A Simple Eyesight Breakthrough

I have had more eye surgeries than I care to remember.  So many, in fact, that it drove us to sell our beloved Beechcraft in 2017.  As luck would have it, not a huge loss, since being in our 70s at that point, mixing up with lots of people from coast-to-coast – while remaining vax-free – didn’t seem like the smartest thing to do.

So, this whole free invention, which I’m going to show you how to make was really the result of me a) having cataracts, b) having IOL lens implants, and c) having one of the little buggers displace when I jumped down from the tractor.  Three or four surgeries later, I’m 20:30 under ideal conditions, but that’s where our story begins.

A Sight-Saving Eye Fix

After multiple eye surgeries, there were two major “hangovers” from all the eye work.  The first was that the operative eye (left one) needs about a half-hour to start working correctly when I get out of bed in the morning.  The cornea accumulates fluid overnight. The world is “foggy” on rising.  The solution is a 5% hypertonic saline (such as Muro 128 (or similar generic) and a half-hour, or so, while the visual fog clears.  Not much can be done about that.

The other thing – and it’s a genuine pisser when driving, is that because of the implants the iris does not close down like a normal eye.  Mind you, I can see well, but where things get “dis-comfortable” is when there is a very bright light outside the car (bright, sunny, glare-heavy day) and it seems very dark through the sunglasses on the inside of the car.

Which doesn’t matter, except, seriously, it’s hard to see the speedometer readout on a bright day.

This is not a “George-only ” problem – happens to all of us to one extent, or another, as we age. The eyes get less responsive to shadows.  Contrast really begins to matter. Hugely.

How the Invention Hit Me

Last week, I was tooling up the county road toward our place in the woods (“No more than 5-over, officer, honest!”) and I happened to “flip up” my flip-up polarized clip-ons that go over the prescription lenses.

I noticed there was a spot – about where the bottom of the flip-ups was even with the dash on the old farm truck where vision was great. Shaded outside, bright inside.

The effect isn’t as dramatic in these pictures, as it is with the real lenses, which I will show you how to make in a second, but it will give you a feel for what’s going on and how this makes light-sensitive driving damn near pleasurable again.

First, the normal bright light. This is sitting in the cab of the truck, sitting in the shade of the carport, but since it was a sunny day, you can still get an idea how the dash and speedo wash out into the shadows:

Now, here’s where we look at what the upper half of the flip-ups makes it look in the same conditions:

You can see – just above the lip of the dash above the bright spot – that the rest of the scene in through sun filtering, but the bottom is clear and easy to see – even for old-man eyes.

Now, you will want to apply some care and caution in how you make your version of these “special glasses” up, because if you look down by moving your head, you will suddenly see why I cut up a pair of flip-ups to get the improvement!

(Look at the speedo, right?)

The effect – in real life – is even more pronounced because these shots were taken with me holding up the half-glasses.  When you cut down the clip-ons, the line of demarcation is across the top of the whole lower field of vision.

You’ll want to cut your flip-ups so that when on, and you’re sitting in the normal driving position, the bottom line will be visually lost in the horizontal top of dash clutter.

Making Your Own

To make these all you need is a cheap five-pack of various color flip-ups you can buy on Amazon for $14.00.  Like these.

Next, the sharp scissors and a steady hand.  (I put a grease pencil mark on the first pair, but if you just take off 1/4-an inch until it’s close…no worries!)

I also got a little “arty” by making the outside droop a bit lower – the idea being this would reduce side-light coming in.  But in the end? They work fantastic.

Honestly, I don’t know why these haven’t always been on the market.  If you use them, you will notice an immediate improvement in the form of better cockpit awareness (if flying, it will make watching airspeed and the runway in the bright approach onto a south aligned runway a piece of cake.

And if you need to screw with the GPS or phone (bad dog! no texting and driving! bad dog!) it’s all kinds of easier, faster and safer.

This is also about the best example of how TRIZ thinking works I have stumbled into in a while.

