Today, for the first time ever, I’ve been wearing contact lenses. As a new user, I have to say, they’re a jolly impressive technology!

These are multifocal ones, which I hope may save me from the routine of putting on my reading glasses, taking them off, dropping them, picking them up, losing them, finding them, cleaning them etc, which I currently do several times an hour. We’ll see how well they work overall, but you know what was the very first benefit I noticed in the optician’s office? I could read my Apple Watch!

Such a cruel mistress is Fate, that the very moment that I was able to purchase this miracle of technology and strap it to my wrist was the same moment my eyesight deteriorated to the point where only things further away than the end of my arm could be viewed unaided. Since then, yes, I’ve been able to read big digits and press pause buttons, but most of the more detailed displays on the watch have had me reaching for my glasses, which does somewhat tarnish the high-tech coolness of it all. Sigh. Old computer-graphics geeks don’t die, they just lose their resolution.

Another problem I’d like to solve is that of seeing both my SatNav and the road. I don’t need glasses for driving. I do need them to read the dashboard. When I put them on, I can’t see the road. Ça, c’est un problême.

So is needing a spare hand for specs when I’m taking photos. I can use my camera’s viewfinder, which has a diopter correction, or the rear screen, which doesn’t. I often want to switch between these to get the best shot, but by the time I’m ready, the eagle has flown.

In a way, it would be easier if I needed to wear glasses all the time, rather then half the time. But my distance vision isn’t at all bad, and I tried varifocal glasses and they didn’t agree with me. So I hope these prove to be a success. My total contact-lens-wearing experience currently runs to about 6 hours, so it’s too early to say.

But they have at least allowed me to write this post without difficulty, and, perhaps more importantly, they have solved that problem whose critical importance for humans was first identified by Arthur Dent on a spaceship in the late seventies, and encountered by me in central Cambridge in 2015: “How am I going to operate my digital watch now?”

Enjoyed this post? Why not sign up to receive Status-Q in your inbox?


Thanks, Q. I’m starting to suffer from mild presbyopia too, requiring the purchase of £1 reading glasses from PoundLand to read books properly, without stretching my arms out. I suspect it will only get worse (just turned 47 this year). So I look forward to hearing future updates! All the best.

I’m a tad jealous of people who can use contacts, as my eye problem include at least one which can’t be corrected using them, so I’d have to wear specs regardless.

I’ve just recently started using a separate pair for screenwork, which does make daily life slightly better. One small problem which I’m going to have to address is that they seem to have assumed that my screen will be at arm’s length whereas it’s actually about a foot further away usually, so I have to lean slightly forward in my chair to get a clean view. This would be fine most of the time, but it does interfere when my cat decides I need a bit of lap-therapy in which case I can’t quite get close enough…there’s a desk in the way!

    A friend of mine who’s a piano player always had problems, until she measured the distance from the end of her nose to her musical score, and then went to the optician and said she needed to focus at that many centimetres…

Got Something To Say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To create code blocks or other preformatted text, indent by four spaces:

    This will be displayed in a monospaced font. The first four 
    spaces will be stripped off, but all other whitespace
    will be preserved.
    Markdown is turned off in code blocks:
     [This is not a link](

To create not a block, but an inline code span, use backticks:

Here is some inline `code`.

For more help see


© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser