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Ask Me Anything About Optometry/Eyes
Jakub Wasilewski
Member #3,653
June 2003
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Interesting thread, especially since it might be the first time in a long while that we've stumbled on a topic that's actually new to the forum :).

On to my specific question:
Sometimes, when I spend a long time (more than an hour uninterrupted) focusing on reading something up close (either an actual paper book, or on a laptop), my eyes seem to "get used to the distance", and when I stop doing whatever I was doing, I have problems focusing my vision on more distant objects - for example when trying to read something on a blackboard. The difference is not that big, but I certainly notice my far vision being more blurry than usual for a few minutes. Is that normal?

Just in case: 23yo, 20/20 vision (as of a few years ago).

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Neil Walker
Member #210
April 2000
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My vision was always bad. It stabilized around -7

Assuming you use the same scale as other countries then that's quite bad. Mine is 4.75 and 5.25 (the 5.25 has a slight astigmatism) and I can't even see the first line which probably uses 200pt text ;)

I'm just wondering why so many people have bad eyesight, seems like a complete flaw in evolution given eyesight takes up (I think) the largest part of the brain.

Neil.
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Jonatan Hedborg
Member #4,886
July 2004
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seems like a complete flaw in evolution

Given harsher conditions, I'm sure you freaks with poor eye-sight would be weeded out ;)

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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An Ly said:

By near sightedness you mean that without specs on, your distance vision is blurrier than your near vision?

Yes.

An Ly said:

If that is the case, your specs should make your distance clearer. If not, then something is not quite right. However, there are times when you are near sighted and need to get use to spectacles. They may feel odd to wear at first (maybe give you headaches) but should be clear in the distance.

Yeah, that's probably all it was. Still, I was uncomfortable with them and didn't "need" them so I went without. And still do.

An Ly said:

Your brain is a smart thing. It uses lots of visual cues to tell you about the world. One is blur. If something is blurry or hard to see, your brain would say "it is far away". If it is easy to see then your brain interprets it as close. This is why there are times when you have to get use to specs over a period of days. The blurry cues to vision are thrown out and your brain needs to readjust.

Makes sense. :-/ I still don't want to wear glasses though... :'(

An Ly said:

Do you have a photo of these tiles. I'm interested to see exactly what you mean.

The tiles that I discovered it with are long gone, but Google returns examples that should work. For example:

{"name":"601526","src":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/c\/5\/c5f4ce25e6bf1deb9d62b72974b08609.jpg","w":500,"h":500,"tn":"\/\/djungxnpq2nug.cloudfront.net\/image\/cache\/c\/5\/c5f4ce25e6bf1deb9d62b72974b08609"}601526

I'm not sure if I look in front of them or through them to do it... It requires a lot of focus to do. I can usually only do it for a few seconds (maybe 10 or 15 at the most) at a time before I lose focus. I probably haven't done it in years too, simply because the tiles that I used to use were torn down with a house when it was rebuilt. :)

The result of doing it to these tiles would be seeing a big white tile instead of many little tiles. Of course, you only see it while you focus. If I lose focus then it goes back to normal.

I used to have a weird astigmatism when I was a kid, if I looked at a power line against the sky with my head upright, I'd see a ghostly double of the wire slightly above the true position, when I turned my head sideways, the images would merge.

I don't know if it's an astigmatism, but I recall being able to see doubles of power lines as well and being able to manipulate them by focusing to various distances. I could make them merge and also double the other way with focus. I think turning my head would also move them. I figured that was normal... :-[

An Ly said:

I've noticed that most people who find out I'm an optometrist ask me about contact lenses although I haven't had a contacts related question on this thread yet. Different demographics you think?

I'm mildly interested in contact lenses, but they seem like such a pain. I can't imagine putting them in and taking them out every day. In fact, I'd probably forget a lot. If not to put them on, certainly to take them off (by the time I go to bed I'm dead tired, and these days usually have 5 or 6 beers in me). I imagine it would be bad to forget them in while you sleep? I've heard of people having to readjust them on the fly too (i.e., out and about). That can't be fun. Is there some secret for getting them in that would be less frightening?

