I went to have my vision tested yesterday, which for one reason and another ended up monopolizing most of the day. Some vocabulary for your edification, if for some reason you are as ignorant as I was yesterday:
Optician: Technican who makes (or sometimes just sells) lenses and eyeglasses.
Optometrist: Licensed medical professional trained to prescribe and fit lenses to improve vision and to diagnose and treat various eye diseases.
Ophthalmologist: Specialist in medical and surgical eye problems. Also, hardest medical specialty to remember how to correctly spell. (I vote we improve matters by getting rid of that first aitch. That first ell could go too. Opthamologist: There, isn't that better?)
I've actually known this in the past, but my ignorance on the matter seems to be self-renewing.
At any rate, I saw an optometrist yesterday. I have a problem in my right eye which so far no one has been able to diagnose; it's 20/60 and not particularly susceptible to correction. My left eye is age-appropriate, about 20/40 and very correctable. I'm learning how to use viewfinders left-eyed.
I got fitted for a pair of glasses specifically corrected for 22–24 inches, the distance my computer screen is from my eyes. I did this not for my eyes but for my neck, which has been hurting: the problem is that on sites where the text is not easily resized, I lean in and squint at the screen, hunching as I do so. I'm hoping my new glasses will relieve eyestrain at the computer and help me relax. They should also be good for looking at work in galleries and museums. (Maybe I'll get a pair of bifocals corrected for eight feet on top and two feet on the bottom and call them "museum glasses.")
I suppose everyone in the world but me takes perfect care of themselves, visiting their physician twice a year, their dentist three times, and their optometrist once. But just in case you haven't seen your optometrist in a few years, I urge you to make an appointment. Keep those sensors in good shape! And that prescription up to date.
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.