I play Snooker in my local league and have done so for the past three years or so, prior to this time I had never made a break over thirty.

I was born with cataracts and later developed Glaucoma, an eye disorder that means that fluid normally found in the eye does not drain away and so builds up destructive pressure unless medication is administered.

The combination of these two conditions means that I am unable to drive a car or read newsprint without the aid of corrective lenses.

Some years ago I sent a copy of my prescription to an optician who claimed that they could make Snooker spectacles for virtually anyone. I also sent along a cheque as instructed by the advertisement that I had seen. I was disappointed after a few days to receive a very nice but disheartening letter stating that it would be impossible to make me some specialist snooker spectacles as my prescription was too complicated and that even if they were made, they would not work for me.

I struggled along with my previous specs for another two years, one day I went into a Spec-Savers Opticians in Huddersfield and saw on their shelf a pair of Snooker spectacle frames with of course simple plastic lenses for demonstration. I approached the counter with the demo specs in my hand and asked if they would try to make a pair for me using these frames. The Optician said that he doubted whether they would work, but would give it a try, if I would be OK coping with the disappointment if they were no good for me.

I was using a pair of glasses at the time that were thick at the top of the lens but did not swivel to allow me to place my chin on the cue and still be able to see both the object ball and the pocket. My highest break with these spectacles was 26 and I was on the points of giving up all hope of improving.

When my new specialist snooker specs arrived, I could not wait to try them. I went to the club and set up the balls all over the table and proceeded to try to knock them in.

At first the new specs seemed alien and unwieldy and they seemed to dazzle me with the amount of light that they directed onto my eyes. I went home feeling a little unsure as to whether I had done the right thing, the next time that I went to practise I noticed a marked improvement and within a few weeks notched up a 49 break against a friend of mine.

About three months after acquiring my glasses I started practising using the line up, an exercise that had yielded much frustration and a high break only in the early forties. Again I persevered making many fifties and sixties and after a while a top break of eighty-three.

I then broke fifty in a memorable session against a former local champion player who always seemed to bring out my best play.

My top break against an opponent is exactly sixty and was made about a year ago, since getting my specs, my game has improved out of all recognition. Of course I can still not drive a car or recognise a friend across the street and yet as snooker is a static ball game, I do all right.

If you are a mature person and feel that your vision is not what it was or if you have never had specs but secretly feel that you might need them for snooker, I would urge you to seek professional advice. Many people find that they do best with contact lenses and not glasses, but I can not get on with lenses.

If you have any worries about your vision at all, I would strongly suggest that you find a good optician as I did and see what they recommend.

My own game has improved and so my level of enjoyment and satisfaction has risen as well, if the effort that we put into something is not transferred into results the feeling of having failed is never far away. Perhaps if you are struggling, the solution may be awaiting you in a high street Opticians shop?

David Smith