Oh, here's another question. I always have "sleep" in my eyes (that white stuff that is excreted from the inner corners of the eyes). I wash it out in the morning, but my late-morning there's more of it... Even when I get off work in the evening there seems to sometimes, if not all the time, be more. Is this normal? :-/

I also have trouble opening my eyes full. For the longest time I couldn't even do it. "Fully open" looked like they were barely open at all. I couldn't open them more. Now I seem to have beaten that somewhat, but in their relaxed state I think they're still quite closed. Is there any simple explanation for that or a way to "fix" that if it should be fixed?

I can say right now that my eyes (and indeed my whole body) are probably under-hydrated, so I guess that might contribute... Though lately I've been drinking much more water (in the past I wouldn't ever drink pure water; the only water I'd get was from soda/pop). Now I keep a case of bottled water on my desk at j0rb, which I drink instead of alternatives.

An Ly
Member #185
April 2000
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I have my first progressive lenses now and I'm not very happy with them. Even though I didn't pick the cheapest ones available, the sharp field is a bit too narrow. It's amazing how one can see sharp at any distance just by finding the right spot on the lense to look through. But at some occasions I'd need a wider sharp field, like when reading notes on the music stand when I play the saxophone in big band. I can't turn my head just to find the sharp spot.

If you look at the lens, there are some symbols faintly imprinted on it. There should be 2-4 on each lens, some of them will be numbers. Can you see them? Some progressives are better than others, if you can see the letters, I can give you more info on what lenses you have and how it ranks.

Sometimes, when I spend a long time (more than an hour uninterrupted) focusing on reading something up close (either an actual paper book, or on a laptop), my eyes seem to "get used to the distance", and when I stop doing whatever I was doing, I have problems focusing my vision on more distant objects - for example when trying to read something on a blackboard. The difference is not that big, but I certainly notice my far vision being more blurry than usual for a few minutes. Is that normal?

Yes, normal. More so if you're older (about > 35yo). Sometimes it is due to being long sighted though. Long sighted people can still be 20/20 and need specs. Check with your optom.

I'm just wondering why so many people have bad eyesight, seems like a complete flaw in evolution given eyesight takes up (I think) the largest part of the brain.

If you're short sighted, your close up vision is better than those who aren't. Maybe it is the change in lifestyle from hunter gatherer to... programmers.

bamccaig said:

The result of doing it to these tiles would be seeing a big white tile instead of many little tiles. Of course, you only see it while you focus. If I lose focus then it goes back to normal.

I'm guessing it is because the cones in your eyes are becoming desensitised and your brain is altering the perception. Much like when you go out in the bright sun without sunnies, come in doors where its darker and you see blotches. Or those internet pics where you stare at them for ages and look at a blank wall and see Jesus or another image.

Quote:

I'm mildly interested in contact lenses, but they seem like such a pain. I can't imagine putting them in and taking them out every day. In fact, I'd probably forget a lot. If not to put them on, certainly to take them off (by the time I go to bed I'm dead tired, and these days usually have 5 or 6 beers in me). I imagine it would be bad to forget them in while you sleep? I've heard of people having to readjust them on the fly too (i.e., out and about). That can't be fun. Is there some secret for getting them in that would be less frightening?

Contacts only work if you REALLY want them. The initial "pain" gets better as you get better at handling them. It is all practice. There are contacts approved for sleeping in, although your risk of infection is still higher than when you don't sleep in them. Stats at the moment:

1/10000 who don't wear contacts get eye infections per year
4/10000 who wear contacts get eye infections per year
20/10000 who sleep in contacts get infections per year

If you have to adjust them on the fly then they either aren't fitted well or haven't been looked after. This could mean over wearing them on a daily basis or not disposing of them at appropriate times.

