I may owe my optometrist my vision.
I was running low on contacts and considered simply calling in an order, but thought maybe I should go and have my eyes checked. Normally I only change prescriptions every few years, but about a year ago I had an eye infection and a more indepth visit. While I wasn’t experiencing any real pain, I thought I should check in anyway.
It was a good thing I did. My optometrist used a number of diagnostic tools to check up on my eyes, concluding with anterior segment photography. She then said, “You have a corneal ulcer.” She went on to explain that my eye infection had recurred in my left eye, and that a slight cloudiness in my cornea was an indication that my white blood cells were fighting the infection and that the surface of the cornea was opened as a result.
She put me on aggressive antibiotics drops, told me not to wear my contacts, and asked me to come back in two days to check the progress. So I’m not out of the woods yet, but the prognosis is pretty good. On the other hand, if I had followed my first instinct and simply dialed in the order for the new contacts, I might have seriously damaged my eye.
If you wear contacts and you haven’t been to the optometrist in a while, you might want to schedule a visit–or at least write them a note. I think they’re underappreciated.