"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive." Anaïs Nin

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ears? Eyes? "It's Always Something"

I've had to had my lenses changed a little more frequently lately. I understand it's part of the aging process, but still it is annoying, especially when I depend on them so much to help me hear. I find I'm having to get closer to people to follow the conversation.

Besides the "normal" eye conditions, I have nystagmus along with it. Nystagmus is a condition where the eyeball itself moves uncontrollably. My particular condition is rotary nystagmus, which means they not only move back and forth, but somewhat circular. I'm not sure how it works, and I can't remember if it is a nerve or muscular condition. I only know it really is irritating and often exacerbates when I am tired, and makes it more difficult to lip read and follow along for very long when I do get tired.

I once saw a specialist who told me that we could fix my eyes surgically, but they would be set in one place and never move. I would have to turn my whole head to see anything on either side, as well as up or down. I had to think about that. We can see so much just by a slight movement of turning our gaze, our eyes. I also thought about how with my ears and balance being off, moving my head around that much would just make me dizzy. No, surgery would not be an option for me with the ear condition I have.

I realize that as we age, we are going to have "normal" aging issues with our eyes and ears. With so many of the baby boomers coming into this stage of life, we are depending more and more on aids, glasses, gadgets and all the new technologies that offer these ease of communication for us.

I love how far we've come with Captioning and Subtitling. I'm absolutely thrilled to see Caption in Real Time becoming more common. I'm thinking what we will need to do next is have reserved seating for our aging, Deaf and disabled people up close so we can actually see the captions displayed at sporting events and other various gatherings.

There are a lot of sensory issues that come along with us as we age that we don't fully understand when we are young. I wish I had paid better attention and been more understanding and accommodating to those older than I when I was younger. Often, we don't fully understand these things until we are experiencing these situations ourselves.

I find I'm asking myself more regularly now, is it my ears or my eyes that are getting worse? As Gilda Radnor used to say, "It's always something..."


  1. I am right with you. I went through a crazy time last year with my eyeglasses. Today I was just thinking I wish they had large type for the directions on packaged foods. I was puzzling over whether the measurement read 1/2 cup or 1/3 cup.

    As long as we're in this aging process together, we will be all right. We'll probably have lots of laughs along the way.

  2. I know exactly what you mean. Aren't those the worst! :-)))