My Cat is slowly going blind.
He's 19 years old, and has had eye problems since he was born. At birth, my cat was astigmatic (rugby ball shaped eye); which at the time was a lot better then what the doctors has predicted; they planned for him to be born blind.
So at that time my Cat was somewhat lucky.
But over the past 19 years my Cat's eye sight has been getting worse and worse.
When he was about 6 they also found that my Cat's eyes were myopic (short sighted). His vision was rapidly degrading, and was giving my Cat very bad headaches.
At the age of 9, to relieve the headaches, and to keep his eyes from decaying too fast, my Cat went through a month of treatment. The down side of this treatment for my Cat, is that he could not see for that 30 day period, and had some bandages that prevented all light from getting to the eye.
At the end of the treatment, his right eye had show a good response, but the treatment was rapidly continued for the left eye.
In the end, both my Cat's eyes showed... not improvement, but the eyes were evolving slower than before.
Over the next 10 years, my Cat's eyes continue to evolve, becoming more and more short sighted.
Then recently, during a routine check up on my Cat's eyes, the ophthalmologist noticed that the left eye could no longer be corrected with the aid of glasses. It's constantly "blurry".
It is still useful though, as it still allows my Cat to perceive depth, and it's sensitivity to light has dropped which reduces the overall headaches. And it will still be able to see some shapes for a few years.
The right eye still can be corrected, but the average 60 year old has better eyes, and it is predicted that within the next 5-6 years it won't be correctible.
But also, in 5-6 years, due to lessened activity the left eye will start to lose the ability to distinguish light. And in the worst case scenario the retina will completely detach it's self.
By the time My Cat will have reached the age of 27, he'll have the eyes of an old man.
It all very awkward for my Cat. Knowing that one day he won't see much (to not say: nothing at all). But he is grateful that the doctors weren't right, and that he wasn't born blind. At least he knows what colors look like, what he looks like. He has also seen some very beautiful things, and some very beautiful people. He just hopes that latter on, he'll be able to remember what they look like.
One thing that my Cat remembers from when he couldn't see for a month, is that he can't remember much apart from the end of the treatment. The lack of visual stimulus made it difficult to remember stuff.
It's very ironic that my Cat's memory is best stimulated by sight; as he goes through University he'll have to learn differently, normally he'd use very graphic revision sheets.
This is one of the things that will piss off my Cat, as his memory isn't great, and he'll probably start to become more forgetful in 5 or so years.
My Cat already has some mental pictures that he tries to keep fresh, so that he'll remember them for a long time.
If you had only one image to hold for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Some funny anecdotes/facts related to my Cat's eye sight:
- When my Cat was in secondary school Physics, during the time that the class was studying Optics, the teacher asked to borough the glasses of some of the students of the class to show examples of day to day use of light refraction. The focal length of my Cat's glasse's left lens was shorter then all the other "convergence" lenses of the Lab.
- My Cat found in that same Lab a strong lens that round about corrected his right eye.
- The last left glasses lens bought cost £900.
- Even with todays techniques of making lenses thinner my Cat's current left lens is 9mm thick, mean while the right one is only 5mm thick (same tech). (without this technology it would have been practically impossible to fit the left lens of a frame).
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