Doctor, My Eyes

As I get older, I find that mini-maladies that I once ignored … or would have assigned to the let’s-see-if-it-gets-better-on-its-own bin … become a source of worry.  I have plenty of older friends and each provides me with examples of senior molehills that turn into mountains.  My latest mini-obsession is my eyes.  A while back, my wife and I were driving back from the park in the fading daylight when I noticed that the red traffic signal in front of me had a ghost image slightly below the real one.   I looked around and ALL the lights had a ghost below them and the power lines, too.   I blinked several times and looked through different levels of my progressive bifocals.  Still there.  I’m seeing double, I said to Muri.  She could probably hear the the panic in my voice.  As many times as my friend, Don, has told me not to awfulize (assume the worst), there’s a place in my mind that whispers cancer … or brain tumor … every time a new symptom shows up.  And of course, when I got home, I just had to Google double vision and there it was among the possible causes: brain tumor.  In the end, I had a thorough exam that left three possibilities: diffraction in my Costco glasses, which my eye doctor said use inferior materials; lazy eye, meaning I’m supposed to be doing eye-crossing exercises twice a day; or dry-eye, which happens because an oldster’s tear ducts don’t always produce enough tears to keep the eye properly moistened.  So, I bought a pair of Very Expensive Glasses at my doctor’s office (the only brand he carries); I started my eye exercises; and I began using Refresh Tears eye drops two or three times a day.  Here we are, two months later and I’ve found that as long as I’m consistent with the eye drops, I don’t have any double vision, with either Very Expensive Glasses or Costco Glasses.  I suppose I should be grateful but I can’t help feel like I was over-marketed by my eye doctor.

Now, for the last week or two, I’ve been having trouble reading my 32″ LCD desktop computer monitor, even with the type fonts set to Old Codger Size.  I tried different glasses and a pair computer glasses with the strength suggested by my eye doctor.  I adjusted everything that could be adjusted on the monitor and on the Windows display options.   And I’ve been trying not to over-react again but this morning it got too bad to ignore.  I Googled double vision when using the computer and there among the articles offering dire possibilities like brain tumors, I found one on MadebyMark.com titled How to Fix LCD Monitor Ghost ImagesIt turns out that the most common cause of blurry and double images on LCD monitors is the monitor cable!  I tightened the connections at both the monitor and the computer and … bingo … the image was clearer.  Then I drove to Fry’s Electronics and bought a brand new well-shielded VGA cable and now, my computer vision is perfect.  Yippee.  No brain tumor.  Bless you, Mark.

I find it amusing that The Wizard … a name given to me by my brother-in-law, Norm, because of my prowess in fixing computer problems … didn’t think to check the cables on his own.  Could it be that all this blogging is damaging my left-brain cells?  Or maybe, I’m just getting forgetful.  I wonder what could be causing that?  Let’s see, if I Google forgetfulness in seniors

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3 Comments on “Doctor, My Eyes”

  1. cherperz Says:

    Congrats on the “no brain tumor”. Aging sucks on so many levels. I am so thankful for all the things that are hanging in like rock stars that I try to look at some of the “damn that isn’t working like it used to” with as much of acceptance as I can muster. I think it has helped to have my grandma live to nearly 101 and she was still feeling good and was still mentally sharp. I hope for the same. As my grandma died because she hit her head falling, I hope I remember to step carefully when I am over 100.


  2. First of all, the internet ALWAYS tells you you have cancer, regardless of what your symptom is. The internet lies. 😉

    Secondly, I find it (I’m sorry) hilarious that the problem reading your computer screen was with the screen and not you, and that you assumed it was you. That speaks volumes about where you are, eh? But don’t sweat the Very Expensive Glasses. They’re probably still better for you than the Costco version. 🙂 Your eyes are a good investment (says the woman who’s been severely nearsighted since age 8 and just got a new shipment of contact lenses- woohoo!)


  3. I have issues from time to time too with the blurry vision. Thought it would be corrected (at least somewhat) with the purchase of new glasses a little over a year ago but sadly, it still floats back and forth with the blurriness. But as long as it’s not a constant…Well, I hope it doesn’t become a constant thing I suppose it’s okay but it might be worth the effort to try the eye drops now and again or a lot -whatever. Now if you do google senility factors or something along those lines and get some suggestions -other than those danged bran tumors, do let me know because forgetfulness has totally become a constant in my life.I’ll also have to remember where I put the eye drops all the time too if I try that route, won’t I? Dang! So many things to remember and so many things I’d also just as soon forget too.


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