Eyeing My Health (Or Lack Thereof)

As someone who has had a lot of eye problems in the past year, and whose eye problems are cropping up once again, it is difficult to adjust to using only one eye. Now, my particular issue is not so severe that I am likely to lose an eye over it, and I am one hundred percent struggling when someone else might not because eye stuff is is super gross to me, but I am currently in a situation where it is better (or at least easier) for me to keep this one particular eye closed for an extended period of time. Too long and I start to get a headache from the sort of lopsided use of my eyelid muscles. Too little and the dry air at work, on top of the general sensitivity of my eye in this state, causes me to experience near-constant stabbing pain. I usually wind up erring on the side of a headache because ibuprofen can fix that but it can’t do anything for the stabbing pain and sensitivity.

Contributing to this headache is the fact that I tend to turn my head a little bit when my one eye is closed, so my good eye is more centrally located and my peripheral vision can take in things on the opposite side of my body. It’s a difficult inclination to fight, given how often I bump into stuff or get surprised by something appearing where my closed eye would normally have caught it. It is easily solved, of course, because I can just open my irritated eye. I’m not actually blind in that eye, though my vision is a bit more blurry than usual, which means I can always take a peek if I feel like there’s something I need to see or if I’m worried about bashing my side into the corner of the table or counter again. It’s almost startling to have been trying to compensate for a lack of vision and then to suddenly return it to myself.

Truly, it makes me appreciate having two eyes and not-terrible vision all the more when my eye’s irritation finally goes away. My glasses easily correct my vision and though the periphery of it is blurry since my glasses don’t cover my entire field of vision, my vision is not so bad that I can’t track movement, color, and general shape out of the side of my eyes. Even if I could cover my entire field of vision (which I will never do because I struggle with eye drops and refuse to do something as unpleasant as putting in contacts every day), I doubt I’d get more out of my peripheral vision than I do while wearing my glasses.

And depth! I spent about two hours in a row with my eye closed today, long enough to adjust to lacking depth perception and change the way I interacted with my workspace so I could do my job without bumping into literally everything. I was still bumping into figuratively everything, though, until I started using my irritated eye more after a session with my bruder mask helped fortify it against the terrible dryness of my place of employment (humidity in my section of the building has been at 16% all day). All of a sudden, the world was whole again and I could accurately grab things without needing to carefully touch them first. I could set my hands on my keyboard easily, change activities, and dodge the occasional nerf dart with ease.

This period of eye irritation, specifically to the point where I need to keep it closed to avoid pain and worsening irritation, will likely be short. A full week at worst, likely less, which means it is an annoyance, an inconvenience, and a problem to struggle with, but also that I am fortunate that my problem is (relatively speaking) so easily solved thus far. The larger issue as to why this keeps happening is currently still a mystery since my doctor’s last solution seems to have only slowed down its recurrence rather than truly prevented it, but I am still grateful that these symptoms, at least, are a problem that can be solved.

Also, this whole situation makes me think of an Andrew Bird song called “Eyeoneye.” There’s a bit in the song about getting so caught up in your head that you start to almost lose yourself in yourself, an experience I can relate to, expressed as the idea of an eye perceiving itself and an ear hearing itself. As someone who routinely looks at his eyes, I am accutely aware of how impossible it is to check out your eye with itself. You need your other eye to do that properly, or a fake eye in the form of a camera. No matter how hard you try, your eye can’t really look at any part of itself other than the iris and pupil.

I think I’ve gotten too caught up in this eyedea, so eye’m just going to call it here.

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