And there is no secret. The secret is practice, like everything else in life.

Quote:

Oh, here's another question. I always have "sleep" in my eyes (that white stuff that is excreted from the inner corners of the eyes). I wash it out in the morning, but my late-morning there's more of it... Even when I get off work in the evening there seems to sometimes, if not all the time, be more. Is this normal?

I'd say no but it depends on how much you get and what environment you work in too. Can be due to lots of things so see your optom for more details as he/she can see your eyes under a microscope to check for problems.

Quote:

I also have trouble opening my eyes full. For the longest time I couldn't even do it. "Fully open" looked like they were barely open at all. I couldn't open them more. Now I seem to have beaten that somewhat, but in their relaxed state I think they're still quite closed. Is there any simple explanation for that or a way to "fix" that if it should be fixed?

You mean like 1/2 closed like... Garfield's (the cat)? Usually age related, but also other problems (e.g. long term infections). Again, see your optom to check it out. If it interferes with vision, surgery is performed to lift those lids.

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
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bamccaig said:

Probably nothing special, but I discovered long ago that if I focus on something (i.e., tiles) long enough that I could make the lines between them "disappear". Is there any explanation for that? Is that bad for your eyes?

That's simply the retina getting fatigued, once you move your eyes, each retinal cell sees a different color so you can see it again. If you'd closed your eyes or looked at a blank area you'd have see a virtual "negative" image so to speak.

http://www.harmsy.freeuk.com/thing.html

I used to hunt foxes as a kid to make money, and if I saw some dot on a hillside a kilometer or two away that I didn't remember being there before (a large rock or something) I'd stare at that exact point for 10 or 15 minutes to see if it would move, and everything would fade out.

They all watch too much MSNBC... they get ideas.

Dustin Dettmer
Member #3,935
October 2003
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What are the odds I have some easily curable eye symptom that could be fixed? I've had great vision since forever, but lately (last few years) my eagle eye has been decreasing to something closer to 20/20. Should I be worried?

Thomas Fjellstrom
Member #476
June 2000
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Should I be worried?

About as worried as me I suppose. I had really good long distance vision, and good near vision. These days I can't read things as far away anymore. I used to be able to read the destination on a bus when it was hundreds of meters away, these days I can't do that so well.

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BAF
Member #2,981
December 2002
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Sounds the same as me. And after staring at a computer screen or cell phone screen for too long (if I forget to look away every 15 minutes or so and let my eyes focus elsewhere) my eyes will become fatigued (at least that's what I guess happens). I can still see up close fine, but looking to the distance is harder.

One thing I do wonder about, though, is seeing a slight double vision. At night time, I can faintly see a duplicate copy of the lines on the road/lights on other cars/reflective signs. Don't know if that's normal or not, but it only seems to happen when there is a sharp dark/light contrast with what I'm looking at.

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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I wonder if that's why I like to be in the dark. I walk around the house in complete darkness. The lights bother me. I find it annoying that the lights are on at j0rb. I wish I could turn them off (or better yet, I wish I had my own office).

Everyone says that it's bad for your eyes to have the lights off, but I find it's distracting when the lights are on (makes it harder to focus on a TV or computer monitor screen). :-/ It's mostly artificial lights that I don't like. Imperfect ones. Really bright ones that light the room up entirely are OK. Otherwise, I'd prefer the room to be dark.

Thomas Fjellstrom
Member #476
June 2000
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Heh, I find after I've been inside for a little too long, and I go outside, if its a bright sunny day, I get blinded, and fairly extreme pain for a good while when I'm outside. Quite painful.

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"If you can't think of a better solution, don't try to make a better solution." -- weapon_S
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bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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I j0rb in the upstairs of a garage with zero windows (so the only light is artificial, and not very bright), though I'm a software developer. :-X When any of us walk outside on a Sunny day at lunch we're all blinded. I actually kind of like it, though it's also a little painful for that split second.

