The Struggles of Having VERY Bad Eyesight

Twenty20 53d8220b d7a4 4305 8240 f98dcdfe2c16

Nina Bahadur is the Associate Editor for HuffPost Women.

She recently wrote an article about having VERY bad eye sight. A story we hear about all the time. Thankfully Visian ICL has the technology to help! Read below some of Nina's story and 11 things she’s positive people with bad eyesight will only understand.

Do any of those ring a bell for you?

"In college, I had my glasses on all the time. I wore glasses to formals, in a cappella performances, on the beach. (I took them off for yoga class, which means I learned to do half-moon virtually blind. It was difficult.) And nearly every time I was dressed up but also had glasses on, someone would ask me, "Don't you have contacts?

I didn't. I tried to purchase some when I was 15, but I couldn't put them in my eyes (because touching one's eyeballs for the first time is slimy and confusing and generally terrible), so the shop wouldn't sell me any. I didn't really try again. And honestly, it was hard for me to imagine my face without glasses on it. I'd worn them constantly since the age of seven, all day, every day -- so walking around without the reassuring weight of them felt weird. Plus, I was convinced my eyes were sunken and should therefore be hidden by a layer of glass and appropriately thick plastic rims.

One thing I will say for contacts: they don't advertise to the world that you have terrible vision the way glasses do. Here are 11 things anyone else with really bad eyesight (and I mean can't see what's going on five inches from your face eyesight) will understand:

1. The panicked first minute of the morning when you can't find your glasses on the nightstand and knock over your water glass while groping around frantically.

2. When everyone tells you about Warby Parker, but they don't go beyond a -10. Thanks for nothing, hipster specs.

3. "How many fingers am I holding up?" (Over and over and over again.)

4. Being told to eat carrots, because they'll "make you see better." I hate to break it to you: They won't.

5. "Are you legally blind?"

6. Picking out the perfect frames, only to learn they cost $400 -- BEFORE the lenses.

7. "Oh my God, my eyes are so bad too! They're like a minus three!" Sorry, those with minor- to moderately-blurry vision, you're just not that special.

8. Being told you might need to wear reading glasses WITH your contacts. Come on, world.

9. "You should get LASIK!"

10. "My mom's friend's cousin's daughter's babysitter got LASIK and now she's blind."

11. People who try your glasses on "for fun" and then talk about how they can't see anything and how totally crazy is that? Yeah. Crazy. Now give them back."

Read more on Nina's story or find a Visian ICL doctor in your area.

Important Safety Information

The Visian ICL is intended for the correction of moderate to high nearsightedness. Visian ICL and Visian TICL surgery is intended to safely and effectively correct nearsightedness between -3.0 D to -15.0 D, the reduction in nearsightedness up to -20.0 D and treatment of astigmatism from 1.0 D to 4.0 D. If you have nearsightedness within these ranges, Visian ICL surgery may improve your distance vision without eyeglasses or contact lenses. Because the Visian ICL corrects for distance vision, it does not eliminate the need for reading glasses, you may require them at some point, even if you have never worn them before.

Implantation of the Visian ICL is a surgical procedure, and as such, carries potentially serious risks. Please discuss the risks with your eye care professional. Complications, although rare, may include need for additional surgical procedures, inflammation, loss of cells from the back surface of the cornea, increase in eye pressure, and cataracts.

You should NOT have Visian ICL surgery if:

  • Your doctor determines that the shape of your eye is not an appropriate fit for the Visian ICL
  • You are pregnant or nursing
  • You do not meet the minimum endothelial cell density for your age at the time of implantation as determined by your eye doctor
  • Your vision is not stable as determined by your eye doctor

Before considering Visian ICL surgery you should have a complete eye examination and talk with your eye care professional about Visian ICL surgery, especially the potential benefits, risks, and complications. You should discuss the time needed for healing after surgery. For additional information with potential benefits, risks and complications please visit



1Visian ICL Patient Information Booklet

2Sanders D. Vukich JA. Comparison of implantable collamer lens (ICL) and laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) for Low Myopia. Cornea. 2006 Dec; 25(10):1139-46.

3Naves, J.S. Carracedo, G. Cacho-Babillo, I. Diadenosine Nucleotid Measurements as Dry-Eye Score in Patients After LASIK and ICL Surgery. Presented at American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) 2012.

4Shoja, MR. Besharati, MR. Dry eye after LASIK for myopia: Incidence and risk factors. European Journal of Ophthalmology. 2007; 17(1): pp. 1-6.

5Lee, Jae Bum et al. Comparison of tear secretion and tear film instability after photorefractive keratectomy and laser in situ keratomileusis. Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery , Volume 26 , Issue 9 , 1326 - 1331.

6Parkhurst, G. Psolka, M. Kezirian, G. Phakic intraocular lens implantantion in United States military warfighters: A retrospective analysis of early clinical outcomes of the Visian ICL. J Refract Surg. 2011;27(7):473-481.

*American Refractive Surgery Council

Select Your Region

Select a Region