The most precious "piece of gear" - Dreamstime
We usually have a spare battery, spare memory card, spare camera body, spare flash on hand - just in case something fails... But what if the failure hits our eyes? Unfortunately there is nothing like spare set of eyeballs... Hope this little experience of mine will help you avoid stupid mistakes...
Last 10 years I was feeling, that my eyes don't see so sharp as before, so years ago I visited ophthalmologist to get glasses... but the strange thing - non of the correction lenses we tried that day was correcting my unsharp vision, in fact it made it even worse. So I left with advice to get my eyes measured on some sophisticated device to diagnose it... but as I was able to see sharp enough to live and work I postponed, postponed and forgot... and left it undiagnosed... Until recent days, when thanks to set of coincidences I got in hands of old lady ophthalmologist, who looked me into eye with magnifier glass and said: "You have thinner cornea... - keratoconus, I suspect." - And what is that? was my immediate question...
Well, keratoconus is an eye disease - basically a degradation and weakening of cornea (the transparent "skin" of eye, through which the light enters the eye), as cornea gets weaker the pressure inside eyeball deforms it in way, that is uncorrectable with contact lenses or glasses... The disease progresses slowly but in the last stage the ability to see is very very poor. (definitely an end of career of photographer...) The result is irreversible and there is no cure for this - the only solution is stopping the progress of disease, or cornea transplant... So sooner you treat it the better sight you keep... I keep asking my self: "Why didn't I let the thing be diagnosed years ago...?"
Luckily, someone up there cares for me and my vision is still sharp enough to work and live a normal way and thanx to operation I should maintain this sight for years to come...
Here is a little test you can perform to check your eyes (one eye at the time): Look at the dot of light in the dark (- for example look on "standBy LED" of your TV in dark living-room) and see what patterns do you see:
- If you see only a dot of light you should be fine, but do not skip regular visits at your doctor's because of this.
- If you see round bokeh instead of dot - you probably need glasses,
- If you see a dot and the "weaker duplicates of the dot" close by, unsymmetrical shapes and eliptical rays spreading from dot mostly below (- basically anything that is not a single dot or circular bokeh) you should visit ophthalmologist ASAP, cause time might be ticking...
So don't do the same mistake - do not underestimate health of your eyes - they are the most precious piece of equipment you have, and you don't have a spare set of eyeballs in your bag...
I hope this article will help someone - if yes, than let me know. It would be nice knowing it was worth writing...
Take care, Jan
For more information on keratoconus feel free to check wikipedia
Photo credits: Photowitch.
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