One of my first memories is of sitting at the dining room table, next to one of my grandparents, peering through the edge of the large glasses he wore, amazed at how different the world looked. I got my first pair of glasses at three years old. As I grew older, my eyes got progressively worse, though I am fortunate enough that my vision is normal with contacts.
Though technically referred to as “High Degenerative Infantile Myopia,” it is more commonly referred to as nearsightedness. It turns out, I don’t just have bad eyesight, but I have a genetic condition known as Stickler Syndrome which is known for causing very high myopia from a young age. It also causes progressive hearing loss, but fortunately, I only have mild hearing loss at certain frequencies. One other thing it causes is hypermobility, joint pain, and early onset arthritis. It can also cause a cleft palate or cleft lip, but I don’t have either of those.