“Have you ever seen the inside of your retina before?”

It wasn’t the best pick up line I’d ever heard, but he did pique my interest.

“I have not,” I admitted. “Should I?”

“Everybody should.” My new optometrist got very excited. “I just want you to know, it’s a little strange if you haven’t seen it before. Don’t want you getting weirded out.”

“Well,” I said. “After you shot that air in my eyeball a minute ago, I must admit I don’t have a lot of trust right now.”

“I’m sorry,” he laughed. “That startles everybody.”

“Shouldn’t you let them know it’s happening, then?”

“Oh no.” He got very serious. “If people know it’s coming, they get very blinky. I can never get a reading, then.”

“Makes sense,” I nodded.

“You’ll be happy to know you don’t have glaucoma.”

“Say, that is good news.”

“Now, let’s take a look at those retinas.”

At this point, he put his hand on my knee, and I think he was going for the “encouraging grandpa” vibe, but I had on that blue shirt that makes my eyes pop, so I couldn’t be too sure.

He then pulled up a couple of images that looked like martian terrain on a screen and excitedly walked me through the intimate workings of the backside of my eyeballs.

The general takeaway was that all my blood vessels were going where they were supposed to, and some dark spot was the kind of dark it should be. Then, he causually mentioned a freckle on one eye.

“You can get freckles on your eyes?” I asked.

“Oh, yes,” he said. “You’ve probably had it since you were born. About 10% of patients I see have one.”

“Top ten,” I said excitedly.

“Not really,” he responded. “It’s just a freckle.”

So, I guess he wasn’t hitting on me, after all. What else did he see?

“Well, there’s this little floater here,” he pointed at a black speck on the screen.

“What’s that?”

“Do you ever notice when you’re looking at something for a few minutes, and then turn your eyes to one side, you might see a little spot in your periphery?”


“That’s this.”

“What’s it called?”

“Just a floater.”

“That’s it. There’s not some scientific word for it I can Google later to freak out about?”

“Nope, just a floater. Most people have more. You just have one.” He smiled. “That’s a good thing.”

Then, we moved on to look at frames that were no where close to cheap enough for my vision plan to cover. I walked out with some saline solution and the knowledge that my eyes are freckled and mostly floater free.

What did you do for lunch today?

Photo credit: 0xMatheus via / CC BY

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