I had a funny thought the day my optometrist informed me that my eyesight had deteriorated and I needed new prescription glasses and contact lenses.
My mind came to the thought that if I had lived 1000 years ago, I would probably have had a pretty short life.
This was during the early middle ages (the 10th century) when most humans were farmers and had lived through the crusades in Europe, the Norman conquest of England, and the ascendency of the Holy Roman Emperors in Germany, amidst other wars fought around the globe, and while in undiscovered lands, humans were still living in isolated camps and villages in nature, relying on the work of their hands to bring in food and necessities.
This was before glasses for correcting vision were invented, you see, that happened later in the 13th century.
I had been wearing glasses since I was 9 years old, due to my shortsighted vision. It may be due to my excessive reading of Enid Blyton books and comics in darkly lit rooms when I was a child, or it could be from watching television daily after my parents got cable television.
But mostly I think it’s due to genetics, as all six of our family members were shortsighted, my parents included. We were not blessed with the gift of good vision.
So what was my new lens’s power?
1000 degrees or -10.00 dioptres.
Back then at 31 years of age, my eyesight had gone from -850 degrees to -1000 degrees, from one consultation.
Thankfully my astigmatism was low and I didn’t need correction for that.
This was a few years back after I had my second child, and I’ve maintained that degree of eyesight till now.
I did not qualify for laser correction surgery due to I was not done having children yet and I was still nursing at that time, apparently, hormonal changes during pregnancy or nursing can alter the shape of your cornea and cause temporary vision changes. So that had to wait.
In retrospect, I probably should have waited till I was done nursing and for my vision to stabilize, before going for the eye test.
So why would I not survive with 1000 degrees of eye power back then?
For obvious reasons, I would not have seen a threat until it was directly in front of my face.
I wouldn’t be very useful around the home or the farm, feeling my way around. I would have probably fallen down a hole, tripped into a river, or off the side of a cliff while walking about outside. At night would be the main killer, this was before the light bulb was invented and there was only so much light a candle or oil lamp can cast over a room.
I am very grateful for modern technology to make vision-impaired individuals like myself, feel less impaired. Writing this makes me feel a little sad for those who have to undergo those hardships in the past.
I would probably go for a laser eye correction to correct my vision in the near future. Till then I still look pretty normal with my thick-framed glasses that hold my high power lenses, or with my contact lenses when at work.