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...my eyesight is seriously decreasing I think.

I've just had to really ramp up the font size on the computer so I don't have to squint lots to make it legible. It might also explain the headaches I've been having recently.

I think this week sees me book an opticians appointment and then somehow find some cash for a new pair of glasses (my glasses tend to cost about £180 a pair due to my dire eyesight and needing the lens 'thinned' so it doesn't look like I'm walking around with a pair of binoculars strapped to my head!).

With any luck I may have passed that magical 8.0 barrier which means I'm officially blind and can claim subsidy on both my glasses and also (apparently) disability allowance (?!? WTF?!?).

Good job I never dreamed of being a pilot when I was a kid isn't it!

EDIT: I may have disability levels wrong. If someone knows please let me know. I'm actually 95% certain it's not -8.0 now after seeing some of my readers eyesight figures!!!!

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
commlal
Jul. 24th, 2007 02:47 pm (UTC)
Poo, I'm -7.5 in both eyes. So close and yet so far :D
angusabranson
Jul. 24th, 2007 02:52 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure it's -8.0 isn't it?

I think last time I had a test I was -7.25/-7.75 in each (or something)
(Deleted comment)
kostika
Jul. 24th, 2007 07:10 pm (UTC)
Select Specs is where I've gotten my glasses the last 2 times and Grim's this last time. They're fast and wonderful. And they have a huge selectection of frames for some damned fine prices. I really can't recommend them enough.
madwitch
Jul. 24th, 2007 03:22 pm (UTC)
The subsidy is poo. I am well over that barrier and I got £12.50 towards my last pair of glasses. Not sure about the disability allowance thing. I had no idea I count as disabled (if I do).
arkady
Jul. 24th, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC)
I had no idea the barrier was that low; my sister is something like -9/-12, whereas my father is far worse (-45) - but neither has ever claimed the subsidy.

My eyesight is actually improving; I suspect my current glasses are too strong (if the headaches are anything to go by) but I can't get my eyes retested until the baby is 6 months old, as pregnancy hormones can change your prescription and don't settle down fully until 6 months after birth. :-/
madwitch
Jul. 24th, 2007 03:35 pm (UTC)
Mine is -12/-14, I've been getting the voucher help for years. But I've been going to the same optician since I was 7 or so, and he just told me I was entitled to the help and the free eye tests, so I never had to work out what the barrier was and if I was over it. The voucher was worth more, once upon a time.

But I'm having the eye op soon, anyway. :-)
angusabranson
Jul. 24th, 2007 04:01 pm (UTC)
It goes as far as -45!!!!

Ouch.

Not sure I got my subsidy figures correct now. :/
madwitch
Jul. 24th, 2007 04:03 pm (UTC)
It goes lower (higher?) than that.
replicantlizard
Jul. 24th, 2007 03:51 pm (UTC)
oh dear - and I fully sympathise. Getting older - i.e. the age thirty something + - is seriously damaging to one's health. My blinking (pun intended) eyes are playing me up at short range now too! Soon reading glasses will be needed to complement my need for occular adjustment at distance. I just can't believe it, it's just so thoroughly shite... *man hug*

angusabranson
Jul. 24th, 2007 04:02 pm (UTC)
*man hug* back...
adrian_gosling
Jul. 24th, 2007 04:03 pm (UTC)
Angus,
welcome to the world of "what's that say, I can't see it".
Probably the worst part if you think back, is you've been getting worse over time and not "noticed".
With my eyes, I had an "accelerator" which kinda gave me the same problems as you've got now. When I got glasses (£300 - yeah I got fleeced), the difference was amazing. Look (sic) on the bright side, pick the right 'specs andyou'll get to have a whole new level of cool to wow the ladies with :D
malkavelli
Jul. 24th, 2007 04:10 pm (UTC)
Have you ever considered laser surgery? Not everyone can have it done but if you can it'll be the best money you ever spend in your life. I went from glasses to no glasses about 8 years ago now and I still see absolutely fine with no aid whatsoever. Swimming, driving and going to gigs are a whole new experience afterwards, to say nothing of the fact that the eye-strain I used to get using computers completely dissapeared.
heliograph
Jul. 24th, 2007 05:51 pm (UTC)
Contacts? Or laser eye, as someone else suggested. Then you can shoot lasers out your eyes.

The catch with laser eye in the USA is that it isn't covered by insurance, so you have to plop out the whole $5k-ish yourself.
lareinemisere
Jul. 24th, 2007 08:16 pm (UTC)
As far as I'm aware, you're legally 'blind' - or partially sighted, as applicable - only when your corrected vision is dreadful. According to an optician I used to go out with, he'd see about one patient a month as bad as me, but that doesn't mean my myopia counts as a disability, because it's correctable. The boundary for subsidy, however, is definitely much lower than that. I've never paid for a sight test in my life and, after twenty-odd years of gradual deterioration, my prescription finally stabilised afew years ago (touch wood) at -11.75 dioptres.

The driving thing is, similarly, based on your corrected vision. Most people who need glasses wouldn't be legal driving without them, as they're pretty strict about you being able to see properly: that's why driving instructors usually start the first lsson by asking you to read a number plate. Assuming your prescription is right, you should be fine to drive.

It sounds like you may have been overpaying pretty badly for your glasses, too. If you've not booked an appointment yet, bear in mind that (again, according to my optician ex) the only chain optician that's even half-way decent is Dolland & Aitchison. If you aren't with an independent optician already, I highly recommend them. They actually seem to care about the health of your eyes, rather than just running you through the bare minimum of tests they can get away with, like you're on a conveyer belt, at Specsavers and the like.
(Anonymous)
Jul. 25th, 2007 07:13 am (UTC)
dUm from the Team8 forums here.

Eye problems hold a special part in my heart, and unfortunately are a crazy mess of rules and regs...

In the past, you could get registered as blind or partially sighted, now, on paper at least, that status doesn't actually exist. In the past it was up to an opthamologist/orphoptist etc to decide and register you, now its a social services thing, and most don't get it. I certainly didn't qualify last time I tried to get registered. Like others have said, it doesn't make much difference in terms of buying glasses, though, you can get a discount on your TV licence...

And its not as simple as having/needing high powered lenses. My lenses are only -1's but I have severe diplopia, i.e. double vision. I suffer it all the time, and the two images move... The DVLA are less strict about your lens power than they are about a condition such as diplopia, and I cannot get a licence (and would have had to hand over my licence if I had one) until such a point as the diplopia was corrected.

The flip side is that up here in Yorkshire, the local bus companies have a disabled/seniors bus/rail card which effectively gives free travel after 9:30. Again, applications get vetted by social services, but... one of the possible conditions for being allowed a pass is if you would be refused a driving licence. So i'm the proud own of a disabled pass, which, come April 2008, will give me free bus travel in the UK (thanks Mr Brown!)

Disability Living Allowance is another option. Its a horrible form to fill out, and most applications don't get it (though if you appeal, you stand a high chance of succeeding). The conditions for getting it are basically if you struggle to lead a safe and normal life, and if you're GP reckons you could benefit from additional care/transportation costs.
My wife who is disabled was awarded the higher rate after an appeal, and uses the monthly benefit to afford to lease and maintain a mobility scooter, massively improving her quality of life. I'm currently waiting to hear if my application (since I have exhausted all known solutions for diplopia) will be granted.
timgray
Jul. 25th, 2007 07:10 pm (UTC)
As we're all sharing :) I'm -4.5/-7.0.
But perfectly formed. Um...

Commiserations on dodgy eyes. Hopefully an optician will be able to help get rid of those headaches.

PS - also astonished by the 45!
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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