Don’t Neglect Your EyesPosted March 25th, 2010
“Go,” he told him, “wash in the pool of Siloam.” –John 9:7, NIV
Being blind or having very limited vision is no reason to neglect our eyes, but some of us have to learn the hard way.
It felt like a speck of dust under my left eyelid, but after rinsing the eye with cool water I forgot about it. Still, over the ensuing weeks there were times that it felt like there was something under my eyelid, but after another rinse I would ignore the mild discomfort.
Then one Friday evening nearly five months later, the eye discomfort returned and rinsing my eye did not bring relief. Nevertheless, since the discomfort was not too severe, and since it was the beginning of a weekend, I did nothing more.
On Monday I called my eye doctor’s office and got an appointment.
“Ernie, when did you say this started bothering you?” The doctor asked after having a look at the eye.
“Friday. Well, really several months ago.”
Don’t you read what you write?
“Ernie, Don’t you read what you write? Don’t you pay any attention to your own advice? So, maybe you are blind, but do you want to lose your eye completely?”
Then he added, as he went to work on the eye, “There is some fiber in here,” and he gently scraped the underside of the eyelid. Finally he said, “Put these antibiotic drops in your eye four times a day and call me Thursday, no matter how the eye feels.”
I did not wait until Thursday, but returned to the clinic on Wednesday, for the discomfort had increased. The doctor removed more debris from under the eyelid, and he mentioned the possibility of a developing abscess.
“Did you work with insulation?” the doctor asked.
“Yes, I had to put some insulation up last October,” I answered.
Trying to be gentle, the doctor scraped out more fiberglass from under the eyelid. It felt like someone was slowly pulling out my eyelashes one at a time.
“Continue the medication, and call me if you have any more problems over the weekend,” the doctor said, giving me his private cell phone number.
On Monday my eye was hurting worse. Again more fibrous debris was removed, and still the eye did not improve.
The next day I was referred to a specialist. He worked more on the eye and prescribed a different ointment to be used nightly, along with hot moist packs.
Climbing the Walls
But the eye pain increased. Friday morning I called again.
“Put that antibiotic ointment in your eye four times a day,” he instructed. “Then get this other tube of ointment and use it every hour except when you use the antibiotic ointment. Continue the hot packs too.”
That Friday afternoon I was nearly climbing the walls. By nightfall I was tense and the eye pain was almost unbearable.
Fortunately, sometime during the night the pain began to decrease, and by morning the severe pain was gone. The infection was subsiding, and from then on, the eye improved rapidly.
Never Ignore Eye Health
Never think that, just because an eye does not provide clear vision, eye health can be ignored. My pain and stress could have been avoided had I only followed normal precautionary procedures: whenever doing any work where an eye injury is possible, wear goggles. It really makes no difference if you have perfect vision or no vision at all; you still need to save your eyes.
Ernest Jones, who is totally blind, is a regular Lifeglow columnist.