Blow on your eyes

A request I didn’t expect at my annual eye exam…

Exterior of a large hospital building, with taxis and scooters parked outside.
Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital. Photo: Google Street View.

This morning, I visited my neighborhood hospital for a routine eye test. It was more thorough than my annual check-up in New Zealand, comprising tests at four different machines, plus the eye chart test, and manual examinations from a nurse and an ophthalmologist. All for NT$360 (NZ$18).

It was at the second machine that I received a strange request. As I leaned towards the chin-rest, the English-speaking nurse said “Blow on your eyes!”

I looked up at her, and said something like “Huh?”

Once again, she said “Blow on your eyes!”

“I’m sorry? I need to…?”

“Yes! Blow on your eyes!”

Deeply confused, I started to remove my mask.

Should I stick out my bottom lip?

Should I cup my hands to direct the airflow?

I really had no idea.

Then, no more than two seconds before I actually tried to blow on my eyes, the nurse called out “Wait! … The machine will blow on your eyes!”