I once posed this question to students at THE Ohio State University School of Optometry: “If they invented a pill that cures everything, would you be happy or sad?”
I know my answer. You?
Regardless, medical research marches on. I do see a tiny sparkle in the distance reassuring me deadly and health care system-sucking diseases are being studied by amazing minds. Life expectancies are lengthening, at least where people have access to health care. Charitable organizations and church-based missions are doing great work somewhere out there. Longer life = more needy presbyopes.
What about in our offices? When you hear about the latest ocular antihistamine or tear-enhancing eye drop, does that psyche you up as much as it psyches me up? Psyche! After 100 years of “use this drop every day,” can’t some billionaire geek decide we have enough eye lubricants and study something more critical, like a device that finds lost trial refracting lenses. I haven’t seen my +0.50 since the first Star Wars movie.
Once an aspiring young doctor asked me, “What do you say to patients who put on their multifocal contact lenses and tell you it makes distance vision blurrier?”
Now, I wear multifocal contact lenses because (a) I am 63 and (b) when I’m picking a hunk of steel out of a cornea using the slit lamp, I think it might be better if I have a wider field of view so I don’t poke a hole through the patient’s eye (or through my finger).
One time, I met with 10 researchers of a large contact lens company who had found a way to etch a microscopic mark on the lens that showed whether the lens was inside out before applying it to the eye. At the time, I had maybe two “successful” multifocal contact lens patients who were myopic enough to actually see a microscopic etching on a contact lens. Of course, my definition of “success” was they came in less than six times a year complaining about their vision. I brought that to the researchers’ attention, and four of them said nothing and scribbled madly in their notepads. The other six texted one another about where they should have dinner.
But can I see through my multifocal lenses? Well, my distance is blurry. I know what you are thinking… “Yes.”
Here’s the Gnat You’ve Been Waiting For
Last week, I had a manicure. Quit laughing and keep reading, because the manicure is not the coolest part. Before I went to have my manicure, I applied coconut oil under my nose. Seriously, it’s not funny; it was chafed from the allergies that are crazy in Texas right now. In Texas, if someone sweeps their porch in Juarez, Mexico, it lands on your porch in two days. I hope they make that wall out of HEPA filters.
Anyway, during my manicure, I thought I was having another vitreous detachment until I realized I had attracted a gnat with my coconut oil. Since both hands were in bags of hot wax, I decided to watch the gnat in vivo. He flew up my nose. Now here’s the coolest part: I sneezed and he came out of my left inferior punctum. OK, now you can laugh.