Teachers' blog


【The Opticians】

(Contributed by Ben)

I went to the optician recently, because my eyes were doing something rather peculiar.

I don’t often go to see an optician, because I don’t wear glasses or contacts. My vision is pretty close to 20/20 – and ‘twenty twenty’ vision is as good as it gets.

However, I suddenly noticed a problem with my eyes. They were pointing in different directions! Not always, and not often – but sometimes, just for a few seconds.

I had been taking selfies in the sun with my phone-camera, and when I looked at the photos I had taken, I noticed that in two or three of the pictures, my left eye was pointing forwards, and my right eye was pointing to the side. It was as if I was looking in two directions at once. Eyes really aren’t meant to do that!

I got quite worried. I thought: what if it’s serious! What if this is just a symptom of something far more terrible!
Luckily I already had an appointment booked with the doctor for the following day, and he told me I wasn’t going to die of it, and advised me to go to an optician.

So, the following day, I went to get my eyes checked. I hadn’t been to an optician for about seven years, so it was interesting to see how technology had changed. In the olden days, it was all about reading letters from eye charts. Nowadays they have lots of exciting machines, and they take photos of the retinas at the back of your eyes (with a very bright flash).

The optician said that my vision was very good (although my eyes were a bit dry, for which he prescribed some eye-drops). He said he had never seen such a dramatic case of eyes pointing outwards! He didn’t know what was causing it, so he sent me to another optician for a second opinion.

That appointment was a few weeks later. The second optician was a fascinating person. I don’t know why, but he seemed excellent. He seemed to have an incredible dignity, as if he was a king or a prophet or a hero. He was a splendid person, and there seemed to be a tremendous power within him, which I couldn’t identify. It was as if this second optician was the only real optician in the world, and all others were just trying to be like him. I don’t know why I formed this extraordinary opinion of him, but he just seemed marvellous.

Anyway, he said exactly the same things as the first optician, and he referred me to a hospital where they could test my eyes with a more advanced machine.

And what happened next? So far, nothing. In the UK it’s common to wait and wait for weeks until SUDDENLY, ‘out of the blue’, you’re told to have an appointment. I’m still waiting for mine. Will they solve the mystery of my eyes? Who knows! It’s fun to have a mystery, even when it’s slightly concerning medical one.

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