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Ask Dr. Rick Your Own Question

Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7750
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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eye..I look at someones face, their face shrinks as if I was looking

Customer Question

I have had an odd eye trick that happens more and more. When I look at someones face, their face shrinks as if I was looking at the from ten feet away whan I am sitting or standing next to them. This has been happening for about five years now and it usualy happens whan I am stressed or in a stressful enviroment. It randomly happens whan I am not stressed as well. It happens somtimes when I stare at an object as well. Its hard to describe the feeling, it feels like a slight pressure on my eyes and head. I noticed I have control over it as well and if i sare at an object hard, it will shrink. Also things seem to move alittle even when standing still. If you know what is going on please tell me thanks, Ilia
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

Is the object you are looking at slightly blurry when it "shrinks" or does it stay in crystal clear resolution?

Dr. Rick :

Does it go away if you close one while it is happening?

Dr. Rick :

hi.

Customer :

It stays clear and seems to be even clearer.

Dr. Rick :

very interesting.

Dr. Rick :

any other symptoms or feelings when this is going on?

Dr. Rick :

do you wear glasses or contact lenses?

Customer :

I feel just a slight pressure in my eyes and my head

Customer :

I do were glasses for long disstance or driving

Dr. Rick :

do you know approximately what the prescription is? Plus or minus lenses, astigmatism, etc?

Customer :

20/40 about I think

Dr. Rick :

ok. Do you know if they are a +2 diopter power, -1 diopter power, etc. 20/40 would be your uncorrected vision....although that is good to know too :)

Customer :

Im sorry I do not know

Dr. Rick :

ok. No problem.

Dr. Rick :

I believe what is going on is that, when you are concentrating, stressed, staring at an object hard -- such as a face close to you -- you are activating the muscles inside your eyes that cause accommodation. That is why you also get that slight 'pressure' on your eyes and head.

Dr. Rick :

this may cause objects project a smaller image on your retina, which your brain would see as being farther away then it really is....

Dr. Rick :

There is a test that an ophthalmologist can do to see if this is what may be going on......

Customer :

ok

Customer :

Its good to know that but I was wondering if its uncommon or any risk to my eyes by working so hard

Dr. Rick :

You might need two office appointments for this, but maybe not. First the doctor would do a "dry" refraction (where you have the phoropter in front of your face and he says 'which is better one or two'?). Then he would do a refraction after putting drops in your eye (wet refraction). The two results would be compared and, if necessary you would come back a few days later for another "dry" refraction, using the data from the other two refractions as starting and ending points.

Dr. Rick :

follow me so far?

Dr. Rick :

this tedious testing would unmask any 'hidden' refractive error you may have -- an uncorrected refractive error that you are 'using' when things get smaller.

Customer :

I see

Dr. Rick :

it is not all that uncommon, it is easily missed during a routine refraction and it puts your eyes and vision at no risk what so ever.....

Dr. Rick :

As to working too hard. If you are anything like my 23 year old daughter you're not working hard enough :o)

Dr. Rick :

lol

Customer :

Thats good to know and would different glasses meant for this correction fix this

Dr. Rick :

yes, when you wear them. But wearing or not wearing the glasses would not harm your eyes at all. When you get around age 40 the "strength" of the muscles inside your eye (for lack of a better way to put it) will weaken so you'll no longer be able to make things 'shrink' by flexing them.

Dr. Rick :

so you could have the tests I've discussed above, possibly get new glasses, or just wait 20 years for the problem to resolve itself :)

Customer :

ok sounds good

Customer :

True

Dr. Rick :

Is there anything else I can add tonight?

Dr. Rick :

I guess you've stepped away from your computer. Have a good night.

Dr. Rick :

And, now, the obligatory word from our sponsors: :o)


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Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
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Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
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