First Eye Test in 5 Years

While sitting at work last Tuesday morning, I rubbed the tiredness from my left eye, and pain shot through it. I thought perhaps I had pulled an eyelash into my eye, and wandered down to the mens bathroom to check in the mirror. Nothing. I put up with it for the next 24 hours, wondering if it might settle down on it’s own, before eventually calling the local optician to get it checked out. And that’s how I ended up sitting in a chair while a lovely Indian lady peered into my eyes with all manner of instruments this afternoon.

Apparently my eyes are (mostly) fine. After the better part of an hour sitting in front of various machines while being stared at very closely indeed, we came to the conclusion that I’m probably allergic to something.

The first test had me sitting in a darkened room, telling the optician if black text on a red or green projected sign was brighter, or darker. I have no idea what this achieved, but encouraging noises were made in response to my answers. Next came the classic eye charts, which I could immediately read the bottom line of. More encouraging noises.

Next came the awkward bit – where the optician leaned right up to my face, and asked me to look up, up left, left, and so on with each eye, while her face hovered inches from mine. While looking downwards with my eyes wide open – as instructed I might add – the humor of the situation was not lost on me. Thankfully her top covered everything I might otherwise have been staring directly at.

Next up was a peripheral sight test, involving a Hannibal Lecter style frame through which I had to peer while staring at a small dot. Around the dot, areas of the display flickered from time to time, to which I responded by pressing a button. As the test went on, I found myself deconstructing it – wondering if there was a timing or orientation pattern that the test followed – if it would detect you anticipating it. Apparently that went well too.

Perhaps the most fun part of the exam was the photography of the back of my eye – another frame, and another instruction to stare wide eyed directly ahead (thankfully she was not opposite me this time). It was certainly more fun than the investigation into the soreness in my eyelid – which involved rolling my eyelid backwards, and an orange liquid being dropped into my eye.

Apparently I don’t need glasses. Not yet. We are still not sure what’s causing the soreness though. She suspected an allergic reaction to something, but I can’t think that I’ve done anything markedly different in recent months. There was a week spent in a swimming pool on holiday, but other than that – nothing comes to mind.

For the next several weeks I have eye drops. Apparently they will help alleviate dry eye symptoms. Apparently I need to drink more water too. I suppose knocking tea and coffee on the head for a while would help with that – I did it a few months ago and had no issues at all. I guess we’ll see.

Unless anything untoward happens in the meantime, I don’t go back to be stared at again for another two years.

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