It’s that time of the year again when I pop along to have my eyes tested by my local optometrist. I have them photographed once a year at my local hospital as part of my usual check up, but I also get my optometrist to check them because I value my eyesight (I really, really, really love watching “Britain’s Funniest Pets” on Channel Five and without my sight I wouldn’t be able to do this and – to be blunt – life wouldn’t be worth living if I couldn’t do that).
Anyway, I popped along to have them prodded, poked and generally given a good going over. Aside from some difficulties with getting the new (and very fancy) eye chart to work, you’ll all be pleased to hear everything went swimmingly. Apparently I have the eyes of a fighter pilot (I wonder if he wants them back?) and there is no sign of retinal damage at all.
Even better, my pupils were apparently nice and large so – for once – I didn’t have to have the Drops of Doom™ which make everything unbearably and painfully bright for several hours. Phew!
What was also quite interesting is that said local optometrist has invested a tonne of cash in new kit over the last year or so. So, for the first, time I had an ultrasound scan of my eyes done.
This very fancy bit of kit allows your common or garden trained optometrist to see not only the surface layers of the back of your eye but also the invisible underneath-bits too. The machine does this by taking a zillion ultrasound images per second and then patches them altogether in a coherent picture within a few seconds. Very impressive stuff.
For the first time we were able to peer inquisitively at the back bit of my eye in huge detail (I’m sure there is a technical term for “back bit of eye” but I’ll be damned if I know what it is). Again everything seemed to be hunky-dory – apparently it’s a wonderful system for seeing problems really, really early thus allowing preventative stuff to be done sooner. This can only be a Good Thing.
So there were a number of things I learnt from my visit. Firstly, my optometrist has far better kit and is a million times more thorough than my hospital in checking my eyes. Secondly, eye care in Scotland is supposed to be free but – just as I was leaving – my optometrist enticed me over to the sunglasses and – unable to resist her sales patter – I left sometime later with an admittedly very cool – but not cheap – pair of Ray Bans. So who says great eye care is free?