Thursday, September 21, 2006

more on vision

I had a few comments on my last so I decided to write a new post about it.

Firstly in regard to Elspeth's comment. I agree that children should wear glasses if necessary. That part of my entry was not clear, I was trying to make the point that I can understand children not wanting to wear glasses because they think it's uncool. But adults should make decisions on more important things such as what is best for their eyes. There are real reasons for needing eye surgery, if without glasses your vision is so bad that you are legally blind then an ophthalmologist may recommend surgery for that. In cases of extreme vision problems apparently a combination of surgery and glasses is required for good results. I also think it makes sense for people who need surgery for their work, for example athletes such as Tiger Woods. Looking cool is not a real reason for surgery, especially not for the small increment of coolness that some people believe is associated with not wearing glasses.

All operations involve some risk. Risk to your vision is not worth a small amount of convenience and possibly looking cool. Besides, it's widely regarded that people with glasses are more intelligent! ;)

Shintaro mentioned that there is a risk of retinal damage from being short-sighted. What I want to know is whether the risk of that can be alleviated if you wear glasses all the time? If you wear your glasses everywhere except in bed, in the shower, and in the sento, does that stop this problem? Maybe I should try and wear my glasses for more than the ~15 hours a day that I currently do.

Finally an anonymous poster noted that they didn't know anyone else who had an optical migraine. My ophthalmologist mentioned that it's rare to have a migraine that only affects the vision and nothing else. I feel fortunate to have it like that, the list of other migraine symptoms sounds very unpleasant. Of course only having had it once I can't be sure that next time it will be the same. I might get the nasty symptoms next time. :(

However one problem with what I experienced is that it came on suddenly with no warning. It would be very unpleasant to suddenly lose central vision while driving (I would have to hope that the ability to react to objects without consciously noticing them works well). Fortunately I have only been driving about 300K per month in recent years and I can probably reduce this. So the chance of it happening while driving is quite small.


Shintaro said...

You should wear your glasses always and I wear them even when I sleep so that I can dream clearly.I even notice I'm wearing glasses when I wash my face...;)
You don't have to worry about your retina.Eye balls transforms very slowly when you are an adult.My right eye is very bad,because I've been reading philosophical books when I was a teenager always laying on my right side.About your no-headache headache,it's one of the headaches,and I'm having headache 24 hours a day since when I was 20 years old,and I know another intelligent guy always having a headache. Try to think it's a special gift and deem it as a propelling force from above for writing original codes.I can say artist-type people having problems like that.
Oh,you should not wear your glasses when you sleep,if not,you will break them...

Giacomo said...

I use glasses, but I heard some other motivation to do surgery:
#1- colours. It seems that glasses attenuate colors (confirmations?)
#2- night. In bed I cannot read the clock without using first my glasses.
#3- sun glasses: people normally don't care much the cheap sun glasses.
But I don't think these points are worth a surgery.

Elspeth said...

Retinal detachement is caused by several things, one of which is extreme myopia (shortsightedness). The wikipedia article has some good information. Wearing glasses or not has little effect on this, as it's the shape of the eyeball that's causing strain on the retina.

In response to giacomo:
#1 I personally find that I get diffraction rainbows around all light sources - not colour attenuation, but it's sure a distraction
#2 Yeah, me either. My current solution is bigger and bigger clocks.
#3 I'd much rather be able to buy sunglasses that are 'expensive' at $200, rather than prescription ones that are 'cheap' at $800.

On migraines: I've never had the visual symptoms, only the other ones. Wearing glasses may help prevent them, though, if the trigger is eyestrain.

My apologies for the incoherency; I'm still working on my first coffee of the day.

Russ Allbery said...

I've had two optical migraines in my life and never a regular one, so you're not alone. They really freaked me out at first, but the pattern is extremely distinctive; if you've had one, you would never mistake it for anything else.

Anonymous said...

I got glasses when I was 12, and I refused to wear them because I thought people would think I was dorky and unattractive.

When I started wearing them all the time a few years later, I found I became happier, more self confident, and I had a better social life.

I wish I had worn them all the time from the first day.

Anonymous said...

I had the same experience. I dreaded the idea of wearing glasses in public. In the end, one of my teachers noticed I was having trouble and she encouraged me to start wearing them.

After about two months, I was wearing my glasses all the time. I am so pleased that I got over the phobia of wearing glasses. It doesn't bother me at all to wear them now -- I put them on in the morning and forget about them!