Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Eyes Right!

No, this isn’t going to be about my marching experiences in the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) at Bournemouth School in the 1950s, where I learnt to walk in a straight line whilst not looking where I was going – although I could tell you a bit about that, and might save it up for a future blog.  (One good thing about blogburbling is that you can’t see your readers rolling their eyes.)  I was actually quite good at it, such that I eventually got appointed to point position, the marching pacemaker (front left) who effectively controls the whole pointless procedure …

No, this is about my eye test this morning.  I hadn’t had one for far too long, at least according to the optician: five years in fact.  I rationalise this by the thought that one’s eyesight alters so gradually that you have to give it enough time for any significant changes to be detectable – which is cobblers, I know: it was entirely down to my negligence and procrastination.  Anyway, it got done and, to my relieved surprise, no serious issues.

Unlike some other medical procedures, I quite enjoy eye tests.  I particularly like the peripheral vision check, where you put your face into a box, stare at a red light, and click a button whenever you see a green flash, which might be anywhere.  It’s like winning at a rather primitive arcade computer game.  Apparently, the quicker you respond, the more frequently the green flashes come, which adds an extra element of competition.

I also enjoy competing with the lower lines of the random letter charts – I bet on that fuzzy smudge being a V rather than a Y, an M not an H, and beat the odds: that’s strangely satisfying.  As is making the judgment call as to whether this lens combination is more or less blurry than that one.  In a funny way, for a little while I feel very much involved with, even in control of, an essential element of my life which is usually taken for granted.

The photographs of my retina were interesting too (especially as they didn’t show up any problems).  I’ve had a few ultrasound scans of various zones recently, and sometimes been allowed to watch the screen, and I find it fascinating to see, in real time, what’s actually going on in there.  (I’m sure not everyone would agree.)

The most surprising result was that, whereas my right eye has deteriorated somewhat, my left one has actually improved.  I’d suspected this to be the case, so the surprising bit was the reason.  It seems I have a small incipient cataract in my left eye, and apparently, in the early stages, this can actually cause your vision to get better!  Who’d have guessed that?  It will eventually get worse, of course, but not for a good few years yet.  I won’t wait another five though. 

In the meantime, I need to choose some new frames.  I know, I could just reuse the old ones; but at this stage of my life, I don’t get many opportunities to make a fashion statement.



  1. I dread the air-jet thing at eye tests. Have to plead to be let off it.

  2. I had intended to try and get an appointment for an eye test myself this week, but haven't got around to it. The firm that did my laser surgery called me back for a 5-year check-up in April of last year so it is not urgent, but it would make sense to get it done while I don't have any other commitments.

    It doesn't matter how much I try to prepare myself for that jet of air, it always makes me jump.

  3. I hate the judgement call. I can never decide. I'm so unobservant that I have to close one eye, then the other, to decide whether or not I've got a contact lens in.

    An optician once put a lens in front that mimicked a certain type of cataract that perfected my eyesight, which was interesting.

  4. Checking my blog reminds me, must get some new glasses ...

  5. I also have a cataract developing in my left eye which is starting to cause me worries, in that there is a slight film over that eye which has me constantly winking to try and clear it. I had hoped to be referred at my last eye test in August but was told that it had a long way to go before anything would be done. The optician did suggest, however, that I could lie!!