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The Better To See You With!

The older I get the worse my eyes get. I can remember way (way) back when I was younger and went in to have my eyes checked because I kept getting headaches. I was working on computers back then too.

Anyway, the doctor told me that I really did not need glasses but to consider getting a pair for computer use; single lense glasses with an anti-glare coating on the lenses to reduce eye strain. Being young and feeling like I owned the world and would live forever, I declined the offer. Who wants to wear glasses if they don't have too?

I look back now and wish the doctor would utter those same words to me. I am now into tri-focals; far, computer and near. I can not remember the last time I did not pay extra for all the anti-glare and make your lenses their best fees!

I was about a year over due for my eye exam and have been having some issues with my sight again. I worked on computers back when I was 19; little CRT's connected to a computer room that was freezing cold and filled with tall and large cabinets of computer. My eyes tear very badly in bright sunlight and most afternoons my eyes are burning and blurry and watery before the end of the day. They have gotten so bad again that I can not even take Espy to the dog park after work; I just can't see. It takes over an hour for my eyes to become good enough for me to consider sitting behind the wheel and being able to see.

I had asked my last eye doctor about what was causing this to happen but his personality was such that I got barely more than grunts from him. He was even less enthused when I returned to the office saying that something was wrong with my prescription, it just was not right. The thought of going back made me wait longer than I should have for another visit.

A good friend of mine went to Walmart about a year ago with her family and got them all outfitted with new eye wear. Walmart I asked as I really scrutinized her frames! Yes, she said. Their prices were very reasonable and the service was great. Walmart I asked again?

The vision program for the County has changed again so once I got some updated information I checked to see where I could go for my eye exam and glasses. I could return to the grump but when I found my local Walmart (on Malabar Road) on the list, I thought I should check it out.

On a Sunday morning after church I took a ride over to "Wally World" to see if I could get a look at their frames. If I could find something that I semi-liked then I would make an appointment. I had taken Whitney with me when we thought JC Penny was on the list and had found $200 frames that we both liked, hopefully I would be as lucky here.

Not only did I find some frames that I liked, but could not believe the price of the frames they offered. I am sure that they are not the most current styles, but I found some nice frames. Prices start at like $9 and top about a bit above $100.

I found a pair for $58. Can you imagine, $58! What truly surprised me was my appointment with the eye doctor.

At my age, all doctors seem young and he did as well. He was pleasant when he entered the room and we exchanged the usual pleasantries. He began to ask me about my eyes; very unusual for me.

Most of the doctors will ask to see my prior glasses and if I have considered contact lenses, but not much more than that. He began with that and then asked me if I felt I had any problems. Well, that opened up a can of worms!

I told him all about the issues I was experiencing. I let him know that while my prior doctors had just pooh-poohed my questions about my problems and wrote it off to eye strain, I was getting concerned because my physician said I could loose my eye sight if it was something more. He went about the usual business of checking my prescription and began to tell me that there was a slight worsening in my left eye but nothing to be concerned about; it is old age just showing it's ugly face he said.

He checked the tests completed my his assistant before I got into my seat with him and told me that everything looked quite normal. But then he had me sit forward and looked into my eyes with a bright light. I have had this before and of course, my eyes responded as they always do; watering non stop.

Then he took the corner of something and had me tilt my head back and touched my eye ball with it. It did not hurt or anything; he looked into my eyes again. He handed me a tissue to sop up some of that tearing and had me lean my head back and did the same thing again.

This time he told me that he was checking for eye dryness. After looking at my eyes again and the floods removing any trace of makeup on my cheeks and around my eyes, I noticed that the kleenex was tinged with red.

"Oh my gosh!", I exclaimed as I showed him the kleenex, "My eyes are bleeding!"

No, no he said as he tried to calm me. I have put dye in your eyes to get a look at how things are functioning. First I did yellow which you probably did not notice in the Kleenex (I looked down and moved the kleenex around in my hand and began to see some yellow coloring), and then I did red. Now I want to do blue.

What ever tests he was doing, he confirmed that my issues with my eyes are due to strain and dryness. He told me that I am waiting to put drops into my eyes during the day when they become irritated instead of being proactive and doing so every hour or so to KEEP them from burning and watering.

He gave me some Refresh Optive Advanced Lubricant Eye Drop to sample and said that these drops did not contain anything but organic components and I could use them as often as I liked; he cautioned that other eye drops are not the same so if I find that these help I need to get these specific eye drops.

So, home I came after picking out my glasses with two boxes of eye drop samples to try. He told me to put the drops into my eye before I begin my day and then to take a 5 minute break from the computer hourly and add more drops and stare at something in the distance (I watch the birds and the butterflies in my yard out my office window). If this did not do the trick he said, we can get your husband to measure the distance between the display on your keyboard and your eyes and we'll have to come up with a pair of glasses just for your computer to see if that helps.

He told me to let the drops work for me for a month or so and come back if need be. I picked up my new glasses and am pleased with the prescription that he wrote. While I hate wearing glasses regardless of how stylish they are, these are pretty comfortable. The eye drops have been a great success thus far.

As for the burning and tearing in the afternoon, that has subsided as long as I remember to focus on keeping my eyes hydrated. I had to put an alarm on my phone just to make sure I don't forget to take that break and put in the drop.

I have to give a thumbs up to Walmart for hiring such an educated and gifted doctor to treat their patients. He went above and beyond just dispensing a prescription to sell a frame and a set of lenses. He gave me the tools to resolve my problem and released me from my concern that it might be something more. I will be back in two years for another exam and new glasses; hopefully he will still be there!