Farsighted people hate glasses. Beyond a certain age, almost all French people admit to being farsighted, but just under half of them prefer not to wear glasses so as to preserve the image of eternal youth. This is the finding of a survey run by the Opinion Way Institute for Essilor, on a sample of a thousand people between the ages of 40 and 64, the age at which the majority of people need reading glasses. Some 94 percent of the sample admitted to being presbyotic, while 84 percent were also astigmatic, and 76 percent were hypermetropic.

Nobody likes to admit to the problems related to aging. This may explain why 39 percent of the sample adopts a series of strategies to hide their sight defects and avoid being seen with a pair of spectacles on their nose. Thirty percent admitted to not wearing glasses in public, even if they don't see well enough. Some 19 percent say they pretend to be able to see the menu in a restaurant and point to a dish at random. Sixteen percent pretend to see well in their working environment and 10 percent lie about their farsightedness in order to hide their age. All these strategies are related to preserving one's image, and a quarter of the people interviewed maintain that wearing glasses makes you less elegant, less attractive and less sure of yourself.

Apart from the question of image, farsighted people have a number of difficulties using progressive lenses, a quarter of the sample having problems walking down stairs, reading a book or working at a computer. Twenty-one percent find it difficult to take photographs wearing progressive lenses, 18 percent have problems doing certain sports and 16 percent have difficulty looking right and left before they cross a road.

Myopia affects 90 percent of young people toward the end of their secondary school studies in Asia, and 40 percent in Europe. A group of scientists at the University of Valencia in Spain is currently working on a project to slow down the evolution of myopia, inspired by a scientific principle taken from the realm of astronomy. The idea is to separate the good signals from the bad signals received by the eye; the bad signals that can cause a thickening of the retina are then modified with optical devices and therapies to block their action. The EU has provided €1.5 million in funding to support the project.