Went to my local ophthalmologist earlier this week for a checkup. When I was a kid, I wore glasses, and when I hadn’t misplaced them, continued this off and on into adulthood. However, when I moved to SC, I passed the drivers’ exam without them, and haven’t worn them since.
After running the usual gamut of tests, the assistant said, “You have monovision. That’s really cool.” I found this slightly disconcerting, as my past experience with health care professionals suggests that one should avoid having interesting conditions. So later when I went home, I looked up what this means.
The short version is that apparently God has equipped me with bifocals. My right eye works very well for close vision, but poorly at distance. My left eye is the opposite — great for reading road signs, but not so good for books or computers. However, my brain is somehow wired so that whichever eye is needed dominates as it is needed. Consequently, while presbyopic folks like Mrs. M have to buy reading glasses at Wal-Mart, I can do my thing with no problem. But conversely, my distance vision perks right along as well, and my eyesight “averages out” to a functional 20/20.
There are minor drawbacks, mostly involving depth perception. I suspect this is why I’ve always been lousy at hitting a baseball and shooting baskets, and perhaps why those “magic eye” hidden 3-D pictures have never worked for me. All the same, as I see my friends needing longer and longer arms to read the menu, I seem to be fine. So I guess the assistant was right — it is really cool, even if I didn’t have an awareness of it (or a name for it) until this week.