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Do you wear glasses? Please share your memory of wearing them for the first time and your tips on getting them for the first time with Specsavers - you could win £250 NOW CLOSED

345 replies

AnnMumsnet · 01/12/2014 13:40

The team at Specsavers would love to hear your story of when you first put on a pair of glasses and realised what you were missing - did you have that "wow" moment? How life changing it is to have your vision corrected for the first time? They'd also love to hear your tips for other people on wearing specs for the first time - whether they are for a long or short sighted prescription.

Specsavers say "when you choose Specsavers Opticians you are in safe hands - as shown by a YouGov 2014 survey*, Specsavers has been voted the most trusted optician in the UK. We always completely follow the guidelines set out by the General Optical Council - this means that all our glasses are professionally fitted under the supervision of a qualified optician. Every pair of glasses is individually made to meet your vision requirements and lifestyle needs - your dispenser will check that your new glasses fit properly and that you have clear, comfortable vision, making any necessary adjustments to ensure a perfect fit – making getting that first pair a easy!"

Share your thoughts and everyone who does will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £250 voucher from here

Please note Specsavers may use your comments - anon of course - on their pages on MN, on their social media or possibly elsewhere - please only post if you're happy with this.

Thanks and good luck

Do you wear glasses? Please share your memory of wearing them for the first time and your tips on getting them for the first time with Specsavers - you could win £250 NOW CLOSED
OP posts:
ouryve · 01/12/2014 14:45

I got my first glasses, when I was 23, just after my finals. I'd spent most of the period struggling to follow a line of text and ending up with stonking headaches. I'd been backwards and forwards to the optician since was 14, for the headaches and nothing was picked up, apart from some accommodation issues, which I had to do exercises for.

The test I had was the first one where machinery was used to measure my eyes before the actual test. It turned out that I had an astigmatism, which I'd been masking by squinting. Even when I was being tested, it was like I'd never realised that it was possible to see that clearly.

My first glasses were massive, roundish early 90s jobbies. The effect of the lenses was to make me feel about a foot shorter and like the ground was going to come up and smack me in my face. That took some getting used to and I found it easier to keep them on all the time, rather than try to build up the time I wore them.

My biggest shock was how dusty everything looked! That was never replicated until I got my first varifocals.

OliviaBenson · 01/12/2014 14:54

I got my first glasses last year at the age of 29 from Specsavers.

I only realised that there might be a problem after complaining that the TV was blurred over Christmas- my husband (also a wearer of glasses) pointed out it was probably my vision rather than the TV.

I have to say, I found it quite difficult to come to terms with- I took my sight for granted before that. I was in quite a sulk when trying to select some glasses for the first ever time. I think I was in denial. What helped me was having a supportive husband and kind staff. I found two pairs which really suited my face- I get compliments on my glasses which helped me come to terms with it (as vain as that sounds Grin)

Walking home with them on for the first time was a revelation- everything was so clear! I still don't love the fact I have to wear them, but a large selection, kind advice and time helps. So much so I see them as an accessory now and look on forward to buying my next set (as long as my prescription hasn't changed!)

aJumpedUpPantryBoy · 01/12/2014 15:05

I got my first pair when I was seven. They were a revelation - for the first time ever I could see the board in the classroom and didn't have to look at my next door neighbour's work.
I remember being able to read the clock on the wall in our kitchen - for months my parents had been trying to get me to learn how to tell the time, with the promise of a watch of my own once I'd mastered it.
Pre glasses I couldn't actually see the ads so would just guess wildly leading my parents to believe I had severe problems with learning this skill.

CMOTDibbler · 01/12/2014 15:06

I was 13 when I got my first glasses. It was like a revelation - all these things I'd never been able to see before! I've worn glasses all the time ever since. Course, now I'm 42 I have two pairs as now I need reading glasses too - which doesn't seem fair for a very short sighted person!

Dawndonnaagain · 01/12/2014 15:09

I was ten. My Dad had bought me a poster for the end of my bed, he came in, put it up and asked what I thought. What is it? Was my reply. I was whipped down to the optician at the weekend. I got black nhs glasses, back in the late sixties/early seventies. I had black hair in a bob and I have olive skin. I was called Nana Mouskouri for a few years!
My overriding memory is of stepping off the kerb with my new glasses on and it seeming hugely steep, and of being able to see the blackboard (it really was a blackboard in those days) from the back of the classroom!

mumsbe · 01/12/2014 15:11

I was so nervous getting my first glasses and was putting it off as much as I could. I was only 16 and walked with my head down because I couldn't see anyone anyway. My college work was suffering because I could not see the board and I was even walking past my mum in the street!

On my first visit to specsavers they were really helpful and made me feel at ease because they explained what they were doing. They helped me to choose a pair of glasses because I did not have a clue and still didn't really want to wear them.

Eventually I chose a pair and was given a time to collect them. I spoke to a friend at college and she was much older than me so she reassured me and said its just like getting a new accessory for an outfit or having a make over.

When I went to collect the glasses from specsavers the staff were great and reassured me that the glasses suited me. It was great to be able to see properly and these days when I get a new pair of glasses I usually get a new colour hair or change of image and I never go for contact lenses.

