In my life, and in all things, I’m a firm believer in turning negatives into positives.
As much as I embrace all things that come with aging, like my silver mane of hair or my little laugh lines, there is one thing I find to be entirely annoying – losing my near vision.
Up until the age of 42, my vision was perfection. I could read the tiniest print with ease. But, once we pass the milestone age of 40, you might notice it’s more difficult to focus on objects up close. Apparently, it’s called presbyopia.
This is a perfectly normal loss of focusing ability due to hardening of the lens inside your eye, which I don’t like the sound of one bit. But, it seems we can’t help this natural process of aging. We can fight it for a time, by trying to hold whatever we’re reading further away from our eyes, but this is only going to cause more of those little eye wrinkles by trying to focus on what just seems further away. There are some corrective surgeries you could discuss with your eye doctor, but personally, I’m way too much of a scaredy cat to even consider those options.
Instead, I’ve chosen to embrace reading glasses. My first prescription, I chose a pair that were quite narrow and penultimately I was constantly peering over the top of them to see down the end of the room. They made me feel like a nana (sorry nana, there’s nothing wrong in being a nana, but you know what I mean). Many women choose delicate, frameless glasses and try to make them unobtrusive but I tend to think they can age you further. I chose larger frames because I truly believe they draw attention away from my laugh lines and pull focus to my beautiful eyes. I have my prescription graded into the bottom part of the lens so the top part is clear. This solves the problem of having to peer over top or constantly take them on and off again. You can still do this if you need glasses for long distance by having them graded from top to bottom.
So you see, I’ve turned my one dislikes of aging into a genuine love. I choose fabulous frames that really make a statement. They’re my best accessory and I’m always being complimented.
I have a pair of simple tortoise shell horn rims from Cheap Monday that work perfectly with denim. I also have a lovely pair of nude/pink tortoise shells from Stella McCartney that soften my face as the nude is very close to my skin color; they always make me feel pretty. And another pair from Co Lab that I adore, which fade from tortoise shell to a dark navy blue. I think they make me look smarter than I am. And when I’m tired and trying to read at night, I turn to my beauties from Jonathan Kaes. They’re not graded to clear, but it’s great to have a pair that are entirely my prescription.
Another consideration when having your eyes tested is to think about focal length and what it is you’re reading. I have a pair with great focal length for reading a book or my laptop and another pair for closer work, like reading my ipad or styling small objects where my face is much closer to what it is I’m focusing on.
With that, you can see that there’s no reason to keep putting off having that eye test. It’s not the end of the world, they’re not going to make you look old. It’s just the beginning of a new phase of your life. Run towards it instead of trying to hide from it.
Mel Brady, 54, is a senior Australian based product and interiors stylist with over 30 years experience in the advertising industry. A few years ago, her silver hair led her to take a confident stand in front of the camera to show that embracing age naturally is more liberating than trying to hold back the years.