A Typical Eye Exam

It’s about time we covered this topic, don’t you think?  Just so you know all of my eye exams go pretty much the same way so this story really could be any one of them, but this one was particularly memorable.  So with out further to do.

It was an overcast foggy morning, probably a Thursday.  According to my high school friends I had the great of skipping a few classes in order to have my yearly eye exam.  They seriously thought I was lucky.  These appointment days were, and still are, the days I dread most.

Now for those of you who are wondering why, I’m going to tell you.

It starts off like any other appointment.  You fight traffic, or in my case since I’m forbidden from driving, my dad fights traffic, to get to the hospital where the appointment is to take place, then we sit in the waiting room in full of anticipation, no wait, dread is the most likely feeling, at least for me.

Then after some considerable time has passed, the receptionist informs me that the opthamologist is ready to see me now.

The hour of doom is upon me, but I show no fear, because this way it will probably get done more quickly.

She starts things off with a glaucoma test, which to this day I have passed every time.  No problems there.  After that we move on to a seemingly simple distance vision test, using one of those charts where the letters start off in a very large font, but with each line the font gets smaller, and subsequently more difficult for me to read from whatever distance I am away from the chart.  It’s probably 20 feet away from me.  If it were up close, I would have no problem reading it, but that is not what they are measuring here.  My myopic eyes allow me to read down to the fourth line.  This would probably be no problem for someone with normal vision, but that is usually as far as I can go.

As if that wasn’t depressing enough, being reminded that my distance vision is indeed very bad, it gets worse.

Next I am instructed to cover one eye with a black spoon shaped thing and tell her what I can read just using the one eye.  After we’re done with one, we logically switch and test the other on its own.

I imagine this would work a whole lot better if my Nystagmus would not kick into top gear at that very moment.  Suddenly even the letters I can read go out of focus and sometimes jump around, so I cannot tell her with certainty what ones they are.  More blurred jumping letters occur with the other eye.  When I have both eyes open, my brain somehow compensates for all the jumping around that my eyes would do if they were just open one at a time.

Realizing I still have Nystagmus, as if that would change, the opthalmologist then instructs me to take this black spoon with little holes in it and cover one eye and see if that makes a difference.  It never does, but they keep telling me to try anyway.

Next comes the eye drops, which are supposed to dilate my pupils so she can look around in there in a few minutes time.  I don’t particularly enjoy drops, but I have to man up and take them if I’m ever going to get out of there.  I sit in suspense as she wrestles with my eye muscles to get the drops in.  Sometimes it takes her a few tries but eventually she always wins, which is good, because we’re one step closer to getting this thing over with.

One thing you should know about drops is that when they cause your pupils to get large, that also lets more light in, and I’m already light sensitive as it is.  Oh, I didn’t mention I had a problem with that too.  That’s OK though, it’s only a problem on these eye exam days.

after a few minutes my eyes are dilated enough that the opthamologist can look around inside with the help of her magnifying glass and her light of terror.  It wouldn’t be that bright if my pupils could shrink like normal, but that is not the case here, so it can get rather frustrating for a few minutes.

After this, the ordeal is over, and we talk about boring things like the ever so subtle changes in my unique  prescription for glasses.

I go out to lunch with my dad, and then we head back to school.  Upon arriving at school, I discover that the sun has indeed come out, which would be great on any normal day, but my pupils have not yet gained their ability to shrink back down.  Dad drops me off and I walk along the large expanse of very white concrete, which that day may as well have been another sun shining in my eyes.  I could barely see anything, but I knew where I was going because I had traveled that route thousands of times.  Though on that day it was more painful and frustrating because of the extra light.

Upon triumphantly reaching the entry way, I was then enveloped in the much less intense light of indoors.  I went to my afternoon classes, not so triumphantly, and by the end of the day my eyes were back to normal.

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One Response to A Typical Eye Exam

  1. That doesn’t sound very cheery does it? You might be able to reverse your myopia via myopia rehab though (ever wonder whether the doctors have different interests than yours?)

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