Twitter is useful for all sorts of things: keeping up to date with current affairs, entertaining yourself with hilar viral videos, and communicating with friends purely by sending cute dog pictures.
I mean, can you think of a better communication method? I think not. A quick scroll through the timeline on a Monday morning is enough to brighten anyone’s day, particularly if there’s been an abundance of adorable pups that weekend (if you ignore all the Brexit content, that is).
Now though, the social media platform has come in handy for another, slightly more useful reason as one comparison photo has led many to diagnose themselves with an eye condition.
The photo, posted last week by Twitter account @UnusualFacts6, showed the difference between what people with astigmatism see vs what people without the condition see.
Astigmatism is a common cause of blurry vision that can affect one or both eyes and is usually corrected with glasses or contact lenses.
According to the NHS:
Astigmatism means your eye is shaped more like a rugby ball than a football, so light is focused at more than one place in the eye.
This can cause blurred, vision, headaches, and eye strain – which may be noticeable after a long period of concentration, for example if you’ve been on a computer for a long time.
The first comparison picture posted by the Twitter account shows what people with astigmatism see, with the car headlights spreading out into a thin line. The other picture shows the headlights focused in one specific place.
The picture went viral almost immediately, with many people commenting that they didn’t even realise astigmatism was a thing and diagnosing themselves with the condition.
Take a look at the comparison picture below:
Astigmatism is when the cornea is slightly curved rather than completely round..
With astigmatism, light focuses on several points of the retina rather just one point. This is what people with Astigmatisms vs without. pic.twitter.com/RXWWayFBRJ
— Unusual Facts (@UnusualFacts6) March 25, 2019
The picture, which now has more than 53K likes and 22K retweets, attracted the attention of many who believed themselves to have the condition.
One person said they were having an ‘existential crisis’ as a result of the tweet, while another said they thought everyone saw the lines and it was just the way light appeared.
I’ll be honest with you, I’m starting to question whether I have astigmatism now because I’m almost certain that’s how I see car headlights too. So thanks random Twitter account for making me realise I have something I didn’t even know existed prior to today.
I wonder how many of us actually have it…
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).