I find getting new glasses is like getting a nice piece of jewellery or watch because you wear them all the time

travailtotravel · 01/12/2014 15:12

I've worn glasses since I was a small child,to corect an astigmatism. I have two clear memories of specs.

Firstly, as I was so young I never quite got why u had these and my brother didn't. I kept taking them on and off. Then one day when i was about 4, a lens fell clean out and I struggled to see. I had to wait 3 days for am appointment (my mum said) and suffered the most awful headaches and couldn't see properly. I finaly git why i needed them.
Secondly being teased by other kids and called NHS specs. Yep, I had the pink ones (were there really only blue, pink or brown to pick from?). Any other type of spec was prohibitively expensive and even then, the choice was small. I marvel now at how much choice we have, for such a reasonable price. I am proud of my 'face furniture' and love picking new specs. The staff in !y local Specsavers are so helpful!

AdventCaroline · 01/12/2014 15:23

I was in my 20s when I first got mine. I was really grateful for the help I was given in choosing my glasses in the opticians shop - I didn't have a clue about what would suit my face, or be comfortable, or anything.

It was amazing how bright and sharp everything looked the first time I wore them, it actually made me a bit nauseous! It took me a few days to get used to them, I'd be lost without them now!

Gawjushun · 01/12/2014 15:27

I got my first pair at 13 and was highly embarrassed! They were wire framed old lady specs. Luckily, there's a much nicer range available now. It felt weird being able to see the blackboard at school without squinting.

Mulligrubs · 01/12/2014 15:38

I was 11 (15 years ago) I'd been having headaches at school and realised I couldn't read the board properly.

My mum took me to Specsavers and I remember I noticed all the staff were glasses and they all looked good! Being a pre-teen I was worried that I'd look geeky but I vividly remember thinking "wow, I love all their glasses!"

The eye test was so weird, having those big frames on your face but I was amazed I could see so clearly through the lenses they tried - I hadn't realised just how bad my eyes had become.

I picked my frames with the help of my mum and the woman in the shop. I liked all the "young people's" frames and it was quite fun trying them all on. I picked a dark silver thin framed pair Smile

PatriciaHolm · 01/12/2014 15:45

i was 4! Apparently I went round with a large grin on my face for days afterwards.

meltedmonterayjack · 01/12/2014 15:53

I was five when I got my first pair. They were those pink, wire-framed, round National Health ones. It was long before Harry Potter was around to make wearing glasses cool.

I was a nervous wreck the day I first wore them to school. I was the smallest in the class - about the size of an average three year old, and I didn't want anything else to draw attention to me.

I was given a really hard time for wearing them and I hated walking into the classroom in the mornings to the shouts of "Here comes speccy four eyes". I was a very sensitive kid, so couldn't just laugh it off. I used to beg my Mum to let me go to school without them, even though it was lovely to be able to see clearly.

My most recent pair from Specsavers are black 'hipster' style ones. Finally, the day has come when it's cool to be seen in specs. Specsavers have made the process easier then its ever been to choose. There's huge range of frames, lightweight lenses and the option to be able to view on screen how you actually look in them before you take the plunge.

I wish I'd kept those pink wire NHS ones to show my daughter. She's grown up having lots of choice of nice frames and would be horrified had this been just about the only thing around for children.

amgine · 01/12/2014 15:57

I was about 10 amd my abiding memory is realising that trees had leaves with so much detail. Was a complete revelation to me.

I still get the same when my contact lens prescription in changed 20 years later!

bonnymiffy · 01/12/2014 16:01

I was 9 or 10, and kept getting headaches, so ended up with glasses to wear for "middle distance" such was watching TV (OK as that's at home) or reading the blackboard at school. I had the blue-plastic framed 1970's NHS ones and hated them with a passion. I really don't remember any kind of biblical "I can see!!" moment at all, and I was told by the optician that if I wore them when I was meant to, I might not need them at all by my early teens. I wore them, but at 18 was told I should wear my glasses all the time. I'm in my 30's (ok, 40's) and still resentful of the lie I was told as a child.
Children's glasses look much better now, DD1 (aged 3) has some and hopefully her experience will be better than mine.

ShatnersBassoon · 01/12/2014 16:01

I was 11 when I first got glasses. I made the terrible mistake of choosing some that were fashionable at that moment, and that moment only. I looked silly, but felt great Grin

WomanScorned · 01/12/2014 16:01

My moment of realisation was 2 World Cups ago. I just couldn't read the score.
Up till then, it never occurred to me that my eyesight was anything perfect I just hadn't realised how much I wasn't seeing, until I could actually see it!
I felt horribly self conscious at first, but the sales assistants at Specsavers were very helpful. As in, told me what did/didn't suit me.
I still don't feel like a natural glasses wearer, but at least I can see!

daisybrown · 01/12/2014 16:03

I started wearing glasses at about 5 years old, they looked like the type Alf Garnett used to wear. The other kids gave me the affectionate name of OWL!

