Monday 9 February 2015

Blame the Chinese

I’ve been wearing glasses since I was about thirteen years old. I don’t know why my eyes decided to deteriorate at such an early age, but deteriorate they did.

I have what I would consider “average” poor eyesight, not almost legally blind, but I could never be a sharpshooter without my glasses. Initially, my eyes weren’t too bad but as I aged they seemed to get worse and worse every year. I suspect that is the way eyes progress. It got to the point where I became both farsighted and near sighted. Why wouldn’t they cancel each other out? When I am feeling good about the world, I just figure that eyes do tend to get worse as the years pass, just as everything will eventually wear out. Such is life. The paranoid, conspiracy theorist that lives inside my brain would tell you that wearing glasses is inherently bad for eyesight. Depending on the day, I wobble between the two ideas.

I do wonder about the basic design of the eyes however. Everything else in the body is meant to last a lifetime performing the specific task it was meant to perform without significant deterioration. Sure the separate parts will get worse and worse if we poison them with smoke, alcohol, bad food and lack of exercise. Eyesight is the part of the body that weakens without any apparent external cause for the most part. I wonder why that is? Do you think God or evolution just got lazy when it came to human sight?

I wouldn’t mind if I lost my sense of smell early on in life. Well, I’d prefer to keep it, but I could live without a perfect sense of smell, especially on a crowded subway train at rush hour. My hearing is starting to go, but I have enjoyed hearing for most of my life and if I have to ask people to repeat themselves for the next ten or twenty years, I can live with that as well. I wouldn’t want to lose my sense of taste, but you will never walk off of a precipice because your food tastes bland. If that were the case, there wouldn’t be anyone left in England. I could do without any sense that wouldn’t kill me. Sight or lack of sight can be deadly.

My eyesight has stabilized for the past few years and doesn’t seem to be getting any worse. That is really good news, now if I can only find a pair of glasses that won’t deteriorate faster than my eyes. I was at the ophthalmologists today and my eyesight was actually marginally better than the last time I saw him. He has a new machine that takes a picture of the inner eye all by itself. You just rest your chin on a chin rest and when you see a yellow light, the machine snaps a picture. I saw my optic nerve and a whole lot of veins that looked like rivers spreading across a pink planet.

Dr. Kirk did ask if I was a diabetic when he looked at the picture. I said “No, why do you ask?” “Ahh…no reason to worry.” So now I am worried that I might have the beginnings of diabetes. Not worried enough to go to a doctor for a test or to actually eat foods that are good for me of course, but guardedly worried.

So, today I will order a new pair of glasses from Zenni Optical, a Chinese on-line vision company. I have all of the information that I need and with any luck they will have frames that won’t make me look any worse than I do now. The cost will be about 10 – 20% of what a conventional retail outlet charges. I have a vision plan, but I do hate to waste money even if it isn’t mine.

If in the near future you see a picture of me that makes you laugh, blame the Chinese!

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