Looking Inside My Own Eyeball

Last week I saw inside my own eyeball. What I saw was… veins.  No, I wasn’t high (although my pupils were dilated, it was with special drops the optometrist put in for that purpose).

Nor was I the guinea pig in some kind of futuristic science experiment that involved removal of the subject’s eyeball for close examination by the subject (using their remaining eyeball). I simply went for an eye test.

I booked the eye test because I have a tiny speck in my eye that I initially thought was dust. After about 6 months, I realised that it was still there in the same place, and it became apparent that it wasn’t going to be removed with a finger or even via eye drops. The eye test began ordinarily enough with me reading through the usual small letters on a chart about a kilometre away. I felt pretty smug to be able to read the bottom line, and  read out the letters briskly and confidently,  until the optometrist told me to change eyes and when I did, I realised I’d read a “U” as a “V” (or the other way around.)

Suddenly my smugness changed to humility and a sense of failure as I realised I wasn’t someone with perfect 20/20 vision anymore. I realised that I’d deluded myself into thinking all these years that I had 20/20 vision, when in fact my vision was deteriorating so rapidly that I was lucky to be able to see the optometrist, let alone her chart. I realised that from an optometrist’s perspective, I was just another, almost-blind customer, stumbling around trying to pretend she can still see, in order to avoid wearing glasses.

Having realised this, I decided that while I still had my eyes – and could see out of them – I would make good use of them, by attempting to surreptitiously read what prognosis she had tapped into her computer. Alas! My deteriorating vision couldn’t make out what she’d typed on the computer screen only metres from where I was sitting! (I suspected it was probably something along the lines of “suffers from a psychological condition known as phantom vision – she thinks she can see, but it’s all just her imagination” or, “complete removal of both eyes required immediately – Taxi required for trip home.”)

www.boingboing.net

Don’t worry, this one is prosthetic and not mine.

Then the test became more like a sci-fi experiment, as I had to put my  head in a clamp and have light shone into my eyes while I looked at a white spot. I suspected she was doing more than just checking my eyeball out, and perhaps she had access to more than just a view of my retinas. I thought it might be possible that I emerge from the optometrist’s office with my memory modified – or totally eradicated –  or with the decision to blow up the Reserve Bank planted in my brain.

As she whizzed and whirred away with lenses, lights, lasers and other gizmos, I was also distracted by the fact that I could see,  in the corners of my eyes, the veins in the back of my eyeball. It was quite surreal, seeing into the back of my own eyes!

Anyway, for anyone wondering, it turns out that the little speck of dust in my eye is called a “floater” and is not a speck of dust but part of my eye -a bit that came loose, or something.  Eww! Apparently it’s nothing to worry about – unless I also see flashing lights, in which case  I should worry a lot as it could indicate that the retina is detatching! (Ewww again!) Apparently a “floater” is quite common and rarely indicates anything more serious, and should just sort of “dissolve” after a while.

BTW, The picture above is from Boing Boing. Apparently this woman has a prosthetic eye and is hoping to have a camera installed inside it. Sounds kinda cool! But when googling for images of “eyeballs” I had to cover my own eyes! I can’t look at people doing icky things to their eyes! (Even when I know it’s a tatoo or computer generated trickery)

PS.  Writing this post I realised that a theme is emerging, as this is now the third post I’ve written about eyes. (see Rhino with boiled egg eyes, Girl with avocado eyes) I might have anticipated it would be writing, or music, (which I’ve barely mentioned) or art, that might become themes on this blog, but no, so far it has been moustaches and now eyes. There you go.

Maybe that dream about a rhino with boiled egg eyes was telling me something back in October. That I needed to have an eye test.

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