Bruce Springsteen, Blinded by the Light, and Eye Exams!

Posted by: West Georgia Eye Care Center in Frontpage Article on February 1, 2019

Bruce Springsteen was born in the same era as many of our patients (1949), but his music spans multiple generations. His music is relevant in one way or another to almost everyone, including the physicians and staff of West Georgia Eye Care Center.  Our own Operations Manager, Freda Stewart, says that she listened to the music of Bruce Springsteen.  She remembers her musical tastes being influenced by her band director at Columbus High who liked jazz and “Springsteen used saxophones and horns; I guess I liked his music because it was different from other music groups that were popular at that time.”

The Boss

The popular nickname given to Bruce Springsteen as the leader of the E Street Band is “The Boss”, and it has stuck. As a true boss of both music and culture the nickname has certainly been accurate!  He has sold 135 million records worldwide, and earned numerous awards including 20 Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a Tony Award, and two Golden Globes.  In 2016 he was awarded the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Blinded by the Light

Springsteen’s fame will surely be secured for another generation of music lovers as the film “Blinded by the Light” was received with accolades at its premier at the Sundance Film Festival this week.* The movie portrays the cultural phenomena of music and how it can bring out the best in a high school student, highlighting the manner in which the lyrics can help sort through common teenage angst. The film’s title also has special implications for ophthalmology…!

Dilated Eye Exams

‘Blinded by the light’ is also a term frequently heard around our offices, and for good reason. In order for our doctors to have a good view into the inside of the eye (where many diseases of both the eye and the body may be discovered) light is essential.  One of the tools to deliver light for viewing into the eye, the Indirect Ophthalmoscope, provides 2000 lux / 22 watts illumination through a white halogen or Tungsten bulb.  Dilation of the pupils (another, sometimes dreaded element of eye exams) is required to prepare the eye to allow entry of the intense light.  The result for the patient can sometimes be the perception of temporary loss of vision (blindness)!  Thankfully, the symptoms of light blindness quickly dissipate, although the effects of dilation on the pupil can last for several hours.