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Why Tamuno suddenly went blind

Tamuno, a Presidential candidate for our United for Vision Club was making a presentation last week. He told us how he got his first pair of glasses and had them changed regularly. After he was 4o years old, he had to take them off in order to be able to read. This was said to be due to presbyopia. He had to get a different type of glasses called bifocals. His doctor had reassured him that presbyopia was not a disease but simply the effect of age on the eyes. It usually comes up about the age of 40 and increases progressively in conformity with the ageing process. With the bifocals he could read very well, but had considerable difficulty using his computer or playing golf. He was advised to change to ‘progressive’ lenses. “The bifocals take care of two distances, far and near. Your computer is in the intermediate distance, so you need lenses that would gradually change focus from distance to intermediate and then near,” the doctor had explained to him.

Then suddenly, Tamuno had a painless loss of vision in his right eye, followed a few days later by a similar episode in his left. He was distraught because he thought he was going blind. As he continued his story, there was some commotion outside the meeting room and everyone scampered for safety. Tamuno and a few others were nowhere to be found a few minutes later when things became quiet!

“Tamuno what happened to you last week? You just evaporated after the commotion,” I asked. “I thought it was something more serious so I ran as fast as my legs could carry me!” he replied. “But then you were wearing dark sunglasses and we all thought you couldn’t see clearly. How did you see your way through?” I asked again. He smiled, removed his sunglasses and said, “I can see clearly now but you see I have Apollo which is totally unrelated to my retinal tears. Last week my eyes were smarting and could hardly open them.”  I seized the opportunity to make a cursory examination of his eyes to establish the secret behind his pair of dark glasses. Yes, indeed I could see the leftover signs of Apollo. He must have had it really bad but his eyes are certainly more comfortable now.

“So how did your doctor take care of the tears in your retina?” a couple of voices asked simultaneously. “My doctor said to me reassuringly, ‘Tamuno you are not going blind. Retinal tears are not uncommon in people who are short-sighted like you. Fortunately you have come very early so all I am going to do is to seal the holes using laser. It is an office procedure and you don’t have to stay in hospital.’ He took me into an inner room and within a few minutes it was done,” he explained enthusiastically.

Members of the United for Vision Club were not yet done with Tamuno. “Can you tell us why you suddenly went blind, first in one eye and then in the other? I am really curious to know what caused this and why it resolved so quickly,” asked the ever inquisitive Little John. I listened with rapt attention as Tamuno handled this highly technical question. It was a delight to watch him talk. Tamuno is really a presidential material. With patience and good luck he is a sure winner next time.

“Look out through that window,” he said pointing in the direction of a cement shop on the other side of the road. Can you see the man sweeping?  He is raising cement dust. Can you see those standing behind the dust?  I can hardly see anyone. When my retinal got torn the tiny vessels passing over the area of the tears were also torn and they bled into the inner mass of jelly within my eyes called vitreous. The blood seeped into the vitreous and mixed with it like that cement dust is mingling with the air making it impossible for me to see clearly. Fortunately the bleeding wasn’t much and within a few days cleared just like the cement dust will settle after a few minutes.  Look out now. How many men can you see out there now that the dust has settled?  Before, I had thought there were just three of them. Now, I can count seven!”

We were all thrilled by Tamuno’s understanding of the subject and excellent delivery. This young man will surely go places I concluded.