Friday, May 9, 2008

Adventures in seeing

I've been catching up on my internet reading.

Mostly I read other blogs, I think I have a "milk route" of about thirty blogs I like to keep up on. Besides the ones I list over on the right:

- Some are about knitting (e.g. - Mason-Dixon, Knitspot),
- Some are eco-rants (e.g. - Little Blog in the Big Woods, Archdruid Report) or political rants (Ran Prieur, Vanity Press - they're not so political really, that's just how I categorized them at the time),
- There's only one food-related blog I follow regularly (Pioneer Woman) but a couple of others I check occasionally,
- A couple of photo-blogs (daily dose, Shorpy),
- A whole lot of elder blogs (e.g. - Serene Ambition, A Little Red Hen),
- A few I haven't categorized, they're just interesting (e.g. - Mathilda's Anthropology, Rebecca's Pocket).

[this is not an exhaustive list!]

Yesterday I put my contacts on instead of my glasses. Normally I wear glasses because:

(a) I've needed glasses most of my life, and
(b) they're easier to slap on than contacts.

In my 30s and early 40s the contacts were nice, it was a revelation to see the world "unframed" and in full colour. But with the onset of later life vision changes, the contacts became more and more difficult. With glasses I could get progressive lenses that allowed me to see both close up and in the distance without difficulty. But with contacts I had to do something called "mono-vision" where one lens is adjusted for seeing close up and the other for distance vision. That worked well at first but has become progressively more problematic. And the new contact lenses are thinner and more difficult to put in.

However, for snorkelling in Belize I needed to wear the contacts because I can't wear glasses inside a snorkel mask and I don't want to invest in a prescription mask. And I was pleasantly surprised by how easily the contacts went in and how well I could see with them. So I thought I'd try to wear them more often at home.

All I can say is, snorkelling is a whole lot different from viewing the internet on a computer.

The mono-vision contact lenses rely on your brain to sort out the two different images you get from the different lenses. For distance, this works OK, but for close-up it's a bit more work. And what I am noticing is a sort of flickering effect while looking at a computer monitor, that makes reading a little harder. I can do it, but it feels like work and I am inclined not to spend too much time working at reading the screen. Which is perhaps a good thing.

It's not exactly flickering, it's hard to describe exactly, but I am guessing it is caused by my brain trying to switch rapidly back and forth between the two images it is getting. Which gives everything a kind of ephemeral, unreal feel to it. Makes "reality" seem a little less "real".

Not unlike what you see wearing those glasses they give you for viewing 3-D movies. A kind of surreal glow to things.

But I couldn't wear them for Thursday night knitting, just not good enough close up vision and by evening my eyes were starting to feel very dry and tired.


Jimodell said...

Ah yes, aging and sight. I recently had to undergo a couple of sessions of laser treatment to repair some small tears in the retina of my right eye. This was brought on by the aging of the membrane around the eyeball which becomes attached to the retina and then pulls it as the membrane slips around. Not too painful or too expensive a way to prevent blindness!! It seems to be successful and life with binocular sight goes on albeit with a new assortment of "floaters" to look through and around.

Vis a vis contact lenses, Alison wears bifocal ones which are weighted so they stay in the same position and finds them quite effective,

Zabetha said...

Hi Jim, yes I know bifocal lenses are out there now, I guess I'm just not motivated enough. Sorry to hear about the retinal tears, I had something similar happen last year but was told I didn't need to do anything about it, it was just short of tearing. But yeah, now I have these "jellyfish" floating around in there, it's weird. As long as I get to keep the eyes though, I'm happy.