Me and my glasses

“I try and get glasses that are bright”

Grace McGill, SeeAbility expert by experience and eye care champion, shares her love for colourful glasses, and raising awareness of eye care for all

Grace smiles to the camera, wearing dark purple spectacles, a black top and purple cardigan

How many pairs of spectacles and sunglasses do you own?

I have two pairs of glasses and one pair of sunglasses. I also have a pair of swimming goggles. I swim two to three times a week.

What frame shapes, colours or styles do you usually choose?

Anything bright and colourful. When I was younger, I didn’t get any choices for my glasses because of how thick my lenses were [and the NHS style of glasses at the time]. It might have only been between one or two frames and they were usually black or brown.

Can you describe your favourite pair?

My favourite pair of glasses are colourful: blue and purple. I’d like a pair of rainbow glasses.

How long have you worn spectacles for?

I have worn glasses since I was very young child. I had my cataracts taken out when I was 11 months old, so quite soon after that. I used to need to have them tied to the back of my head, because I used to try to pull them off and throw them.

Grace stands in the lobby of the Optix conference, raising her arms and smiling for the camera. She wears blue and purple spectacles and a long colourful dress.
Grace raises awareness of the importance of eye care for all

What does eye health mean to you?

I had a bilateral cataract operation at 11 months old. I had good eye care at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and left when I was about 16. Towards leaving GOSH I started getting really sore eyes and needed steroids. Unfortunately, I developed glaucoma and I lost a fair amount of my vision.

Then I developed Charles Bonnet Syndrome, which was misdiagnosed as psychosis and I was given anti-psychotic drugs which made no difference. In November 2016, I went into hospital to have two teeth taken out, and ended up on life support in the Intensive Care Unit. When I woke up, I didn’t have Charles Bonnet Syndrome anymore. I wouldn’t want anyone to go through what I did.

Now I take five lots of eye drops – one every two hours – for glaucoma, dry eyes and allergies. I get good eye care at both my optician’s practice and my hospital appointments.

Is it important to you that your eyewear shows your personality?

Yes, I try and get glasses that are bright, although it depends on what the opticians recommend. I wear bright clothes.

What are your three top tips for selecting the right pair of frames?

  1. That they look good
  2. They fit well
  3. And do the job.