The cry of, “Oh, it’s easy when you know how!” no longer quite rings true. Certain simple, everyday tasks now require considerably increased concentration to complete, which can be somewhat frustrating. This also effectively demonstrates to all those people who blithely comment, “At least you have your other eye!” that there’s a very good reason for the fact that we have two eyes. Relying on one ‘good’ or ‘better’ eye messes with our depth perception, and having unbalanced vision (for example, visual acuity of 6/5 in the left eye and 6/60 in the right eye in my case) can cause considerable difficulty in focussing on things at times. If you don’t believe me, try closing one eye whilst performing some of the simple tasks listed below…
- Putting a key in a lock, particularly in lower lighting conditions.
- Pouring a drink. Fortunately, I have pretty much got the hang on this now – it’s been a while since I’ve completely missed the edge of the mug and poured boiling water over the work surface.
- Walking up or down steps. The number of times I’ve misjudged the edge or stumbled has made me particularly careful and considerably slower when navigating steps. Plus, the advice of my second surgeon, “Don’t get a head trauma” still rings in my ears, amidst the fear of tripping and falling.
- Pressing the ‘hush’ button on the smoke alarm when it goes off. This has the additional difficulty of having to look up and focus on the darn thing.
- Walking down the corridor at work when the sun is shining through the window right at the end of it. My colleagues might be forgiven for thinking I’d had a heavy night, as I shield my eyes from the unbearable brightness and lurch towards the left-hand wall.
- Navigating through glass doors. Or worse – revolving glass doors.
- Threading a needle. I recently contemplated taking the needle and thread and banging on one of my neighbours’ doors to ask them to do it for me. The fact that both neighbours are young guys, whom I strongly suspect may find this task equally difficult due to lack of practice, deterred me.
- Wrapping a present. Although famed in my family for my neat and thorough (i.e. it can take the recipient a while to break into it) gift-wrapping, I now find myself carefully smoothing down the sellotape whilst entirely missing the edge of paper it was supposed to attach.
- Pruning plants in the garden. On a regular basis, I find myself either carefully cutting through a portion of fresh air, or chopping off the wrong piece of branch. (Shhhh… don’t tell my mum – she’s a keen gardener).
- Hunting for geocaches. Several recent geocaching trips have highlighted the fact that certain caches can be quite difficult to hunt for with waffy eyes. Generally the sort that involve putting my head in different positions in order to look for them, which tends to make the oil slosh about and floaters appear.
Fortunately, my eyesight issues didn’t cause any problems for me in managing to vote on 23 June, and I happily entered my cross decisively in the correct box. It saddens me that so many other voters clearly had difficulties in performing this simple task, and I’m considering starting a petition that all those voters who haven’t had an eyesight test within the last two years should do so immediately and then cast their votes again…