I wear glasses and strength-adjusted sunglasses. Have been doing so for ten years. Recently, while on vacation in various foreign cities, I noticed a peculiar psychological effect: when I would take off my (sun)glasses while walking in the street, I felt this strong sense of becoming "grounded" in my environment, whereas with glasses on, there seemed to be some kind of mental barrier that reduced my overall perception -- paradoxically, obviously, because I need glasses to visually navigate anywhere that isn't my house.
My brother has even stronger glasses, and he confirmed having the same experience after I told him about what I experienced when taking off my glasses. He has since described it as if wearing glasses "makes sight feel like a video" or "the effect of looking through a window".
Is there a suitable word that describes how reality becomes more distant when (e.g.) wearing glasses?
As for the effect itself, I have several hypotheses for the effect itself:
- The frame of one's glasses is always peripherally visible, so it may affect how we perceive what's inside the frame. Alternatively, it has something to do with the field of vision not having a homogeneous sharpness past the frame. (Neither of us has tried wearing contacts to confirm this.)
- Coatings on glasses shift colours away from their natural form (sometimes very noticeably, sometimes perhaps subtly), so there might be some deep subconscious expectation being violated when wearing colour-shifting glasses.
- Our vision is so bad that taking off glasses is like being put into a sensory deprivation tank. This seems unlikely though, because it sets in immediately after taking off the glasses, without delay.