My Dad is a Goldfish – a visit to the optician

I have to make an appointment for the Goldfish to have his annual eyesight check. I remember last year’s appointment, which made me realise how much he had declined over the previous 12 months. I’m not sure what will happen when I take him this time. This was how it went a year ago:

Eye chartThe Goldfish settled himself in the chair, looking round with interest. The optician asked: “Can you see any of the letters up there?”

“What?” I realised the Goldfish didn’t have his hearing aid in and suggested the optician spoke up a bit.
He repeated, a bit louder: “Can you see any of the letters up there?”
“Yes.”
“Can you read them?”
“Yes.”
“Can you read them out loud?”
“Well, I think so. Some of them are a bit small.”
“Try to read the ones you can.”
“What?”
“Can you read out loud the letters you can see up there? It doesn’t matter of you can’t read them all.”
The Goldfish read all the letters. The optician changed them to make them smaller.
“Now can you read them?”
“Not really, they are a bit small.”
“Try to read out loud the letters you can see.”

The Goldfish managed to read out most of the letters, had one or two wrong, realised he’d made a mistake and tried again. It was fairly clear he couldn’t read the smallest letters.
The optician examined his eyes with his shiny light thing and did all the usual tests. The Goldfish muttered a bit about the eye drops stinging but accepted it had to be done. We know the Goldfish has age-related macular degeneration about which nothing can be done but at least it hadn’t got much worse since last time, which is a relief.

Two years ago the optician said the Goldfish’s sight was deteriorating and he was surprised the Goldfish didn’t seem to notice. “Does he never complain about not being able to see well?” he asked.

I shook my head. “No, he doesn’t. But then, he doesn’t read any more and he’s not driving now so perhaps he doesn’t notice.”

The optician seemed to find it strange – but even stranger was to come. At the end of the test session he handed the Goldfish a card with printed text of varying sizes and asked him to read it out loud. This time, he read the printed card aloud with no problems, without his glasses, right down the smallest print – better than last time. It’s not possible.

The optician checked the prescription of the lenses in the glasses the Goldfish was wearing in case he had the wrong glasses. It was the correct prescription but he was able to read better without than with his glasses. I didn’t bother to mention to the optician I always take my glasses off to read.

No change in prescription was likely to be of any benefit so that was it for another year. Someone put new nose pads on his glasses for him. I don’t know what he does with them – he’s forever losing them. Now I better make his appointment for this year’s eye test.

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5 thoughts on “My Dad is a Goldfish – a visit to the optician

  1. Huh… I wonder why he is able to see better WITHOUT his glasses? Does he not need them at all? Like you said, he isn’t reading or driving anymore. Or is it a near-sighted/far-sighted thing?
    And those macular degeneration tests are a pain and the drops DO sting!! I sympathize with him on that!

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    • Hi April, I have no idea why he can read so much better without his glasses but I can, too. Although I wear those ones which are for both shortsightedness and reading I am always taking them off to read – especially labels. To be honest, though, I have a feeling the next eye test will show his sight has deteriorated. Sometimes when I point out somethign on television I get the feeling he doesn’t really see what it is.
      I haven’t had the stinging drops yet and I dread the day. I’m such a wimp.

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  2. Me too I read far better without the glasses! I Caps is meant to prevent against Macular Degeneration but I don’t know if it slows it down once it has set in or not. I take one every day and it seems to give the eyes a ZING!! I also dread those drops even if the sting is short lived! Because I was driving they didn’t give me them this time even though I was age for them…….so if you really want to get out of them, there’s your excuse LOL! Long may your Dad see as well and as much as is possible in the circumstances Mary. x

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    • Hi Janette, Dad used to take I CAPS but we stopped them when it became too difficult for him to swallow all the medication he needed as there were some whcih are essential. I don’t know how well they worked. My optician knows where I live – two minutes from his office – so he wouldn’t fall for the driving excuse. He is aware of my cowardice. I jump a mile high when he uses the air puffer on my eyes!
      I expect when I take dad back there will have been some deterioration in his sight but I’m hoping it won’t be as bad as I fear.

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