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What About This…? 6.18.2015

By Wayne William Cipriano

When was the last time you went to have your vision checked?  Up until recently you could not help noticing people who have.

Pretty much the first thing they do is dilate your pupils.  They do that to see if your previous eye doctor left a message for them concerning your payment reliability on the back of your skull.  Next, they ask a lot of pointless questions to see if some ink smears on the far wall remind you of anything, sort of like a Rorschach test.  Then, they let you go home.

As patients have always left the eye doctor with their irises wide open and unable to contract, they have been provided with some type of protection so that bright light will not sear their brains.  When I first started noticing these post-eye-doctor folks they always had those very large, very funky-looking plastic sunglasses.  They had extensions over the tops of the frames, and wings flaps on the sides, to prevent entrance of anything the size of light rays or larger.  These glasses protected so well little kids could swordfight with pointed sticks in complete safety while wearing them.

Tim went by, as it so often does, and eye doctors decided that these glasses provided more protection than necessary (or cost too much).  The design was changed to a less robust less comprehensive pair of sunglasses that still employ every dark lenses.  More time passed, more research was conducted, more patient information collected questioning the need for and effective/ness of this new eyewear (or the price rose again) and another evolution took place, reducing the previous set of glasses to just plain, if slightly geeky, sunglasses with only slightly darkened lenses.

Later still, an example of con-sensual validation occurred when even these “geeky” shades were “generally” judged to be more than absolutely required (or, they still cost too much) and they were retired in favor of a piece of dark gray transparent plastic film cut in the shape of the Lone Ranger’s mask (no eyeholes) and rolled up into a tight scroll.  When unrolled, placed over one’s eyes, and allowed to snap into position along the side of one’s head (making you look like Geordie La Forge), they both protected the wearer from bright light and also jolted them into enough of an attentive state sufficient to walk from the eye doctor’s office, cross streets, drive home and what not.

Nowadays, deciding, I guess, that far too much plastic is being used, or attention “snapping” is not necessary (or the price curve has once more continued it irresistible climb), even this final rendition of eye safety has passed away.

Eyes that remain completely unprotected by relaxed irises, which cannot contract are still as vulnerable to damage caused by excessive light as they ever were.  Now, however, patients leaving the eye doctor’s office are advised to “Just keep you eyes closed for a while, Honey, you will be fine…… Next!”