Thursday, May 24, 2007

Ophthamologic Oddity

The EyeI went in to the optometrist today. You may not realize it, but without glasses or contacts I could barely see a stop sign at ten feet. Blind as a bat is a phrase that comes to mind (especially since Mrs. E often uses of me). I like my optometrist. He's around my age. He keeps up no pretenses. No suit and tie for this guy, and no scrubs as many are fond of wearing these days. No, he normally wears jeans and a tee-shirt (at least it doesn't have holes in it) and, like me, is too lazy to shave daily despite the scruffy look that results. He takes time to chat with patients, and he takes time to do medical mission work. Today he told me his house burned down a month ago - chimney fire. Apparently, chimney sweeps are not relegated to a former era and should be hired if you burn wood in your fireplace.

He also is new to the practice of optometry. His first job was as a polymer chemist doing research. As such, he understands rheology and is geeky enough to still find it interesting. He switched careers because he had done all he could with a Master's degree and, to progress and not get bored, he would have to go back to school. So, he says, why not go back to school for something completely different? He tells me he'll probably get bored of this in a few years and do something different then; I hope not, because he's good at this and I don't want to find a new optometrist.

He also likes me, as a patient, because I'm odd. Ophthamologically speaking, that is (keep your other comments to yourself). I currently wear, as I have for the last twenty years,
rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses. Most people wear soft contacts and so are not familiar with RGP lenses. In short, the RGP helps to hold the form of your cornea - can actually mold it and change the eye. They also tend to scar to cornea over time and deaden the feeling you have on the eye. There are various reasons I have worn these. In short, it is because of my odd eyes and contributes to my odd eyes. When I first went in to see Joey, he suggested I try soft contacts. After two days in soft contacts my eyes had warped so much that neither the new soft contacts nor my old RGPs, or even my glasses, gave me decent eyesight. For him examining my eyes, it is like a journey of discovery: "So, Euphrony, how have they changed this week?"

The most recent shift has been the total disappearance of my
astigmatism, which is not something that usually happens. Overall, though, I've been fairly stable the last six months. We're trying the soft contacts again (to get away from any eye-molding from the RGPs) and if things look good and stable in a year I'm going to try and have lasik surgery on my eyes and try to get rid of glasses and contacts altogether. That, for me, would be odd. I've had glasses since fourth grade; I don't know any other life.

anisocoriaDid I mention he is chatty? He actually tells you what is going on with your eyes. For instance, I never realized until talking to Joey that I have anisocoria. Nothing serious, it just means that one of my pupils is larger than the other. It's a common thing, but the degree to which one of my pupils is larger is not as common. One of the effects of anisocoria is that your depth perception is messed up. Finally, after all these years, I learn why it is I totally suck at catching or hitting balls!

What's your eyesight like? Do you wish you had a cool optometrist like Joey?

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Chaotic Hammer said...

I had LASIK done about 5 years ago.

Amazing, marvelous, fantastic. I can't say enough good things about my experience with it. I enjoy and appreciate every minute of 20/20 vision that I have now.

euphrony said...

See, now, that's what I'm looking for!

Anne said...

I'm too afraid of Lasik. I made the mistake of going with my sister when she had it done and watched it on the video monitor. EEWWWW!

By the way, my video is finally up of my evening on stage - come see.

Unknown said...

You say the degree to which they differ is uncommon, but I don't see a huge difference between your pupil sizes... Or did you mean the fact that they are only very slightly different is rare? I have anisocoria in which my left pupil takes up almost my entire iris at all times. Now that makes for some shitty depth perception... :-(

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