Those “half glasses” that people wear, for readers, are just the opposite (positioning-wise) from what the Sun demands. Here’s all it takes:

No idea why no has patented this, but here it is – in the public domain for you – and all because you’re now going to tell 10-million of your closest friends about what a bitchin-cool site Ultra-Make is  (You saw that pitch coming, right?) Or, send me a penny a pair?

Advanced readings: 40 Principles: TRIZ Keys to Technical Innovation and the classic The Innovation Algorithm:TRIZ, systematic innovation and technical creativity.

Now, go out and bang something…


13 thoughts on “A Simple Eyesight Breakthrough”

  1. Damned Well Done! I could have used that idea when I was still driving. Nowadays, not so much.
    I appreciate your ability to see solutions to problems. Keep up the good work.

  2. Quite a bit cheaper than prescription gradient sunglasses…
    I’ve had a couple cars with gradient tint on the windshield, worked pretty good.

  3. (” a 5% hypertonic saline (such as Muro 128 (or similar generic) and a half-hour, or so, while the visual fog clears. Not much can be done about that.”)

    Be Choosey on which drops you use….
    two thirds and better are all made in China.. years ago when I researched this.. it was twenty miles away from a pond that had a ph level of almost zero.. now china is working feverishly to clean up the industrial polution.. but what ground water did they use.. or.. is it from the drinking water they import from lake michagan.
    its the same thing with our IV solutions.. because it is cheaper to get iv solutions from a country with out any water quality standards.. that is where our iv sollutions come from..
    I quit using most of the eye drops unless I see they were packaged in the UK.. that still doesn’t have to stringent of water quality regulations but is much better than china had.. NOW I think that because of the cancer rates etc.. they have made some pretty stringent rules.. but is the water quality up to the USA standards yet..

    Years ago.. the quality of the water in our local system showed to much arsenic and uranium that it posed a health risk.. there was a huge story in the paper and the community sent out a notice to everyone saying that it would be beneficial because of that.. to put in a whole house water filter.. ( we put in the system we presently use) shortly after that.. they changed the water quality regulations and the water was once again safe to drink for everyone.. no filtration just the change in the quality standards allowed by govt.

    • Almost all pharmacies can sell you a quart of Sterile Isotonic Saline quite inexpensively. Use to refill a Visine drip bottle. Lasts a very long time. Almost always it’ll be American origin.

      You can also get sterile isotonic on Amazon in smaller sealed-up (peel-off seals) bottles 3 to 4 oz. A 4-pak is one common put-up.

        • …and you probably want ISO tonic, not hyper or hypo tonic I don’t know exacly what’s best for this. I’m sure you know that. The druggist or your eye guy can best advise.

        • …and you probably want ISO tonic, not hyper or hypo tonic I don’t know exacly what’s best for this. I’m sure you know that. The druggist or your eye guy can best advise.

    • I would think that, for medical purposes, such solutions were made from distilled water! Sterile chemistry and all…

  4. They actually used to make sunglasses that were heavy tint on top, graduated to clear on the bottom, for pilots. I had a pair back in the ’60s.

    • They also had straight tinted ones with the lower inner quarter clear for monitoring the panel. I don’t know what’s still available – I never flew with any specialized sunglasses. Today I just pick up what’s available in the dollar store.

      • ZZ TOP – Cheap Sunglasses

        When you get up in the morning and the light is hurt your head
        The first thing you do when you get up out of bed
        Is hit that streets a-runnin’ and try to beat the masses
        And go get yourself some cheap sunglasses
        Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah

        Spied a little thing and I followed her all night
        In a funky fine Levis and her sweater’s kind of tight
        She had a west coast strut that was as sweet as molasses
        But what really knocked me out was her cheap sunglasses
        Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah

        Now go out and get yourself some big black frames
        With the glass so dark they won’t even know your name
        And the choice is up to you cause they come in two classes
        Rhinestone shades or cheap sunglasses


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