I like to have my vision checked every year. I’ve been wearing glasses since I was about 11, on account of myopia.
I’m quite accustomed to the whole very difficult set of questions about
which is darker: the red or the green, and trying to read the bottom line of the letter chart.
I like the autorefractor test where the little house on the prairie goes in and out of focus. That machine spits out a paper with a rough prescription that my optometrist enters into her computer.
The tonometer that puffs air into my eyes to check their pressure always makes me blink.
A recent visit took a whole new turn, when I looked into a retinal camera:
A fundus camera or retinal camera is a specialized low power microscope with an attached camera designed to photograph the interior surface of the eye, including the retina, optic disc, macula, and posterior pole (i.e. the fundus).
The flash of the camera temporarily blinded me, but I was still able to view the monitor next to the camera to see the inside of my eye. Amazing!
When the optometrist offered to email me the photos I was keen to receive them. The photo here shows one of my eyes.
I thought the optometrist pointed to the dark spot in the centre when she told me that was the macula, responsible for detailed vision. The Wikipedia info below makes me wonder if the macula is in fact the yellow area towards the left of the photo:
The macula or macula lutea (from Latin macula, “spot” + lutea, “yellow”) is an oval-shaped highly pigmented yellow spot near the center of the retina of the human eye. It has a diameter of around 5 mm … It is specialized for high acuity vision. … Visual input to the macula occupies a substantial portion of the brain’s visual capacity.
I find it astonishing the be able to see exactly what’s inside my eyes. Considering the price of a decent SLR camera, I suspect the retinal camera must be worth a very tidy sum, probably with enough zeros to really make you gasp.
By the way, if you find the photo of my eye interesting, take a look at the results of a Google images search.