Friday, July 24

Eyes of a Sailor

Once this sailor, Yachty, hit 40, her vision was supposed to change overnight.  Well it did.  Six inches in front of my face things got blurry, but it got better.  Or as much wiser people have told me that I just got used to it.  I tried out a few reading glasses at Target.  The lowest level of 1.0 diopter worked, but I did not like any of the styles.  

When do I need to see details 6 inches in front of my face?  Playing the violin, I have discovered.  I cannot see the bow on the string without closing my left eye.  Glasses, I will need when I decide to play the violin again.  Too much humidity to keep my violin on the boat.

Presbyopia (age related lens stiffened, blurry close up) starts early to mid-40s and continues to worsen until 65 (NO!) and caused by a hardening of the lens of your eye, which occurs with aging. As your lens becomes less flexible, it can no longer change shape to focus on close-up images. Images appear out of focus (from Mayo Clinic website).  Read the Facts about Presbyotia through NIH

My dear friend, Carma, gave me a list of things at my 40th Birthday Party that I can expect to happen.  They are happening, and I am not too pleased about that.  Can I fight it?  Besides glasses, contacts, or surgery...
  1. A diet high in omega 3 fatty acids (like wild salmon) may reduce and prevent dry eye. 
  2. Maintain healthy diet high in leafy greens with antioxidants and vitamin A 
  3. Wearing full ultraviolet (A and B waves) preventive (blocking radiation 400 nm), wrap around polarized sunglasses can help reduce the rate of change to far sighted. Wear them even on an over cast day and remember the reflective light off the water and sand can cause damage too.  Look for polycarbonate glasses (more durable).  Presently I use the wraparound, grey polarized lens, Bolle (Dirty 8) Tease 108533 over many hours they are tight and hurt my head.
Myopia, (near sighted): researchers found that those whose eyes showed signs of greater exposure to sunlight were less likely to have myopia.  It is a paradox.  As we age, too much light we get far sighted, and too little we get near sighted. 
Hyperopia (far sighted): refractive error that results from a disorder
Well I can always wear my pirate patch to see at nighttime.

Quick to Night Vision in Cruising World Magazine:

  (known as scotopic vision when the rods in your eyes are more active than the cones and light being to dim to activate the cones so you do not see color at night)
"The ship captain has red instrument lights. Since the rods do not respond to red, the captain can gain full dark-adapted vision with the rods with which to watch for icebergs and other obstacles outside. It would be undesirable to examine anything with white light even for a moment, because the attainment of optimum night-vision may take up to a half-hour. Red lights do not spoil it."
  1. Wear sunglasses and sun hat during the day.
  2. Use red light bulbs in flashlights and cabin lights at night.
  3. Dim screens on navigation instruments and turn off unnecessary electronics.
  4. Allow up to 40 minutes for your eyes to adapt to night vision before setting sail in the dark.
  5. Practice making conscious use of your peripheral vision.
  6. Allow a moment for your eyes to focus by scanning slowly and stopping every 5 to 10 degrees along the way.
  7. While scanning, keep your eyes facing forward and rotate your head instead.
  8. Keep moving your eyes regularly through your scanning pattern.
  9. Stop scanning occasionally to rest your eyes by focusing on a close object in the boat.
  10. Practice using techniques for scanning and maintain night vision every time you go outside at night.
For few seconds the other night after a really good time, I saw stars, or best described as lightning bugs (known as phosphene) when I closed my eye.  Well not to worry.  It was probably caused by blood shifting in my aging body (postural hypotension, low blood pressure).  Another thing to look forward too?

I love to stare into my love's eyes.  Studying the details of his large blue iris, luckily my vision is still good enough to see all the variations but the glasses and contacts change their appearance.  I remember when I was in high school, that my friends would allow me to stare into their eyes longer.  One friend had eyes like a display of blue feathers spread in a circle around his pupil.  No one has the patience to allow that now.

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