Eye Test – astigmatic, but only just

In an effort to understand if some recent headaches were eye-related, I had my first eye test for about 15 years.

It turns out I have great eyes. Despite having a slight astigmatism, the degree of wonkiness is so slight as to make glasses almost pointless. I’m sure I saw my optician (a very nice chap in a very nice place called Eyesight on Winchester High Street) flinch very slightly when I told him about the 12-14 hours a day of screen use, and he reminded me I should take regular breaks. No glasses needed for me though.

Excitingly, I have very good cones; my night vision freakishly good enough to put me in the top 5% of the population. Mr optician was particularly excited about this, as he shares the same quirk. Hurrah for night vision.

So, the recent headaches and migraines? I’m probably a bit tired and stressed. The eye is a muscle, and needs to rest sometimes too. I’m trying to remember to look into the distance, which I can mercifully do quite easily from my window-desk at work.

Incidentally, my prescription is

R -0.25 / + 0.25 (90), L +0.50 / – 0.50 (90)

though please let me know if there’s a more standard way of writing that. If you know your own degree of eye screwiness, I’d be really interested to see your details too. Come on guys and girls, dig out your prescription and share it.

8 replies on “Eye Test – astigmatic, but only just”

  1. So no wearing of eyepatches for you then.

    Strange that you’re slightly shortsighted in your right eye and slightly farsighted in your left. Can you tell the difference?

  2. Am I? I had no idea what those numbers mean, other than people with really bad eyesight tend to have higher numbers.

    I’ve just realised that the -/+ +/- are differently ordered in what I’ve written there, but I am unsure if they were on the original piece of paper (I thought they were ordered -/+ on both, but I could be wrong), and now I can’t find it. Grr. In fact, I was so annoyed that I just phoned the opticians to make sure, but they wanted (perhaps sensibly) to post it to me rather than read it over the phone. Expect an update tomorrow.

    I happen to know you sometimes wear glasses, and demand to know your prescription, kyb.

  3. I can’t remember what my prescription was. It’s probably changing by the day at the moment. I’ll ask at my next post-op check up.

    The ordering of those +/- numbers is important, because the first one for each eye is the refractive correction, the second one for each eye is the amount of astigmatism, and the number in brackets is the angle of astigmatism. At least that’s what I’ve been told.

    Sadly those numbers don’t tell us anything about your super power, which is your dark adaption. Perhaps you could get your optician to give you the stats for that?

  4. By the way, I’m no optician, but as I understand your prescription, you’re only short/long sighted in one plane (I think the way he’s written the prescription is with a refractive error, that is corrected by an astigmatism, while he could have written the same thing as no refractive error, and an astigmatism in the opposite direction making you short/long sighted in that plane. It’s confusing.), so bear that in mind if you’re trying to see if you can see the effect.

  5. Casting my mind back to eye tests of 20-25 years ago it is interesting to see how techniques have evolved. Back then I remember field of vision tests being done by the optician getting me to look at a dot in the centre of a black sheet hanging on the wall. He then moved a long stick with a white dot on the end around and asked me to say when I couldn’t see it anymore and then placed pins into the fabric of the sheet. Last month Boots got me to stare into a machine and flashed red dots on a screen that I had to count. Eye pressure testing has also changed a lot. Back in days of old I remember being given local anaesthetic drop into the eye and then looking into a contraption staring at a purple light while the optician turned a handle to wind a probe of some sort – ( I guess it was small but it looked large and out of focus to me) so that it pressed against the eye ball. These days a puff of air from a machine seems to do the same job.

    Anyhow I digress. My results since you asked were as follows on the 5th May.

    R +0.25 -0.00 0.0
    L +0.00 -0.00 0.0

    with the numbers being labelled as sphere, cylinder and axis respectively.


  6. Kyb, it certainly is confusing. I didn’t help matters by being completely wrong about the odering of my prescription. It should have been R -0.25 / +0.25 (90), L -0.50 / +0.50 (90)


    Thanks for sharing Michael. Your eyes seem to be pretty near-perfect. That eye-pressure puff of air test you mention sounds like the test for glaucoma. I wasn’t made to do that this time (too young for it to be likely?) but I really enjoyed the count-the-dots test.

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