September 11, 2013
I watched a little bit of that historic 1973 tennis match of Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs last night on PBS and noticed both players wearing glasses. Which, of course, is something I have a little interest in (glasses that is). Looking at her glasses I noticed they were pretty large. The kind with the bar on top of the nose bridge is generally a man’s type of design but if you’re a tennis player back in 1973 perhaps a stronger frame design was important. Maybe there was another reason. Styles are so varied. I wasn’t watching close enough to see if she or Bobby Riggs had a strap around the back but you can imagine their glasses have to stay on really well…somehow.
I also remember seeing Tom Kite play golf a long time ago with some pretty large and thick glasses. I’m sure there are other athletes from long ago that used to wear glasses. LASIK has changed a lot of that these days.
But this isn’t just about her glasses really. This is also about who’s wearing their correction or not and if they are wearing the right correction. There’s no law that says you have to wear your glasses or contact lenses that I know of. Maybe there’s the DMV or workplace rule or an OSHA requirement. But is there any rule that says you have to wear your best correction? How many people are doing things, working or playing, and not wearing their prescriptive correction or using old glasses? I read that Billie Jean King’s uncorrected vision was 20/40 and that might have been a bad enough blur to make playing tennis without correction, difficult.
At what point do you decide to wear correction? I don’t have any criteria in my office other than getting the best corrected vision possible. It’s a personal decision that the patient chooses. Some patients are more critical about seeing and want to always see the detail and see as sharp as possible. On the other hand, I had a police officer as a patient who chose not to wear correction even though his vision was 20/30 in both eyes. Not sure what his supervisor would say about that.
There’s nothing wrong with wearing your glasses all the time or only when you need to unless your doctor made a particular recommendation. And nowadays we’ve got more options. Obviously contact lenses are a great option. Back to Billie Jean King…I noticed she still wears glasses….probably because she also needs reading power now. And her glasses aren’t near as big. But the really cool thing about her glasses is, she’s cool with them and I like that! And I want a wood tennis racket too.