for normal daily use. The ‘reading’ part is too small for me compared to normal reading glasses. The sun glasses I had made were the same, but for use in the car those seem to work ok. I just move my eyes down and I can read the dashboard perfectly.

    1. That’s my problem too, Steve. If you do a lot of reading and writing, that tiny reading area on the glasses is way too small. Plus you have to tilt your head back and look down, which is uncomfortable if you do it for hours. I have no problem driving either.

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