Aardvark DailyNew Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.
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Yesterday started out like any normal day for me.
I rolled out of bed at about 3:30am, had a shower, a bite to eat and sat down at my desk to start my day's work.
A dozen or so emails later and a couple of hours spent checking YouTube and other social media platforms saw me come up with the theme for yesterday's column and I knocked out another "daily dose" for those who seem to enjoy this content.
I then checked the weather forecast and saw that it was going to be a great day for outdoor activities so organised some airfield activities.
I rolled up to the airfield at 9am, closely followed by a couple of others who intended to do some model flying.
After unpacking my truck I realised I'd left an important piece of equipment at home so I headed back to get it.
I should point out at this stage that I've had sore eyes and a headache for the previous two days. Nothing debilitating but my eyes felt scratchy and dry whilst my headache was one I sometimes get when my sinuses are playing up.
This day however, my eyes were fine and my headache was gone.. but was starting to return on the drive back to my house. My eyes also felt somewhat "strained" as I was driving.
I lifted my glasses to rub my eyes and I was rather surprised at what I saw.
As someone who started suffering from astigmitsm and near-sightedness more than 30 years ago, I've been dependent on wearing glasses for a very long time. Whilst I don't usually wear them while using a computer or engaging in other "close distance" activities, I really do need them for things such as driving and certainly for "distance activities" such as flying small RC model aircraft.
What happened when I removed my glasses kind of shocked me yesterday.
My unaided vision was incredibly clear. I could read the numberplates on cars in the distance, see the leaves on trees and power-poles were singular, solid, sharp objects without the blur, distortion and doubling-up that I normally get without ny corrective lenses.
What the hell was going on?
I grabbed my forgotten gear and returned to the airfield.
At this stage I wasn't sure whether I should be elated or concerned. I was also wondering whether my aging brain was playing tricks on me. Could I just be imagining that I was able to see better without my glasses than with them?
Well things sure looked pretty damned good without my glasses on so I decided to try something that would have been impossible the day before. I flew a very small (200mm wingspan) RC model plane with glasses off.
No problems at all.
The other two people who were with me said they were struggling to see the model at distance while I had absolutely no problems at all.
Clearly this wasn't a case of my brain playing tricks on me. There's just no way to "imagine" you can see something clear enough to control it at distance if your eyes are not focusing properly.
I spent the rest of the day flying my models without wearing my glasses and on one occasion I even had to help one of the other guys who (even with their corrective lenses) lost sight of their own plane.
So what the hell is going on here?
I put my glasses back on for the drive home at the end of the day but I could feel that my eyes were being strained and my vision was not as good as without them.
When I got home I took my glasses off again and all was well. I then took a walk into town and was gobsmacked that I could read car number plates, street-signs and such with my uncorrected vision, even though that was previously almost impossible.
Of course this is a big worry.
Perhaps there's some underlying issue that has changed the pressure in my eyeball such that the lens is now focusing properly on the retina when it wasn't before. This is likely some cause for concern so I will be consulting medical professionals to get some advice. However, while it lasts I am rejoicing in my newfound freedom to see the world around me without corrective lenses.
The silly thing is now that legally I still have to wear corrective lenses to drive... even though I see better without them. :-?
I'll keep you informed.
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