Thomas Fjellstrom
Member #476
June 2000
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bamccaig said:

I actually kind of like it, though it's also a little painful for that split second.

Try a couple of minutes :(

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Thomas Fjellstrom - [website] - [email] - [Allegro Wiki] - [Allegro TODO]
"If you can't think of a better solution, don't try to make a better solution." -- weapon_S
"The less evidence we have for what we believe is certain, the more violently we defend beliefs against those who don't agree" -- https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/592870205409353730

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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Yeah, I suppose it can last a few seconds, but usually by the time we're around the building (probably 20 - 30 seconds) we've adjusted well enough. Then again, we generally get into a car then, sometimes with tinted windows, so it could just be that we're shielded at that point. :P

SiegeLord
Member #7,827
October 2006
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Heh, I find after I've been inside for a little too long, and I go outside, if its a bright sunny day, I get blinded, and fairly extreme pain for a good while when I'm outside. Quite painful.

Ever heard of sunglasses? :P

You can take them off after a few minutes too, if it's not bright enough for them.

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Kibiz0r
Member #6,203
September 2005
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I don't have a question, but I'd like to go for the high score.

Left: -8.5 and an astigmatism
Right: -8.0

I wore glasses for years when I was younger even though I got horrible headaches. When I started driver's ed, I didn't feel safe driving in glasses so I got contacts. The first day with contacts was like being in a whole new world, I had no idea people saw things so crisply and "close". I remember it was cloudy and it looked like I could reach out and touch the clouds. :P

Actually, on second thought, I do have a question.

When I'm not wearing my contacts, if I'm in a dark room and I stare at a concentrated light (like the status LED for my monitors) I can see what look like cells moving around like I'm looking in a microscope. If I blink, they all rush in the same direction and then back again (though to new positions) as I open again. Also, I scratched my cornea once and I could see the scratch using the same method.

What the hell is going on? Am I really seeing the surface of my eye? I asked an optometrist about this one time and he treated me like I was crazy, so I just shut up about it. :-/

Thomas Fjellstrom
Member #476
June 2000
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SiegeLord said:

Ever heard of sunglasses? :P

You can take them off after a few minutes too, if it's not bright enough for them.

I actually hate wearing any kind of glasses. They feel super heavy on my nose, and it annoys the crap out of me.

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"If you can't think of a better solution, don't try to make a better solution." -- weapon_S
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Goalie Ca
Member #2,579
July 2002
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Quote:

I'm an optometrist

Holy crap. This is already at page 4 by the time i saw this.

Anyways, I'm currently doing research on diabetic retinopathy and I'm trying to develop a tool for (semi) automatic segmentation and analysis. Is there any thing I can develop for blood vessel imaging that you would possibly find useful?

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Thomas Fjellstrom
Member #476
June 2000
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Goalie Ca said:

Holy crap. This is already at page 4 by the time i saw this.

Still on the first page for me. When a thread gets to 4 pages, then its real serious business.

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Thomas Fjellstrom - [website] - [email] - [Allegro Wiki] - [Allegro TODO]
"If you can't think of a better solution, don't try to make a better solution." -- weapon_S
"The less evidence we have for what we believe is certain, the more violently we defend beliefs against those who don't agree" -- https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/592870205409353730

Arthur Kalliokoski
Second in Command
February 2005
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I used to be able to read the destination on a bus when it was hundreds of meters away, these days I can't do that so well.

Seeing stuff is partly practice, if you spent the majority of the time looking at distant scenes as a kid, your brain would interpret the granularity of retinal coarseness better than now, when you spend so much time at a computer.

They all watch too much MSNBC... they get ideas.

type568
Member #8,381
March 2007
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Still on the first page for me. When a thread gets to 4 pages, then its real serious business.

Moose.. ;D ;D ;D

An Ly
Member #185
April 2000
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What are the odds I have some easily curable eye symptom that could be fixed? I've had great vision since forever, but lately (last few years) my eagle eye has been decreasing to something closer to 20/20. Should I be worried?

