Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Something in My Eye

Actually there's a lot of things in my eyes, and I'm so glad they're there!

I had an interesting experience over the weekend. I started seeing these little flashes of light, reminiscent of lightning, off to the right side of my right eye. At first I thought something was wrong with the kitchen light fixture again, but then it happened in the upstairs hall and in the garage.

Then I saw what most people call floaters. You know, where you see shadows or dots, but they're not really there.

I mentioned it at church on Sunday morning to my friend who is a nurse. She seemed concerned and told me to get in to see someone about it. I did some research on the web and found out that sometimes this indicates retinal detachment.

On Monday I called my optometrist, expecting to get a referral to an ophthalmologist, but Dr. wanted to see me right away. My eyes were dilated and he spent about 20 minutes looking into the back of my right (and left) eye with various types of lenses and lights. I think he even took some digital images.

My eyes stayed dilated for about six hours -- hard to see like this!!

Lucky me, no tears were found, but we're watching things closely, pun intended!

The retina goes around the vitreous sac of fluid in your eye;  the vitreous sac call pull away, and tear the retina, which could result in loss of vision if not repaired.  Not everyone who sees flashes gets retinal tears, but it's better to be safe than sorry!
Do you remember high school science class where they discussed cones and rods, and how some people are color blind and others see more than the normal range? I think I must be in that second group, or maybe my DH is in the first, because he'll say something is blue, and I can clearly see it's periwinkle or aqua or cerulean! I can tell the difference between shades of a color like green or red, and if I try to put together things that aren't quite right it bothers me.  That scarf with that blouse?  No way!

This paragraph is borrowed shamelessly from a site that shall remain nameless, but which clearly is as much in awe of eyes as I am:

"The retina is quite a complex portion of the eye. The retina is made up of 75-150 million rods and 7 million cones, figures which are difficult to fathom.  Images are created with the functioning of both the cones and the rods. Cones that are sensitive to light that is green, red and blue in color are absent in certain individuals which causes color blindness. The retina functions in a truly amazing way to compress the size of images to fit the scope of the optic nerve."

I have worn glasses since I was 14.  I wear contacts now, but I do wear readers for most close work.  I try to be very mindful of my vision. I cannot imaging what it would be like to miss seeing everything that is beautiful and colorful in this world. As you can probably guess, I don't do monochromatic very well or very often. I love bright jewel tones and strong color, but also pastels and black and white with any primary color.

If you haven't had an eye exam this year, I think you should schedule one. The eye doctor is the only one who's almost never going to hurt you! You only get one pair of eyes, take care of them.

If you're over 40 and are overweight, have high blood pressure, diabetes, heart conditions, or have had a stroke, you have extra risk factors. If you take certain medications you do too. Find out! People, the eye exam to get your driver's license does NOT count!!

Love your eyes. They're the windows to the world.

Sew on...