As a boy my walls were covered in pictures of airplanes. Some were real and some were from TV programs, but they were cool and I wanted to be sat in them, looping loops, rolling rolls, and zooming though clouds. The first company I worked for would pay its engineers to obtain a private pilots license. Not quite the adrenaline filled visions I had as a child, but better than nothing. But I never took up the offer, something held me back, and that something was my eyesight. In short, it’s crap. I have an astigmatism, I’m 10 diopter in both eyes, and I’m color blind. Worst of all, I don’t see a stereoscopic image.
This means when I look at (say) the white lines on the freeway, I see two sets and they point in different directions. The car in front? Yep, there are two of them as well. If I concentrate and blink frequently my right eye becomes dominant for a moment and I see one image, but when I’m tired at the end of the day, I have to close my left eye. If I drive long distances I usually stop after an hour’s driving to rest.
The same happens when I look at people. They merge and separate depending on how hard I concentrate. Keeping one image is hard work. When I talk to people I don’t bother focusing on them because it’s too much effort. Usually by mid-morning I have a dull ache in my head.
But this week’s been different, because on Monday I picked up a new pair of eyeglasses. Nothing special there, but these glasses have a prism in them.
It’s not the triangular cheese wedge you used in physics, the prism effect is created by canting the optical plane of the lenses to make both of my eyes stare at the same point.
And the effect is amazing.
This week I haven’t seen a single “double image,” the dull headaches have gone, and I’ve spent the whole week grinning. I can turn my head around and not have to work out which of the two things I see are real. When I look at the TV I don’t have to close one eye.
I’m not one for going overboard but
😀 😀 It’s awesome!!!!!!! 😀 😀
and if I knew how to make that font flash, I would do.
Hopefully you don’t have a similar problem, but if you do, talk to your optician about prisms. When they do that test where they want you to tell them when the images overlap, don’t take the answer I heard for years that “you’re not look at the image properly,” because you are, and there is something they can do.
And the effect really is awesome.
(Gratuitous images courtesy of Wikipedia, Retro.net and Pittsburghmagazine.com)
WOOT! I am thrilled for you, Nigel!
What you describe as your outlook on the world through pre-prism eyes sounds horrid. For the record: when you saw me at WWBC — the image on the right was the “real” me. My good side is always on the right.
SO! Must ask. Are you planning to make that dream come true and learn to fly?
LOL, I promise to always look at your good side, Gloria, not your evil twin, even if I have to squint!
Despite my improved vision, I think the desire to fly has passed, which is probably safer for all of us 🙂
Thanks for the early morning comment!
Wow, congratulations, Nigel – that’s wonderful! Enjoy your brand new one-of-a-kind world. 🙂
Thanks Diane. I’m making the most of “being single” so to speak.
This is great news. I am happy for you. You could for the fun of it go take a few hours of flight training. Why not?
The only potential down side to this would be at the pool or beach, There will now be half as many young ladies in bikinis. You will however be able to see them each more clearly and you will now be able to look at a woman in a bikini without getting a headache. In fact you will now enjoy that great “guy” benefit of having headeaches vanish just by seeing a few attractive young ladies walk by. Talk to your wife before your next trip to a bikini zone and explain to her that you never went through that adolescent stage when you stare at 19 year olds in bikinis and that your doctor said it will take some time for this phenomena to subside. Within a few more decades you should be fine. This way your wife will understand that it’s a medical condition and you will indeed be able to see more clearly at the pool without infuriating your sweet wife.
Overall it sounds like a major win.
Ah, rats. You may have found the great flaw in this whole scheme. I’ll have to think things through more throughly next time. On the up side, I think we regress to our childhood as we get older, so I’ll just hang around the 19yr old mark for a while.
So glad you got this done. All this time I was totally unaware you had this problem. I guess when you looked at me you thought I was beside myself. Well, I take up enough viewing space without being doubled.
As you would say, cheers.
Ironically, with my original state I gradually lost sight of people as I stared at them. So you’ll be glad to know you were getting thinner all the time.
Wow, Nigel. It’s amazing what we take for granted and what the little we know of people’s challenges. Are we still as cute with your new eyewear? Wait. Don’t tell us if not. Congratulations. You definitely deserve clear vision and headache-free days!
Hi August. Yep, the new glasses are still going well, I’m really pleased. As for the cute bit, I really can’t comment 😉
Congratulations! I have astigmatism and myopia. I can still remember the first day I used corrective glasses, I was able to see a new world shining in front of me! Words are not enough to describe that feeling. Welcome to your new vision of the world!
Hi Alex. Thanks. The new glasses are working well. I still see just one set of white lines down the freeway and I don’t have to close one eye! Life is good.