Legally Blind

5:14 AM

Daily Eye Essentials: New Glasses from Own Days, AO Sept Plus (Contacts Solution), Cellufresh (Preservative- free eye drops)  

Ever wondered what’s it like to live in our shoes- to grow up with four eyes and to actually have glasses and/ or lenses as our partner in crime everyday. Well now here’s a story that might interest you. Having really bad eyesight has been one of my flaws since childhood that I learned to cope with everyday. Having sisters and a dad who have the same sentiments as me, made it easier for me to grow up through the process. It was a challenging journey I’ve got to say... to go through constant eye appointments, glasses, soft lenses and hard lenses but it’s definitely one that I’m grateful for. 

I mean to be honest, I won’t deny the fact that I’ve been insecure about myself especially during my high school years when I had to wear glasses and braces at the same time, hence the introduction to contact lenses. But despite all that, I learned to grow and accept it because having to deal with it is better than not having the chance to see anything at all. 

So I decided that this is the perfect time to share this story to everyone well first because, I’ve dealt with this problem for almost 14 years already. I’ve been through the mini-struggles everyday so it would be nice to let you guys know more about it and most importantly, I was blessed with an opportunity to have a lasik screening which I failed in. I had 21 tests done last week and because of my “high” grade, lasik wasn’t a possible option but that didn’t worry me since there are still other possible alternatives. You’ll get to understand how important this is to me after you read my full story.

Anyway, without further ado. Allow me to share with you all my journey of having poor eyesight and the daily struggles that come with it. 

So I was just 6 years old when I found out  that I needed glasses. Unlike my middle sister who was born with bad eyes, the rest of the family experienced blurry vision while growing up. Well in my case they found out about it when I was had an eye check up in elementary.  I didn’t really mind it up until high school when i felt so awkward and insecure.  I had braces then and it was the time when Ugly Betty was a hit. I mean I know I didn’t look like her but I felt like her especially with my condition. So hence, growing up and learning to be more mindful of how I present myself, I tried out contact lenses (and yes my sisters already had it then) and I know the perks of  having to do away with bulky lenses.  So I started wearing soft lenses in first year high school and had to switch up to hard lenses in my fourth year up until college. Currently I’m back to soft lenses with a grade so high that whenever I tell people, they never fail to get surprised. 

So I started out with mere 100’s and 250’s just like most people but through the years it grew abnormally higher. Currently, my left eye has a grade of 875 and my right eye has a grade of 950. I also have astigmatism (imperfection in the curvature of your cornea ) and I’m near sighted.  So yeah a lot has happened through the years.  I’ve always wanted to have better eyesight since I was young. It would always be one of my wishes whenever we imagined a genie granting our wishes when we were younger. 

These are my old and thick glasses for 3 years already perfect for astigmatism and protection against UV Rays

So yes the struggle was and is still definitely real! Here are some struggles that I faced throughout this journey of mine that even still applies to me until today: 

Struggles of wearing glasses 
  1. Every morning when we wake up ,we can’t see anything. So if anyone surprises us or excitedly wants to show us something first thing in the morning, they’d have to wait for us to put on our glasses
  2. When we remove our glasses and we tend to forget where we place them, we look like walking zombies trying to hold every corner just to find it
  3. When it comes to photos, we hate the glares that come with it so we always have to remove our glasses (and we end up looking someplace else or posing with chinky eyes cause we can’t see) 
  4. Every glasses wearer would understand the fact that we can’t wear sunglasses unless we remove our frames. I mean you can choose to wear both of them but well my glasses in itself is bulky
  5. People  would always ask me if I can see them up close without glasses and I’m like sorry I can see your figure but it’s really blurry that I can’t see your face. 
  6. Also they’d do the number game with me which I’m fine with, they’d do levels one closest to me and one farthest from me. 
  7. I’m used to sharing my glasses story just because I have thick lenses and many are curious about it. 
  8. We can swim underwater but we can’t see anything. 
  9. If we come from a place with very cold temperature, we end up going out with foggy glasses. This one’s actually kinda funny cause it’s usually a glasses problem 
  10. If you’re not used to it, you look different. I’ve been told a lot of times that I look different when I wear glasses and when I don’t wear them. 

So I tried to capture moments with 20/20 vision (thank you SLR) vs. my vision (without glasses or lenses) just to let you know what it really is to see through my eyes (but this isn’t as accurate since my eyes are still more blurry than what a camera lens and some edits could possibly do) 

DAY





NIGHT


You know what I was and am still scared of?  The Snellen Chart (the chart with the big E). If you ask me, it’s continuously my frenemy. 

