Wednesday 31 August 2022


In Ireland if you pay your stamps, you're entitled to an eye-check every two years and the glasses to fit if the check indicates necessity. What with the pandemic and all, I haven't been to the optican for nearly 3 years. When I was last there in 2019, I secured a pair of distance/driving glasses and pair of readers the former with "anti-glare coating" whatever that might be . . . all for €32. I professed to all frankly Scarlett about the design of the frames . . . until I was presented with the pale pink plastic option and I realised I had some residual vanity.

Tuesday 16th August I was down in Waterford at The Eyes Have It getting a check up. My visit was mostly driven by FOMO Fear of Missing Glasses when I need them: a spare pair would allay some of that anxiety. I R a bit limited without them: man cannot live by {washing dishes | mowing lawns | watering the tomatoes} alone. Waiting for the gaffer, I was presented with a shoe-box full of frames by a slightly tetchy opto-tech. Techy maybe because I'd declined any upselling being quite unable to detect a difference between the free government-issue frames and the several hundred €€€ frames. In short order, I chose two slightly different dark steel frames [R ½ R] - functionally identical to the frames I already hold. I'll collect and pay for them later.

In the darkened cabinet of technological marvels with the optician, I learned a couple of useful things:

  • Floaters. The opto could see a snow-job of these loose tissue specks inside my orbit and asked if they disturbed me. I answered that my higher centres had been long able to discount such wandering occlusions - like I was able to blank out my tinnitus (without recourse to feverfew!). Although I acknowledged that floaters and tinnitus can be a serious to maddening distraction for at least some people. I must have taken a few too many tonks to the head, I quipped. Not so, the opto replied, and showed my some incipient floaters loosening from their picture of my retina.  The aquaeous humor which fills our eye-balls gradually dries out as we age and this shrinkage of the viscous liquid can start to pull tissue off the sides of the eye-ball's interior. You don't need to bump into doors for this to happen.
  • Readers. Opto asked if there were situations between distance and reading where I was having trouble seeing effectively. I admitted to two similar situations: reading labels on super-market shelves OR watch vids or skyping while sharing a screen with someone else. In each case, it's possible, but inconvenient, to pull whatever it is into focus at about 50cm from my face. But I've found that my +2.50 reading glasses €3.50 (at LIDL) helps with these middle distance cases. What the expert told me is that +2.50s are good for 120cm and +3.00 are for slightly closer. Didn't know that, and probably couldn't work it out from first principles.
Good news is that my prescription hasn't changed since 2019: I'm not as degenerate as my friends-and-relations think I am.

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