through the lens

Ten years ago, I was this teenager who was at the height of his curiosity about computers. I can still remember studying DOS commands which made no sense to me or plugging computer peripherals in and out of an old desktop computer until it functions well or until it’s messed up.

My visual acuity back then was at 20/20. I can see the tiniest holes in a motherboard or the prettiest girls walking around the campus a hundred feet from the concrete benches of the famed Narra Ave where I was sitting. I used to do that during our vacant periods, of course.

SIDE NOTE: According to American Optometric Association,

20/20 vision is a term used to express normal visual acuity (the clarity or sharpness of vision) measured at a distance of 20 feet. If you have 20/20 vision, you can see clearly at 20 feet what should normally be seen at that distance.”

It’s always fun reminiscing about college life especially if it’s the last time you remember your vision to be in an almost “perfect” state. Unfortunately for me, my eyes have been damaged to say the least.

Like most of the children today who are hooked into mobile gaming, I too got hooked in studying computers and various software back in college.

While I didn’t learn how to play DOTA or Counter Strike, I spent a considerable number of hours sitting in front of computers digesting codes and designing whatever I find amusing. I got good grades out of it, though.

But just like an old adage from Newton’s Third Law of Motion, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

My interest in computers grew like an unfathomable desire to learn everything about it. I got addicted in studying different kind of stuff.

Internet became my third home next to my actual home and school. I learned to code, I learned to hack. I even witnessed the fall of Friendster and the advent of Facebook.

I spent thousands of hours staring at computer screens for the next decade of my life never paying attention to my health. This took a toll on my body, particularly on my eyes.

I guess I have developed astigmatism. A common vision condition that causes blurred vision. I can still see clearly in front of a computer or for as far as five feet. But anything farther than that, it gets blurry especially when I’m at church where I’m having a hard time staring at the words being projected on the white screens.

I haven’t visited my optometrist yet to confirm the condition of my eyes but I’m planning to do it soon. Just last month, an optometrist whose primary agenda was to sell eyeglasses visited our school for “free checkup”.

It was that time I learned that my visual acuity now plays around 20/75 or 20/100. According to the optometrist, my vision can still be corrected by wearing glasses. So I ordered a pair of glasses to correct my vision but when they came back, they brought a different design eye glasses far from the one I chose that’s why I didn’t accept it.

On the positive note, knowing that my visual acuity can still be corrected gave me a sigh of relief and hope to make it happen in the near future.

In my next blog post, I’ll be sharing some tips on how we can take care of our eyes particularly to those like me who spend eight to ten hours a day in using computers. I can’t say that I’ve followed these tips myself religiously but I’m sure that you will find them helpful, if not, therapeutic.

In fact, I’m actually laughing at myself right now as I find it funny and ironic that I don’t encourage anyone to spend extended number of hours using computers, and yet here I am, writing this blog post sitting in front of my laptop before midnight.

I guess I just like to spread awareness and to remind myself to keep track of my health, more importantly my eyes or else I would have to spend the rest of my life seeing the world – through the lenses.

Photo credit: Unsplash / David Travis

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Written by Omaru
Hi there! I'm Omar, a public school teacher who's finding a balance between work, social life, travels, and blogging. I'm a die-hard Barangay Ginebra fan and a One Piece collector. Inside me is a frustrated writer who wants to improve his writing skills through blogging. This little corner of mine serves as a channel for me to inspire other people by sharing my experiences inside and outside the classroom.