Yes and no. 20/20 is awesome vision. Anything better and you're lucky. However, as an optom we're more interested in the CHANGE in your vision. What is causing the decreased vision? Is it just a natural change in the eye or disease related? See your optom if you're interested. Definitely see optom if it gets worse.

BAF said:

One thing I do wonder about, though, is seeing a slight double vision. At night time, I can faintly see a duplicate copy of the lines on the road/lights on other cars/reflective signs. Don't know if that's normal or not, but it only seems to happen when there is a sharp dark/light contrast with what I'm looking at.

If you close one eye, is it still double? Does it looks more like a "drop shadow"? If so it may mean you have some astigmatism. Or possibly lots of other things. Get it checked out if it gets worse.

bamccaig said:

I wonder if that's why I like to be in the dark. I walk around the house in complete darkness. The lights bother me. I find it annoying that the lights are on at j0rb. I wish I could turn them off (or better yet, I wish I had my own office).

What's a j0rb?

If lights bother you it could possible be because you have light eyes, a mild prescription, massive pupils + lots of other things. Do your pupils react to light? If not then you've got problems. See your optom.

Quote:

Everyone says that it's bad for your eyes to have the lights off,

I remember my lecturer at uni summarising an experiment done in the 70s where they had chicks, put them in complete darkness. They all became short sighted. Make what you want of this.

Kibiz0r said:

When I'm not wearing my contacts, if I'm in a dark room and I stare at a concentrated light (like the status LED for my monitors) I can see what look like cells moving around like I'm looking in a microscope. If I blink, they all rush in the same direction and then back again (though to new positions) as I open again. Also, I scratched my cornea once and I could see the scratch using the same method.

You're seeing inconsistencies in your tear film. So when you blink you should see the dots move in the vertical direction. This is normal.

Oh. And you're not crazy. This is 1st year optom stuff.

I actually hate wearing any kind of glasses. They feel super heavy on my nose, and it annoys the crap out of me.

May just need them adjusted to fit. Your optom can fiddle with nose pads and temples to get it just right.

Goalie Ca said:

Anyways, I'm currently doing research on diabetic retinopathy and I'm trying to develop a tool for (semi) automatic segmentation and analysis. Is there any thing I can develop for blood vessel imaging that you would possibly find useful?

Whoa, nice! If it was accurate and if non professionals could use it. Would be excellent screener or in those hard to reach places where you can't find optoms or ophthals, someone could be trained to just use it and report if it detects a problem. Would be excellent as diabetic retinopathy is a massive problem.

Seeing stuff is partly practice, if you spent the majority of the time looking at distant scenes as a kid, your brain would interpret the granularity of retinal coarseness better than now, when you spend so much time at a computer.

Or you just need specs. Or you have an eye disease. See an optom to make sure. As I stated above, the reason for the change in your vision is important.

Keep it coming!

Johan Halmén
Member #1,550
September 2001

When the muscles around the lens are relaxed, we focus far away, right? And when we focus on objects very near, we tense the muscles, right? So being near sighted I can't relax the muscles more than fully and it still is not enough. The lense is too convex or the retina is too far away. But how come young people need convex glasses, say around +1 - +1.5? I understand lenses like +5. But +1? It's only a slight increase of tension of the muscles. Or so I would think.

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BAF
Member #2,981
December 2002
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An Ly said:

If you close one eye, is it still double? Does it looks more like a "drop shadow"? If so it may mean you have some astigmatism. Or possibly lots of other things. Get it checked out if it gets worse.

I actually don't remember. I do know I've closed eyes, but I don't remember the result. Sometimes it is really noticeable, other times it isn't. Possibly just eye fatigue/general tiredness/dry eyes or something?

Dustin Dettmer
Member #3,935
October 2003
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I've also noticed that just my left eye is slightly red-green color blind. Is having one color blind eye normal?



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