Monday, November 7, 2011

The Eyes Have It!

If you had to choose, which would you let go: 
your sight,
your hearing,
or your ability to walk

I am a mover.  Being forced to sit still, in one place, like on an airplane, is almost more than I can bear.  I'm a mover and squirmer and hop-along-energizer bunny. 
Still, I wouldn't choose to keep my legs.

I am currently loosing my hearing, a little bit at a time.  It's very frustrating to repeatedly ask people to say again or to speak up, or to have to confess that I haven't heard anything at all.
That being said, I wouldn't choose to have my sense of hearing.

Above all, I am a visually stimulated person.  I learn visually.  I notice things others don't or can't see. 
I would forever choose my sight over any other of my senses.

Recently, Hubby informed me that he absolutely couldn't stand my sunglasses.  He really HATES them.  He begged me to go get new ones.  Okay, why not?  Being that I hadn't had my eyes checked in the past five years, I opted for a trip to the optometrist first, to check out my prescription before committing to expensive new lenses.

Did I mention I am particularly squeamish when it comes to people poking their fingers in any of my body parts...dentists, doctors, eye examiners...?  You know how it goes. 

-Look straight ahead at the light.  Do not move!  I'm just going to put these drops in your eyes.
-Don't blink.  I'm just going to puff some air on your cornea.
-Hold still.  I'm just going to ....  I hear: rip your eyeballs right out of your head and eat them in front of you.

I have wonderful news to relate.

All the past tortures of the traditional eye exam have been replaced by fabulous, new technology that didn't hurt or frighten me at all.  I was particularly fascinated by the computerized scan of the retina.  No more do we have to re-breath the exhalations of the optomotrist as he gets up-close and personal with his little round light thingy, peering into, and through our pupils, to see a small slice of the back of our eyes.

On my recent visit to the modern world of the eye exam, I got to see all of the retina and the all-important macula.  The macula is so important, because it is where the majority of the cones in the nerve layer of the eye are concentrated.  It is responsible for central and high resolution vision.  Without it, there is no watching TV, no reading, no recognizing faces.  I was told that early detection is the key to treating diseases of the eye.  By the time a person is aware of problems, it's too late to prevent loss of vision.

-Do you wear sun glasses?


-Very important that you do, Madam.  With the thinning of the ozone layer, our eyes are being subjected to unheard of levels of ultra-violet light, burning out maculae at an alarming rate.

Doctor DoLittle told me:
-Thirty years ago, I NEVER had a patient younger than 80 with macular degeneration.  Nowadays, I have several patients as young as 30 with this terrible affliction.

Thankfully, my eyes passed with flying colours.

And so, here I am, in the interest of my readers, my children and my grandchildren, relaying the doctor's good advice:
(warning:  public announcement imminent.)

-Always wear UV-protecting sunglasses, summer and winter.


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