Wednesday I had my eyes examined and ordered new specs – resulting in a contribution of $522.00 to the National Economic Recovery effort!
In addition to the normal comprehensive examination I opted for a new-fangled screening test which measures the eyes ability to see throughout the full visual field. Apparently an inability to perceive portions of the visual field is indicative of conditions that have occurred or will occur that threaten the loss of sight or portend serious illness. It cost only $16.00 – seemed like a good idea to me.
It was a very simple procedure. I was sat in front of a machine with a place in front to rest my chin and peer into a small screen. There was a little plastic flap which could be moved horizontally in front of the eyes to prevent more than one eye at a time to view the screen. I was given a small hand clicker to use during the test. I was to look directly at a small black dot in the middle of a white screen; blinking was permitted but no other eye movement was allowed during the test, which lasted somewhere between one and two minutes for each eye. I was told that a small square formation of vertical and horizontal lines, sometimes wiggling, sometimes still, would appear somewhere on the screen, and that I was to press the clicker each time I perceived them. The lines turned out to be a very light gray, so light that they were barely visible. They were no more than a half-inch square.
The little squares started appearing here and there in the screen – high, low, right left, near the middle – in no discernible pattern or tempo. And I dutifully clicked away as each eye was tested.
At the end of the test the doctor retrieved a printout from the machine and after examining it she told me that the test results were odd. I had completely missed everything in the upper portion, which would indicate that I had suffered a stroke – a very serious stroke – that had severely damaged my optic nerve! 😯
I told her that to my knowledge I had never suffered a stroke of any severity, certainly not a serious one, and that during the test I had seen and clicked on lines that had appeared at or near the top numerous times.
It turned out that she had lined me up so that the upper portion of the screen was not visible to me. She realigned the screen and had me do the test again.
In the second go-around I clicked on 100% of the little squares, indicating that I could perceive the full vision field. Yea! 😀