“Your eyes are closed.” I hear this after someone snaps a photo. Especially when the snapper gives no countdown and I’m unprepared. No controlled breath with eyes closed, blink open, and smile. Also, I naturally smile with squinty eyes, enjoying a mid-laugh, not worrying about having the poised, deer-in-the-headlights plastic face I notice others adopt. I blame Facebook, the reality show for the average joe, for the popularity of uncandid photos. High and tight, click.
“You look tired today. ” I hear that daily. Hey guys, Snoozen likes her naps because low vision and light sensitivity is exhausting. So are days with break-o-dawn terrier nature breaks. Wheee.
“You don’t look blind.” I hear that occasionally. Why? Who knows. Low vision can’t be determined at a glance, everything must be seen through a slit lamp biomicroscope, a bit unwieldy for a purse.
Besides, my ptosis goes undetected under glass. Ptosis (said TOE-sis), a consequence of my smaller, blind left eyeball after multiple intraocular surgeries. It’s a drooping eyelid. More interesting causes of ptosis like snake venom, trauma, or hereditary elements happen, but I missed out on those kickstarts. Let me show you what my ptosis looks like.
Here are my eyes closed.
Here is my sighted eye open.
Here is my eye with ptosis trying to open wide.
See the difference there? When I go to the eye doctors, the tech always needs to hold up my left eyelid during pressure checks. I can’t open up my left eyelid high enough for exams.
And finally, the deception with glasses on.
The frames minimize the ptosis, cutting it in half like an optical illusion. I discussed my eyelids with my eye surgeon. He said there’s a procedure to remove extra skin, blepharoplasty. Which I’m aware it’s quite controversial to alter hereditary epicanthic folds, but I’m not of east Asian decent, so that’s not a factor for me.
After consideration, I can’t bring myself to go under the knife for cosmetic reasons at this point. Until I hit my Joan Rivers stride, I’ll embrace the droop instead. If you ever capture a photo of me with both eyes open, know you are lucky or some kind of lighting genius.
What do your eyes do in photos? Are you a squinty smiler, too? Do your eyelids refuse to cooperate? Tell me about it.