Tzibeleh · 01/12/2014 16:56

Hideous blue NHS frames at age 10. I hadn't realised that I could not see well, and hated having to wear glasses at school. Only one other child in my class wore glasses, and nobody liked him. (Nothing to do with his glasses, he was probably undiagnosed ASD/ADHD.)

At first I only ever wore the glasses in class, and what I vividly remember was when I wanted to wear them at playtime, because I realised how much better I could see with them, but was too embarrassed and self-conscious to keep them on outside the classroom.

Then my BFF got glasses, too! And hers were even more hideous than mine - pink NHS frames. We comforted and supported each other.

FeelingIrie · 01/12/2014 16:58

I was 7, it was the 1980s. I kept getting sums wrong when the teacher did them in the board, as I couldn't make out the difference between 3s and 8s etc. the teacher noticed and told my mum I should get my eyes tested and when I went I couldn't even make out the biggest letters! I remember feeling embarrassed and a bit ashamed. The glasses were awful and I think my mum was upset I had to wear them. I kept taking them off at play times but eventually realized life was much easier when I could see!

Anyone who suspects their vision is failing should definitely get a test - your eye health is so important. I make sure I get tested every year as my dad had glaucoma and it can run in families.

TheHappinessTrap · 01/12/2014 17:03

I was 9. They were gigantic peach coloured plastic ones and I hated them. But, the moment I put them on and looked through the blinds to the tree outside and saw leaves is etched into my memory!

ScienceRocks · 01/12/2014 17:14

I was four and hugely myopic. I could see for the first time yet I had never realised I couldn't. I was so pleased that all my school friends went home crying because they wanted glasses and couldn't have them.

Four years later, I got contact lenses. My first words were "that's what my eyes look like"! I had literally never seen them both at the same time because of the distortion my glasses gave to any bit of my face that was behind them when I looked in a mirror, and the fact that i had to squash my nose against the mirror to see my eyes without my glasses on and therefore I could only see one at a time. Given that my eyes are the prettiest part of me, this was a revelation.

There was also mourning, however. I missed the macro effect I enjoyed when my vision was uncorrected: the hairs on my arm, the whorls on the ends of my fingers, the lace effect on my skin. Still, being able to see everything else without literally walking into it had its advantages...

teddygirlonce · 01/12/2014 17:19

I was doing my A Levels and my mother helpfully seemed to think I wanted them to look 'brainy' Hmm. Truth was that I couldn't see the blackboard (that dates me!).

I don't remember feeling particularly positive or negative about wearing them but I did feel vindicated to discover I was indeed short-sighted!

My glasses were okay but that there's not a photo of me wearing them probably speaks volumes. I did wear them for lessons but pretty sure that I made sure I was never photographed in them!

Make sure you keep up with having your eyes tested regularly. As I could tell my eyesight had stabilised by mid 30s (and didn't really need them for the lifestyle I was leading), I didn't get mine tested for about 10 years - felt such shame when I did finally get round to going again last year! Thankfully no further deterioration in my eyesight or eye/health problems detected but I've learned my lesson!

clopper · 01/12/2014 17:26

I was in my early thirties and struggling to learn to drive, the corners seemed to come upon me too quickly! Glasses were a revelation and really helped with driving and gave me more confidence. I remember looking at the house over the road and noticing individual roof tiles for the first time. I've worn glasses ever since and the irony is I now need to take them off to read. I guess I will be looking at varifocal glasses soon.

I have problems choosing glasses that suit me and always appreciate constructive advice from the assistants at the specsavers. Sometimes the choice can be overwhelming.

KitCat26 · 01/12/2014 17:28

I was 7 when I got my first pair, rather fetching NHS ones. I remember looking at the floor and feeling quite ill, almost seasick, the first time I wore them. By the next day it was fine and I was enjoying being able to see clearly.

My eyesight isn't too bad (1. something in both eyes), and actually I love wearing glasses. Mostly they are where they should be on my face, but sometimes on my head holding my hair back. They are my Clark Kent disguise to stop the world swooning at my feet Wink.

When I buy glasses I generally start by looking for ones that suit me in a colour I like, then for comfort, I hate those nose pad things so go for the solid plastic ones. Next I check they can survive being used to hold my hair out of my face. If they pass all this I'm onto a winner. Any issues like headaches, nausea or pinching and I head back to the opticians to get it sorted.

Contact lenses aren't for me so it is worth investing in a couple of pairs of glasses I really like.

ArthurShappey · 01/12/2014 17:51

I think my memory is pretty much the same as any person who started wearing glasses as a child. I was 7 when my teacher told my parents that I was squinting to read the blackboard and that my eyes should be tested. When they took me it was confirmed I definitely needed glasses. Thankfully my parents could afford a really nice pair for me so I didn't have to be a child of the 80s with massive ugly nhs glasses. It wasn't until I stepped outside that I really noticed how well I could see. I was amazed I could see the leaves on trees, actual leaves... Before then trees were blurry green things and I thought everyone saw them the same way I did.

I've been wearing contacts since I was 14, so 23 years now. I remember the fast time I fell asleep in them by accident. I woke up in the morning and because I could see I thought is been cured in my sleep Blush.

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