Tag Archives: eye exam

They Sold the Farm!

Some of you know that my vision is terrible. Not my “vision” vision but my actual eyesight. 

I was told when I was ten that it would get progressively worse until my mid-twenties and then level off; maybe even get better. 

They lied. I’m almost 40 and it’s still getting worse. Granted it’s not getting worse as quickly as it once was. 

Nevertheless yearly eye exams are not a luxury for me. I have to get in to the optometrist or I can’t see. 

I am currently sitting in the chair. 

This is fun. 

What in the world does that say?

I’ve already been run through the battery of pre-testing options. There’s the puff of air. Still not sure what this one is for. Then there’s the “big E” test. Newsflash: I can’t even really see the “E” at this point without my contacts. 

Some tests are new. A retinal photograph has replaced dilation. This is nice as I really never liked stepping out into the mid-day sun after one of these visits looking like an anime character. 

But they got rid of one of my favorite tests. For almost thirty years I’ve been coming to these visits and looking into a giant box at a picture of a farmhouse. Again, the purpose of this test has never been explained to me. I always assumed it had something to do with focus. Then again it could just be a way to calm me down, not that I’ve ever been agitated at the eye doctor. 

This test is so ridiculous.

Truly the farm was a peaceful place. If you’ve ever had this test you know what I’m talking about. It was in a field. I imagine it was in Iowa. There was a lot of corn. I made up a backstory about the farm. It was owned by an elderly couple who’s children had moved away after industrialization had rendered their role in the agri-business field redundant. This couple now wait at home for someone to visit. Once a year I pop into their lives. I feel like such a voyeur. But I think they understand. They’re just happy for the company. Their rotten kids never bring the grandkids – Kip and Karen – around. Brats. 

Where was I?

Oh yes, the farm is gone. All that remains is a hot air balloon and there isn’t enough Valium on earth to get me in that thing.

There’s also the omni-present “better/worse” flipping lens test. Yeah… as I’ve said before, leave the room, doc. I’ll flip it around and find what works. Then I’ll call you back in and you can write it down. 

St. Lucy, patroness of the blind, pray for us!

UPDATE: They just upped my script. -4.25 in both eyes and I get to try daily wears for the first time!


Better? Or Worse? My Adventures With Myopia Continue

I remember it so well.  I was 10 years old, sitting in the back of my 5th grade classroom when one day, out of the blue, I could not see the board without squinting.  An eye exam revealed that I had fallen victim to the family curse of myopia.  It seems my pubescent body had decided to grow and forgotten to remind my retinas what the growing schedule was.

And it’s only gotten worse ever since.

I started wearing glasses and going for regular eye exams.  By the time I hit 25 (pretty late, huh?) I opted for contacts and discovered that I actually had a nice face without the specs.  I still wear glasses at night and on alternating Wednesday’s.

My kids seem to have received a nice mix of genes from yours truly.  Son seems to have no ocular problems whatsoever while Baby Girl, though not near-sighted,  has a slightly crossed eye requiring the same kind of glasses my late twin sister wore when she was around the same age.

Where's the giant E?

Where’s the giant E?

Tonight I was due for my checkup with the optometrist.  I always have fun visiting with these eye-wizards.  I appreciate that you went to school for this craft and all but believe me, I know about as much regarding my vision as you do at this point.

They stick you in front of a million machines with chin rests – devices that resemble hard plastic jockstraps for little people – and subject you to a better of tests.  First there’s the “puff of air” test.  I don’t know what twist-o thought this one up or what it’s even supposed to reveal.  I think it’s just to mess with you.  “Just sit right here and look at the” – “OHMYGOD!!! Why did you do that to me?!”  Then there’s a test where you look into a box and see a pretty little farmhouse go in and out of focus repeatedly.  Again, not sure why.  I asked the technician if it was a real farmhouse.  “You know, does it belong to someone?  Like, is it the doctor’s summer home?”  She shrugged.  There’s also the optic photo.  This one replaced the dilation they used to do.  Thank God because I used to refuse the reversing drops and I’d leave the office looking like an anime cartoon character.

No chin-rest...

No chin-rest…

But the best test of all comes when the doctor finally enters the room.  “I’m going to place this machine against your head.  Could you tell me which image looks better to you?”  I want to tell him “It’s a bunch of letters on a white background.  Warhol couldn’t make these things look ‘better’.”  “OK,” he says, “Better?  Worse?  How about now?  Number 1?  Number 2?  OK, do you like A?  or B?”  This continues for a few minutes and somehow he magically knows what to fit me with.

I have reached the point where I feel confident saying: “Listen pal, leave the room.  I’ll flip these metal plates around myself and call you back in when I’ve found the right prescription.”

Alas, that might be rude.  So I leave the office and head to… the showroom!

OK, only an hour before I’m comfortable leaving the office having chosen frames that I’m positive I’ll love for the next two years but will probably hate within a month.

Oh, and Baby Girl recently broke her glasses.  Guess what aren’t under warranty.  It seems when the glasses fly off one’s face in a fight with your brother in a minivan and then get stepped on by Granny trying to break up said fight, the manufacturer is allowed to shirk responsibility for a poorly made frame.  Go figure.

And for the record, my prescription improved got the first time in 27 years!