By Tom Morrone CFP®, CPA
I have pretty good vision and only need to wear glasses for reading and closeup work and those glasses are not prescription but merely 1.50 cheaters that can be purchased just about anywhere. I have pairs of cheaters everywhere including my vehicle, various places around the house, my office, my briefcase and most of my coats and jackets have a pair in one of the pockets. I even have a compact pair that slides in a small case that attaches to the back of my cell phone.
I am confident that wherever I am I will have glasses with me (assuming I have my phone). I have been in awkward situations numerous times when I did not have glasses and had to ask someone near buy to lend me their eye sight. How embarrassing. Everyday life, including driving, does not require glasses so all in all I am very satisfied with my vision. I do not go to the eye doctor as often as I should like I do on a preventive basis with my dentist and medical doctor. That has now changed since I developed “floaters” in my right eye.
While at a conference recently in Boston, I felt like I had an eyelash that was floating around. Then I thought it was a gnat that was flying close to my eye. I felt like I was in a Disney 3-D movie and I was swatting at something that appeared to be hovering directly in front of my face. After a day of swatting at nothing I figured out what it was. Cathy has had issues with floaters so I was familiar with what they were but I never had them. I immediately made an appointment with the ophthalmologist and fortunately for me he had an opening the next day. I was surprised when he told me how common floaters are and that he examines 3-4 patients daily regarding this issue. Who knew? As he was examining me I was bombarding him with questions and he was answering them as quickly as I was firing them off. The concern was a detaching of the retina. He also said that that not until my eyes were fully dilated and he completed the final part of his exam would he be able to complete his diagnosis. The next step was to put some drops in my eyes and off to the waiting room I went to let those magic drops do their thing.
When I came back in to the examining room he did all the steps that I had done in past office visits. He then reclined my chair, like being at the dentist. This was different. He then said, “I am going to examine your eye with a blunt instrument. It will not hurt”. I did not like the sound of it but had no choice. With a special instrument, he spread open my eye socket and did exactly what he said he was going to do. It did not hurt but would have rather been in any one of 64 other places. Anyway, he was not as concerned about a detached retina after the complete exam so I was relieved for sure. I will go for follow up eye examinations on more of a proactive basis going forward.
As for the floaters, there goes another one…