Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Day 29 - The Eyes & Ophthalmology

"In an average life, the eyes will see 24 million different images. They can focus quickly between distances of 10cm and infinity. We can see in bright sunlight and almost complete darkness and judge speed within 5-10% accuracy.

More of our brain is taken up with eyesight than any other bit of our body.

All this from a couple of balls only 2.5 cm in diameter.

Interesting facts:

- Brown is the most common eye colour, blue the rarest (only 8% of the world's population has blue eyes).

- Eyebrows protect our eyes from sweat running off our forehead. Over pluck at your peril.

- We blink about twelve times per minute. This keeps our eyes clean.

Ophthalmology is the branch of medicine which deals with the diseases and surgery of the visual pathways, including the eye, brain, and areas surrounding the eye, such as the lacrimal system and eyelids."*


I am in Madrid and will be leaving for West Africa shortly. I got the results from the CT scan :

“Conclusion: no sinonasal cause for the patient's persistent right frontal headache is identified.”

A colleague of mine asked me if I have had my eyes checked. I haven’t. I headed to the Instituto Oftalmol├│gico de Madrid, reputedly one of the best in Europe.

I was told I needed an appointment and was sent to A&E at a hospital nearby.

Having waited for two hours, I was eventually seen by an ophtalmologist. She told me there was nothing to worry about and could not see my eyes being related to my headache.

She told me to see a neurologist. I thought I might as well give it a go as I won’t be in Europe for much longer.

The neurologist said it is a migraine. I explained I was already prescribed migraine tablets and they did not help at all. Painkillers do not alleviate the symptoms, I explained to him.

He nonetheless prescribed some medication and sent me home telling me there is nothing to worry about.

He also advised seeing the same doctor as opposed to continuously changing person and also location (so far, I have seen people in the UK, France and Spain) - not a helpful comment given that my job constantly involves travelling and that so far all the doctors I have seen have been utterly clueless anyway.

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