i’m such a spaz

I’ve been avoiding my annual eye exam. I’m afraid of the part where they puff air in your eye. Technically, it’s called the puff-of-air glaucoma test. A more accurate description would be the hurricane-strength-wind test. The machine even looks scary, all hulking in the corner, waiting to be the last part of your exam so you can’t even get it over with right away. Last year, my optometrist let me hold my finger in front of the puff of air first to confirm that, indeed, it’s only a small puff of air and I really need to chill. I’ve just always had this issue with things touching my eyes. So I get all nervous about the puff and build it up in my mind until it becomes this horrendous form of torture. When I was a teen, the eye doctor had to get other people to hold me in place to do the test. Seriously. And then they had to do it several times because I kept squinting and spazzing out.

This strange phobia is not exclusive to other people touching my eyes. It took me a ridiculously long amount of time to be able to wear contacts. I was about 15 or 16 when I first tried to put a contact in. The attempt was excruciating. I really wanted to wear contacts, but there was no way my finger was going anywhere near my eye. By the time I was done trying to put a contact in, it looked like my face had just been interrogated by Jack Bauer. Apparently, my determination to master this simple thing that everyone else has no problem with overpowered my fear, because I’ve been wearing contacts for years with no problem. I still have a problem with the hurricane-strength-wind test, though. No matter how much I tell myself to remain calm, I get so nervous!

I mentioned this on Twitter yesterday and got a response back from Glaucoma (!). Glaucoma said that there’s a new test now with no puff whatsoever. Awesome news! The device looks like a pen and it sits on the outside of your eyelid. I am really, really hoping my optometrist already has this genius pen thing. If not, I will be strong. Sharing this embarrassing story with you guys makes me feel better. It also gives me a reason to be brave so I can report back that I went in and wasn’t even nervous at all. Well, maybe I’ll be a little nervous. But I’m imagining that one of you is reading this and cheering me on. Here we go…

8 thoughts on “i’m such a spaz

    • GLAUCOMA failed to mention that in order to do the non-puff test, drops must be applied to the eyes first, which ranks about the same on the Eyeball Contact Torture Scale. Good thing my (human) optometrist pointed that out today. It significantly lessened the urge to yell at him for not having the pen thing.

  1. Ha! I am the exact same way… about x-rays at the dentist. I’ve tried many, many times to have them done, but I’ve never been able to do it. I know logically that I will be fine, but I always build it up to be so much worse and then flake out.
    So I completely understand, Susane…

  2. I gotta say that I enjoy the air-puff test at my new eye doctor to the pressure test that my previous eye doctor (from the time I was little till about 20) performed.
    For the other pressure test they put eyes drops in my eyes to numb my eyes, and then would slowly advance this huge pointy thing that would rest ON MY EYEBALL. Dr. Anderson would usually get pissed at me, because, without fail, I would blink at least three times when he had the contraption up against my eyeball. And he would have to start the placement process all of again.
    Finally, I started going to a different doctor in the same practice and he would laugh and just hold my eyelid up so I couldn’t blink.
    But the puff of air? Much better.


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