It was about 6 months ago and I was still very new to the optometric scene in Keene. That meant a light patient schedule and extra time to devote to “practice management” or internet surfing as I like to call it. Some days back then, I might only see a handful of patients.
But what that really meant was tired eyes from staring at the computer monitor and some times leaving at the end of the day with a headache. What’s more, I knew that if I relaxed my eyes that I would see double everything on that screen and it felt, well relaxing. So one day I was looking through the trial lens kit in my exam room and I decided to pick up a prism, dust it off, and look through it whilst gazing at my monitor. It was labeled a 2 diopter prism and I decided to hold the base in towards my nose.
Now before I bore all my non-eye doc friends, a prism is an optical device having a triangular shape and made of glass or quartz; used to deviate a beam or invert an image. They can be prescribed in lenses to help people with various binocular problems or eye deviations. A lot of my patients think of rainbows when I mention prism to them, but there’s a bit more to it than that.
But back to my story…when I held this prism in front of my eye ( I don’t remember which eye), I felt an immediate relaxation of my eyes as if they were only working half as hard as they were before looking through it. I looked around the room and things looked normal. So then I reached back in and picked up a 4 diopter prism and felt even more relief. What have I been missing?, I thought to myself. Should I prescribe these to myself in a pair of computer glasses? I had some computer glasses made before and they only provided minimal relief after 15 to 20 minutes.
I decided to walk around the office holding this prism in front of my eye just like Colonel Klink with his monocle, looking near and far to see if I would feel sick to my stomach or feel anything weird at all. And to my surprise after a few days, my eyes still felt normal and still quite relieved of any eye strain. And that decided it for me. I ordered a pair of Hoya Tact computer lenses with 2 prism diopters base in for each eye and waited anxiously for them to arrive.
Tomorrow I will post the riveting conclusion of this story. But oddly enough, it really wasn’t the end of the story. The most interesting part was yet to come…