New trigger- not wearing my glasses
Last summer, I got a new vision prescription for the first time since I was seventeen (for those who are counting, that’s exactly half a lifetime ago now that I’m thirty-four years old). That means that for sixteen years, I had glasses I wore only occasionally for better distance vision. The prescription was pretty weak, and I ordinarily took out the glasses just for driving, for reading chalkboards or whiteboards during class, and when I was experiencing blurry vision due to an already-present migraine.
Before booking my appointment to pick out new glasses and get an exam in 2013, I put on my old tried and true glasses and could see just fine. I peered at the trees in the distance and could see the leaves. I was sure that my new glasses would have the exact same prescription.
But guess what? I was wrong! Turns out my vision has continued to change over the years, and even though I could see okay through my old glasses, there was a more precise and appropriate prescription for me. Within a few days, I had new glasses and was totally thrown off because they were blurring my vision and making me feel as if my depth perception was going crazy. (Turns out you have to give your brain a few days to get used to a new prescription—I’d never known that before.)
Now that I’m used to my glasses, I wear them all day, every day. The optometrist actually told me I didn’t need to wear them every day, and that I could get by without them. But I feel much better while wearing them. Once or twice I have gone out for a dressy evening and skipped the glasses just to try to be fancier. I lasted a couple of hours before I took the glasses out of my purse and slipped them back on.
This morning I was writing and checking email when I realized my head was starting to hurt, especially behind my right eye. I could read the font on my computer screen okay, but I felt much better once I enlarged the text. I got up to pour more coffee and felt a little off-kilter, dizzy in the way I often am during a migraine attack. My eye pain got a little worse over the next twenty minutes or so and I suddenly realized a migraine was on its way.
Why are my eyes sore? What’s the deal? I thought.
And then the obvious answer came to me: I had neglected to put my glasses on this morning. Duh. I usually grab them off the night table as soon as I wake up, but last night I (or the cat) must have knocked them off the table. I guess when I didn’t see them first thing, I didn’t think to look for them. Going 33 years without wearing glasses every day will do that to you. I guess you just occasionally forget that you’re a four-eyes.
I retrieved the glasses and put them on, but I am afraid the migraine has already set in. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it won’t get any worse, but I’ll soon have to decide if I’m going to medicate.
For those of you who wear glasses or contact lenses: does not wearing your prescription lenses trigger migraines for you? If so, how long can you go before you have to put on your glasses or put in your lenses?
Have you taken our Migraine In America Survey yet?