New vision, new job..?

I’ve been assured multiple times by eye surgeons and nurses that computer use won’t damage my eyes or cause any problems for the retina, but that it may result in increased tiredness.  As my job involves staring at a computer screen for pretty much most of the day, I’ve always been very relieved to hear this.  However, bright screens aren’t comfortable for me to focus on, and the brighter the screen the more tortuous it can be.  My computer screen at work is set to the lowest brightness possible and these days I only use one screen rather than two, which definitely helps matters.  Still, by the end of the working day, my eyes are sore and aching, and I notice a vast difference in the way they feel in comparison to weekends and days off.  In addition to this is the knowledge that spending all day in front of a computer screen isn’t particularly healthy and I have a sneaking suspicion that segments of my soul are being silently stolen as I sit there.

Some years ago, as a deluded graduate believing that the world was my oyster, I dreamt of a career in art restoration.  I did a fair amount of research into it but upon investigating postgraduate courses the plan was abandoned due to limited funds as I followed the only piece of sensible advice Polonius gives in the entire text of ‘Hamlet’: ‘neither a borrower nor a lender be’.  I did, however, made an attempt to sneak into art restoration via the back door of office administration by applying for a job at Tate Britain.  I didn’t get it, but thoroughly enjoyed a behind the scenes tour of their conservation department, following the gruelling interview.  Although my funding pot has now increased somewhat, my colour vision has taken a nose-dive and  I’d no longer meet the admissions requirements for a course in art restoration.  So… it’s time to come up with other ideas…

Obviously, some jobs can just be dismissed out of hand.  Professional boxing, for example.  A new career as a professional rugby player would also be a big no-no.  It’s a shame really, as I think either of those occupations could potentially provide an excellent outlet for RD-related frustration.  But I always follow the advice of the surgeons and was once clearly instructed not to take up boxing or rugby, so that puts paid to that.  Various other options  can also be immediately discarded due to the danger of getting a head trauma (read if you’re wondering what I’m talking about here): construction worker, jockey (I’m too tall for a jockey, anyway), tree surgeon, window cleaner, tightrope walker (this would bring the additional problem of actually being able to focus on the tightrope), astronaut, deep-sea diver, and stuntman.

Other potential occupations must unfortunately be disregarded due to their eyesight requirements.  For example, despite my increasing knowledge of retinal surgery, I don’t think I’d get away with qualifying as an ophthalmologist.  Possibly not even an optometrist, although I may have to check that one out.  A new career as an airline pilot is definitely out of the question, as that requires 6/6 vision (or vision corrected to 6/6), and the corrected visual acuity in my right eye is currently 6/60.  ‘Normal’ vision is 6/6, and this means that I can only see from six meters away what a person with ‘normal’ sight is able to see from a distance of 60 metres.  Put in more simple terms: I can’t read the top line of the eye chart using my right eye.  Apparently, the requirements for a fighter pilot are even more stringent, so I haven’t even bothered to look that one up.

Although the issue of heavy lifting is one which I’ve received conflicting information on, when it comes to my eyes I’m definitely playing it safe.  Therefore, this also places certain occupations in the out-of-bounds category.  For example: weightlifter, removals person, refuse collector, mechanic (this also involves lying on your back, so is a double no-no), paramedic, carpenter, thatcher, vetinary surgeon, wheelwright, and cheese stacker (, to name but a few.

I sometimes think it would be enjoyable to have a job which is based outdoors in the fresh air, but this could also be tricky as a strong shaft of sunlight at the wrong angle can be even worse than staring at a screen.  Plus, in the winter when temperatures drop considerably, I don’t fancy having to deal with the resulting foggy vision and cold, aching eyeball for extended periods of time.  So I guess for now I’ll stick with what I’m doing.  However, it never hurts to consider alternative options, so if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know…


One thought on “New vision, new job..?

  1. Pingback: And the prize goes to… | RD Ramblings

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