This morning when I woke up, my eye looked like this:
In the late ’80s, I got annoyed with having to wear milk-bottle-lensed glasses so I switched to contact lenses.
After coming home from a hideously smoky Blue Note one night sometime in 1989, my left eye started hurting. I tried to sleep but the pain got worse. So, I got up and rinsed it out with some cold water. The pain increased. So, I woke my poor Dad up and he drove me to the DRI.
By this time the pain was the most intense I’d ever felt in my life. Imagine someone dragging a serrated knife across the surface of your eye. It was like that but worse. I was starting to go a bit weird and floaty, feeling slightly above everything. I’m guessing my brain was flooding with ?-endorphin .
I got to see the doctor and, after dropping some UV-fluorescent dye in my eye and examining it, she told me I’d got a huge tear across my conjunctiva. I had to have my eye bandaged up for a week to let it heal.
When I went back to have it checked, the doctor explained that it was probably due to me wearing contacts. Apparently, I’d had a bit of grit or something lodge in my eye, I hadn’t noticed and must have rubbed my eye at some time in the evening, ripping my conjunctiva.
The reason I hadn’t noticed is that in order to wear contacts, you have to overcome the natural blinking reflex your eye has when a foreign body touches it. If you’ve ever worn contacts, you know that when you first try them out, you cry and blink like buggery, it feels amazingly un-natural. You have to learn to ignore it. Over time, the doctor said, having contacts in reduces the sensitivity of the conjunctiva. So… the eye’s first defence against physical injury is hobbled. But she did say that I had particularly bad eyes and most contacts wearers seemed to have no ill effects.
Since then, I’ve had at least three more cuts to that eye, one where I had to go to hospital again. This morning when I saw it I was worried but not surprised. It looked horrible but my vision wasn’t affected apart from a very slight blurriness. But what was it?
Thank god for Google!
After googling, Ele guessed that I might have a sub-conjunctival haemorrhage:
Most times it is not clear what has caused the sub-conjunctival haemorrhage. It may be that a tiny blood vessel has burst with coughing or sneezing, or something has caught the surface of the eye.
(Source: MedInfo UK)
Seeing my history, I reckon it’s probably another cut or tear. Ah well…
As the MedInfo article says, the condition is dramatic in appearance but not serious. It’ll heal up so I won’t be bothering the doctor.
But if I do drop dead in the next couple of days from some kind of blood-pressure-related adventure, please refer the medical authorities to this post so they can tut-tut at the perils of self-diagnosis. 🙂
It’s hurting more now. I think I may pop to the doctor tomorrow.