The Stories They Could Tell - Pietermaritzburg Eye Hospital

The Stories They Could Tell

The Stories They Could Tell

Our individual outlook on life is strongly influenced by what our eyes see. The details of our surroundings are transported through 1 million nerve cells in our optic nerve as a message our brain understands. Like all messages, some are more appealing than others.

In an era of extreme social media statements, unfiltered visual imagery, and dramatic headlines, the 10 million colours our eyes can identify can often become uncomfortable visual overstimulation. A conscious decision to filter what our eyes see is required to maintain some sense of balance, and an attempt to manage the potentially overwhelming reactive stress response that our bodies have.

How privileged we are to have access to some of the most beautiful landscapes and open views in the Midlands. As we move out of the season of hypnotic flames of wintertime fires and great novels, to the enchanting sunsets, multicoloredulticoloured buds, and rich green shoots of springtime hope, it becomes an opportunity for us to evaluate our own vision. If those dry eyes seem a little drier than usual, the halo around the lights at night is worse than you recall, or if a couple of unexplained dents have appeared on your vehicle’s bodywork, perhaps it is a sign? Self-awareness is most often the reason we seek eye healthcare. 

Your eyes have a story to tell too. They may not let us see as deep as your soul, but they do offer us a glimpse into your life, and health conditions that you may not even be aware of. They show the effect of those happy sunny days outdoors on the cornea, the result of the accident while grinding during home improvements, the impact of years of decadence-induced high blood sugar on the retina, and high blood pressure on the blood vessels. Technology and global research have given our Ophthalmologists the ability to treat or manage the majority of eye conditions to protect the vision you have into the future. Eyecare given today has the benefit of improving vision quality in your future. 

There is no time like the start of the new season to have your vision and the complex organ responsible for the pleasure of sight evaluated by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. When our vision quality is compromised, the resulting loss of confidence, independence, self-esteem, and mood often cause isolation and boredom. Over 80% of the 750 000 South Africans self-reporting visual challenges are reversible due to cataracts, glaucoma, and other reversible and controllable conditions. Unlike a good bottle of red wine, vision does not improve with age, and an annual eye examination is recommended for those over the age of 40. 

The most perfect 20:20 vision in the world could not have predicted what has happened during 2020. This year is not over though, and it would be a true indicator of human resilience to end it off on a personal high note. Use springtime as a season to reflect on what memories were made over this winter and to prepare for a clearer, brighter summer to take you into 2021. “Make your vision so clear that your fears become irrelevant” Anonymous.

Written by Pietermaritzburg Eye Hospital Manager, Allison Deysel and originally featured in the Sept – Nov 2020 edition of The Midlands magazine

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