12 Feb 20/20 VISION
20/20 is the standard of vision that is considered normal. If you can read the line on the eye test chart, then you have normal vision. But it means more than “normal” in the mind of the person having an eye test.
Men, in particular, see an eye test as a personal challenge, a test of their mettle as if the Optician is testing to see what stuff they are really made of. And men rise to the challenge and give it all. They are going to see the bottom line of letters on that little chart if it is the last thing they do. If the Optician tells them “your vision is 20/20” what they hear is “you have the vision of a fighter pilot”.
This allows the man to tell his friends that he has incredible vision, the vision of a fighter pilot and in fact he could have been a fighter pilot had he wanted to.
Some men are so proud of their visual prowess that they refuse to listen to an Optometrist or their wife or anyone else who tries to suggest they might need glasses. Normally this type of eye test goes like this:
Optician: “ So how is your vision?”
Man: “ Brilliant. Never better. I can literally see for miles. I’ve always had an exceptional vision. I could have been a fighter pilot, you know. I am only here because my partner dragged me in.”
Optician: “Okay, Great. Can you read the letters on the chart for me?”
Man: (Squinting) “What chart?”
As I write this article, there is an air of hope among the profession that this magical year of 2020 will somehow convince the general public that they really should have an eye test and look after the health of their eyes. Personally, I fear that the year on the calendar won’t be enough to change anyone’s behaviour, so just to be on the safe side, I will continue to write this newsletter every month to encourage you to think about your eyes, your vision and your eyewear more frequently.
Here at Eyewise, we have been using a camera and eye scan machine (Called an Optical Coherence Tomograph- we shorten it to OCT!) for over 11 years now! In the recent past, we have added the Optomap, an ultra wide-field scanning device that captures up to 200-degree coverage of the back of your eyes. We can see and record aspects of your eyes that previously would have been very difficult. Having a scan of the back of the eyes is not painful; the whole process is easy and takes about 10 minutes, and it gives so much valuable information, which helps the Optician in his/her assessment of your eye health. And children are not excluded, most anyway- we often carry out the Optomap scan on children aged 10 and above, as part of preventative eye care.
So I hope this new year, you are able to include your eyes and eyecare as part of the plan to live healthier and happier!