Anyway, moving forward to the interesting part of journey which of course is having to wear contact lenses. I’ve tried both HARD and SOFT contact lenses for years now— which have different texture and side effects. 

So let me start with HARD contact lenses which for me was the most difficult part to get used to. 

Thanks to my sister and bother-in-law for taking the photo ( FYI: My sister still wears hard contacts until today) 

This is to show you how small and glass-like hard lenses are.

Imagine having to put a small piece of glass directly to your eye? Scary right? But actually it isn’t really anything to be afraid of once you get used to it. Hard contacts are small and glass-like lenses that can make blurry vision really clear. For someone like me, having this on is like having an HD retina screen in real life. 

However, because of its glass-like structure, there are some downsides to it. Here they are: 

Struggles of Contact Lenses 
  1. Having really dry and red eyes easily. That's why we have eye drops in our sling or travel bags 24/7. 
  2. Discomfort when doing daily activities
  3. Once the lenses fall, you can’t help but hope it doesn’t break or tear apart ("hugot" as it sounds) 
  4. Because its small and transparent, you can’t really see it if it falls down 
  5. People always comment if you’re sleepy but it’s just your eyes coping with the discomfort of the lenses
  6. It can move around your eye when really dry 
  7. Putting it is sometimes an extra struggle especially on days that it doesn’t want to fit properly 
  8. If you scratch your eyes unintentionally, you can’t help but fear that your cornea might get scratched as well 
  9. You have to wash it every night and every morning
  10. You get confused which lenses is for which eye (But if you notice closely, the right is black in color and the left one is light blue in color) 
This is how we clean our hard lenses: We take them off, we rub the dirt off with liquid solution and water then we let it stay overnight. We can then use this any time we like as long as we repeat the cleaning process. 

Now you might wonder, what’s the difference of hard lenses from SOFT contact lenses? Well actually their effects are just similar but this one is delicate to touch and it can easily tear apart. Just imagine holding a set of plastics and putting them directly into your eye. Its bigger in size and less uncomfortable. However, because of this convenience, quality of vision is compromised and is just about right. 

This is to show you how big  soft contact lenses are. 

This is to show you its plastic-like texture. 

I really enjoy it when people get interested to know the ins and outs of contact lenses especially when it comes to the process of putting them on and getting them off. It’s really not easy to begin with but it becomes easy breezy once you get used to it. So I’ve been wearing contact lenses for almost 8 years already (that’s a quarter of my life)  and I’ve gotten used to the daily process of putting them on- using- cleaning then putting it off. It has become a part of my daily routine. 

For me, this is a breakthrough for contact lens cleaning. Instead of the usual rub and overnight cleansing. This is likened to a scientific experiment where you put the contacts inside the case, fill it with AO Sept HydraGlide solution, allow the bubbles to rise up in order to automatically clean the contacts for you.  You'll know if it's done cleaning when the bubbles are all gone. It's really interesting but because our eyes our delicate and the solution is strong, you can't use this up until 6 hours after cleaning.

So recently, because of the lasik screening, I found out that the retina of my eyes are very weak. As the doctor mentioned,  20/20 vision is likened to a golf ball but because my grade is so high, my eyeballs are now shaped like eggs and the retina has been stretched for so long so a laser was needed for it to be strengthened. If I didn’t get this laser done, a  retina tear can cause loss of vision and even surgery. As my mom mentioned, it was a blessing in disguise to actually find out the need to have this test. I was really lucky that both my parents were there to actually support me in the decisions I had to make.



I’ve got to say though that even though I’m “legally blind” and I go through a tedious process everyday.  I’m lucky to have the opportunity to actually see everything clearly. Not everyone has this privilege and I am always truly grateful for this blessing. 

People don’t really talk about this problem so much so I decided to share this story with you so that you can understand us and any of your friends and relatives who go through this same journey as me.

I may not have passed the lasik but there are still other possible options to look into. One of my dreams will soon come true and in my parent’s words, it’ll happen in God’s perfect timing. He has his own plan for me and I’d accept it any day. 


This is real. This is me. Four Eyes with a Smile. 


P.S. If you share the same sentiments as me or you go through things differently, don't hesitate to share your story with me! In the end, we're all in this together. :) 

* Disclaimer: No watermark was added to the photos to preserve the creativity of the shots. All photos are owned by Rachel Yupangco. Any reproduction is forbidden.

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1 comments

  1. I loved and enjoyed reading this post, Rach. Haha. I'm genuinely happy for life's new gift to you. It really is in its perfect timing. ♡

    ~ Inah
    www.inahrte.com

    ReplyDelete