Anyone know about eyes?

Andy Armstrong andy at
Mon Apr 23 13:09:26 BST 2007

Apologies for just pasting this from my site - you'll see why I think :)

> I’ve been having trouble focussing my eyes for the past week. Turns  
> out I have some kind of macular dystrophy. My right eye has a  
> blurred and displaced area (about the size of my thumbnail at a  
> range of 30cm) which makes bits of text bend and blur when I try to  
> look directly at them. My left eye is fine but seems unwilling to  
> help my right eye out - presumably after years of laziness.
> Apparently I’m too young for it to be conventional macular  
> degeneration. I think that’s supposed to be a consolation of some  
> sort. It’s all a bit freaky given that I spend about 80% of my  
> waking time staring at a screen. Can’t do that right now for more  
> than about half an hour without getting a headache.
> The good news is that it happened once before about five years ago  
> and either went away or my brain got used to processing the  
> distorted image. This in spite of having been told it was both  
> incurable and degenerative. Of course right now I’m using the eye- 
> power I have reading whatever I can find about the condition.

I'm seeing a professional of course - although I'm not at all  
impressed so far. I'm not normally one to ask the internet for  
medical advice but I figure that a bunch of people who make a living  
looking at small stuff on screens might have some useful experience  

Amusingly my vision is apparently still good enough (I read right to  
the bottom line of the chart) that the nurse wasn't going to let me  
see the quack at all - but I'm pretty much screwed for staring at  
code for more than a few minutes at a time.

Andy Armstrong,

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