Eye patch … Fashion or Blindness

eyepatch

Has there ever been a more dangerous fashion statement than an eye patch? Even if you’re wearing fuschia with a frilly bow and sandals with black socks, if you’ve got an eye patch on then people are going to give you a wide berth. Add a cutlass and a brace of pistols and no one is going to questions your badness.

Every pirate you’ve ever seen has sported an eye patch, but surely not all of them have lost an eye. So what’s the deal? Fashion statement or medical condition? Perhaps, but perhaps these seafaring men were driven by necessity. Have you ever been in a dark room and then suddenly had a window opened to the bright sun? And you’re blind. Blinking several times, you wait for the spots to fade from your eyes before attempting to move again. Imagine you’re a pirate under attack and you must race up from below deck to defend your ship. You can’t stop and wait for the dancing spots or you’re likely to get an enemy sword severing some vital body parts.

eyepatch2Enter the patch. You assign one eye to the light and the other to the dark, thereby saving precious minutes of adjustment, not to mention your neck.

Of course there are a few drawbacks. Depth perception, not seeing what’s lurking on the covered side, and possible itchiness. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, these things do itch. I’ve had personal experience. Many many moons ago, when I was just a curious child without common sense, I made the mistake of looking directly up into a tree and got something in my eye. A trip to the doctor, a few nurses holding me down, and some dilation drops later I had me one not so awesome looking eye patch. A white cotton pad taped to my face. It itched like crazy and I couldn’t see anything, so to make me feel better my mom drew a little eyeball with eyelashes on it. Can’t say it took away the urge to scratch, but it was enough to make me feel special.

Back to the pirates. They also believed that sporting one of these bad boys helped to mitigate Seasickseasickness. Reduce the intake of stimuli of a rocking ship and swaying waves and you reduce the queasiness in your stomach. I don’t recommend trying this for car sickness unless you’re a passenger. There are enough bad drivers out there as it is.


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

18 Comments

  1. Diana Lesire Brandmeyer

    No kidding, it helps with seasickness? I’ve not been in a position where I’ve have a chance to be seasick but I’m hanging onto this piece of information-just in case. :)
    Diana

    Reply
    1. J'nell (Post author)

      I’ve been seasick before and I don’t think a patch would help. At least not me. Pills and closed eyes face down on the bed are usually my remedy. Oh, and some toast. It helps to get a little food in the stomach.

      Reply
  2. Tom Threadgill

    I saw this tested on Mythbusters. I had no idea. I have to tell you that there’s a guy in our church choir who wears a black eye patch. It’s impossible to see someone with one and not refer to them as a pirate.

    Got any photos of your “special eye patch”? How funny!

    Reply
    1. J'nell (Post author)

      You just don’t see too many people with eye patches. I bet no one messes with that guy when he’s belting out a hymnal! And no, I have no pictures to share of my incident. It was back when we had to take the roll of film in to get developed instead of these new fandangled contraptions.

      Reply
  3. Susan F. Craft

    I’ve been doing a lot of research about pirates for my work in progress novel that takes place in the NC Outer Banks and along the Atlantic Coast in 1799. Seems that most pirates, because of their brutal way of life, had missing limbs, missing eyes, and lots of scars. It’s interesting about the seasickness.

    Reply
    1. J'nell (Post author)

      Pirating was no cake walk, that’s for sure. And I’m not sure how well the patch works for seasickness. I prefer to just take a pill and lay down :)

      Reply
  4. Dora Hiers

    Aww, that was so sweet of your mom. I had no idea that it helped alleviate seasickness, but I can see why. There’s something about sitting in a dining room of a cruise ship, watching the ship tilt from side to side. Queasy!

    Reply
    1. J'nell (Post author)

      Oh, Dora. The dining room of a cruise ship is exactly where I got sick one time! I could think of nothing better than laying down in the booth or top of the table. Don’t worry, I didn’t. But my awesome husband did get me some juice and toast with a side of pills. I was good after that!

      Reply
  5. Susan Tuttle

    LOL! Oh my! I’d love to have seen a picture of YOUR eyepatch:) Thanks for the giggle…and the learnin’ today.

    Reply
    1. J'nell (Post author)

      Yes, we were rather known for the artsy sophistication in our household. Kidding.

      Reply
  6. Linda Bartosik

    Loved this E idea! I’m Enlightened! Great post – seasickness eh? I think it might be true. When I was seasick I laid on the bench holding on for dear life and wouldn’t open my eyes for anything! Lol! Nice blog and nice meeting you!

    Reply
    1. J'nell (Post author)

      I popped pills for my seasick adventure! After that I was good, but I do remember wanting to die in lido decks’s booth before my stomach calmed down.

      Reply
  7. Barbara Lynn Culler

    Very interesting! I liked the seasick illustration! Makes sense, though, to cover the eye, as the movement of the eyeball adds to the nausea.

    Reply
    1. J'nell (Post author)

      Movement of the eyeball, ship, stomach … makes for one lousy voyage. These guys had to get creative out there on the open waters and who would have thought to cover one eye.

      Reply
  8. Karen Wingate

    Hey the eye patch for seasickness makes sense to me! But I think it would only work for those whose eyes don’t work together and thus don’t have depth perception. With no depth perception, everything looks flat. A cure for seasickness is to look at a far away object to reestablish your equilibrium. You can’t catch that perspective without depth perception.

    When your eyes don’t work together, you compensate by rapidly switching back and forth between the eyes – or you just develop a dominant eye. If you try to use both eyes, it gets disorienting. So with seasickness, the boat is going up and down and all around and your eyes are going back and forth and . . . whooaaahhhh. . . ugh, ooohhhh.

    I’m gonna get me an eye patch. Karen who is very prone to motion sickness due to several vision problems.

    Reply
    1. J'nell (Post author)

      Karen, do you moonlight as an eye doctor? I think you could make some serious mad money with your knowledge. If you do get the patch then you have to tell me if it works.

      Reply
  9. Karla Akins

    Fascinating. I had no “eye-dea!”

    Reply
    1. J'nell (Post author)

      Oh the things you can learn when you just open your eyes. Haha!

      Reply

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