Wednesday 24 May 2023

My Eye Test

Today's article is a non-woo-woo one for a change. For several years I have been suffering with eyestrain. HPANWO TV viewers have noticed how I squint at my PC monitor and at distant signs etc. I have not had my eyes tested since my driving test over thirty years ago (Don't worry, I do not drive today). I booked an appointment at my local opticians and went along. Eye tests have changed beyond belief since my last experience of them. Gone are the letter boards on the wall. I spent about half an hour staring into machines that resembled a submarine periscope. The optician did more than just check my vision; she sprayed a jet of air into my eyes to check the pressure in case I was developing glaucoma. She also took a photo of the back of my eyeballs to make sure the blood supply was okay. She said my eyes were slightly dry and recommended eye-drops, but a family member told me they always say that just to sell the drops. As I guessed in advance, I was prescribed spectacles, one pair for distance vision and another for reading. Luckily I got them on a two-for-the-price-of-one deal. So I am now officially a four-eyed git, as you can see in the illustration. There are hundreds of different frames to choose from, all different sizes, shapes and colours; but I couldn't find any that made me look good. All of them make me look like some kind of white collar criminal and add a good decade to my apparent age. However, they have made a huge difference to my vision. Despite this, I felt rather strange at first, especially with the distance lenses. I walked home feeling dizzy and disoriented; eventually I became a bit nauseous. This is normal, the optician told me, until my eyes get used to the glasses; which can take about a week. Everything around me looked distorted, as if I were in a hall of mirrors; despite my improved distance sight. Luckily I didn't have a bike to ride, otherwise I would have become known as the optical Albert Hofmann. I've started noticing for the first time how many other people wear glasses and understand that I am hardly alone. Probably about a third of the people I pass in the street had them on; I never noticed until now. There are some good things about going to the opticians though, or at least they were more pleasant than my trip to the dentist in 2016, see background link below. The optician didn't give me a lecture about not having regular eye tests; while the emergency dentist scolded me: "If you had had regular checkups you could have avoided this... etc." This particular opticians is not yet cashless; perhaps readers could inform me if any of the others are. So, me wearing glasses is something I'll have to get used to, as will everybody else who sees me.
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