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Marissa Lingen

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Also eye gel is weird. [May. 5th, 2011|07:38 am]
Marissa Lingen
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When my grandpa was in the hospital, my aunt Kathy gave me an over-the-counter eye gel that's supposed to be like super-duper-hyper-eyedrops for those who wear contact lenses. I've been using it this week with the birch pollen (...sigh), and it pointed out a perceptual/cognitive phenomenon that I am quite nerd enough to appreciate.

See, without my glasses or contacts I cannot see for beans. Certainly some of you are blinder than I am--and I don't even just mean the blind guy--but I am still on the "wow you really cannot see" end of things, not the "oh well I read more comfortably with them" end of things when it comes to wearing my glasses/contacts.

For the first few seconds it's in, the gel has a lensing effect on my vision. And my brain can distinguish between my proper not-seeing-right and this other version of not-seeing right. This fascinates me. I would have predicted that this would only come up with things like shape distortions or color distortions or like that. I would have predicted that "in focus" is what my brain is processing. But no, the right out of focus is very different from the wrong out of focus.

Brains. I tell ya. Weird, weird stuff.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: txanne
2011-05-05 12:46 pm (UTC)
What eye gel is it? I quit wearing contacts because my eyes are so very dry.

Also, I have the same effect, albeit briefly, when I cry. I agree, it's a neat kind of weird.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-05-05 06:48 pm (UTC)
GenTeal Gel.
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[User Picture]From: arielstarshadow
2011-05-05 01:38 pm (UTC)
Does it work? I stopped using eyedrops because they didn't really seem to do much past about 60 seconds.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-05-05 06:49 pm (UTC)
It works pretty well. I have birch allergies and will have itchy dry eyes in birch season, but this helps.
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[User Picture]From: mamculuna
2011-05-05 04:21 pm (UTC)
Willing to share the brand name? I'll use anything that works.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-05-05 06:49 pm (UTC)
GenTeal Gel
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[User Picture]From: mamculuna
2011-05-05 07:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
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[User Picture]From: swan_tower
2011-05-05 05:55 pm (UTC)
Oh, definitely. I once managed the clever trick of putting two lenses on my eyeball at once (had an old pair in, remembered they were old, took out one and replaced it, then replaced the other without first removing the previous occupant), and that was distinctly a different kind of wrong focus from any other I'd experienced before. (It did take me a moment to figure out how that wrongness had been produced, though. And yes, I felt like a complete idiot.)

I, too, am interested in the name of the gel.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-05-05 06:49 pm (UTC)
I do that with contact lenses in my dreams sometimes.

It's GenTeal Gel.
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[User Picture]From: pameladean
2011-05-05 07:12 pm (UTC)
I have the same reaction when trying on other people's glasses, but it probably is a very different effect.

Does eye gel work differently than eye drops? I can't put in eye drops -- well, I can, but it takes about ten tries and wastes a lot of liquid. I have to catch my eye when it's not trying to close really fast, just by varying the rhythm randomly. Maybe the reflex couldn't avoid gel as well.

P.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-05-05 08:13 pm (UTC)
Hmm. Well, I am eccentric about putting in eye drops anyway--I don't put them above the center of my eye, I put them in the corner with the tear duct and let the eye's natural shape and functioning spread them that way. (Also then even if I blink at the wrong moment, it's fairly likely that a bunch of the eyedrop will get in my eye through the duct area anyway.) The gel has the same kind of applicator tip as Neosporin or similar, and aiming that a bit above the corner of my eye seems to work just fine.
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[User Picture]From: finnyb
2011-05-06 03:07 am (UTC)
Being also on the "wow, you really cannot see" end of the spectrum, I can testify to a very similar phenomenon to that of which you type.

Recently, I got new glasses, for the first time in about seven or eight years. The first pair that came had the wrong lenses--instead of the high prism I require to keep from seeing double, they had the opposite of that, whatever that is (no one wanted to explain, but apparently whoever had written my prescription had transcribed it improperly). Therefore, everything was fuzzy, and about as out of focus as things are normally for me without glasses (though I was wearing glasses). But it was, to me, very much the wrong sort of fuzzy, out of focus, and I knew within an instant of putting the glasses on that they were not right. (Well, the other option was that my eyes had deteriorated even further, as they never get better, but I didn't think that was likely given the circumstances.)

Fortunately I now have the right lenses, and thus my fuzziness is normal and right-for-me, not wrong.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-05-06 03:36 am (UTC)
I have had similar "wrong glasses" experiences, and I thought that it was that I could tell the difference between having stuff in focus or not, but no! It's also the quality of not-in-focus!
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[User Picture]From: finnyb
2011-05-06 11:21 am (UTC)
Which is such a weird idea of a thing to tell the difference between! Who would've thought there's a difference between not-in-focus-right and not-in-focus-wrong? Not me, that's for sure, until I experienced it for myself!
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