Time flies so fast, I woke up today realizing that I am now on my 7th year working as an optometrist. Ever since I had been working as a clinical optometrist I’ve been asking God to help me get through the challenges of my everyday case. While it is true that my work isn’t directly associated to a life threatening situation, it is in the quality of life that us, in the Optometry field caters to. In some days, I would really say that I love what I do; in some mornings, I wonder why am I in a routine world of 1 or 2, red or green, and mastering the art of putting back lenses in their trial case; some days I get surprises. I’d be awakened by a patient from my dormant state. I get bewildering statements and myths from them I don’t know where in the alien world of optometry books I could find them!
So here are some of the confounding scenarios I get from my patients. I was alarmed when I encountered #3. Am I not doing enough in my field? I really should raise awareness on this.
1. Patient: “If possible, I will delay my onset of wearing glasses because if I start wearing glasses, It would be continuous”.
This claim is synonymous to the myth “wearing glasses tends to weaken the eyes”. The fact that collective symptoms such as blurred vision, headache, and struggling (asthenopia) is already manifesting in you, means that there is something wrong. The science: Eye glasses simply move the focus point of your eye to a more ideal position that stimulates clear vision (something like how a DSLR camera works). There is no risk of increased power due to wearing glasses. In fact, it alleviates your symptoms. It doesn’t cause increased dependence on glasses from continued wear. But you’ll start to appreciate the clarity of your vision that you prefer to wear your glasses more often. You don’t have to tolerate blur vision. The truth is tolerating blurred vision may cause more damage than wearing glasses.
2. Patient: “I would like to get an eye transplant please”
Should I blame technology for being so advanced that some people would pay for something unachieved yet. So I close my eyes, breathe and just shout in my head “somebody fast-fund an eye transplant please!” Well, it’s true I’ve read about a head transplant, then why can’t we do an eye transplant yet? Don’t get any ideas that you’d might as well change your whole head just because you couldn’t get an eye transplant. Just because your Apple mouse isn’t connecting on your Lenovo, doesn’t mean you have to purchase a macBook. You are not an apple product that you can just purchase parts to make things work. Don’t change your whole head because you have eye problems.
Okay so maybe the patient didn’t really mean he wants an eye transplant literally, maybe he meant “lens Implants”. And I am just being hyper in my routine and got so drastic with my everyday multi-cultural patients. Yes this is possible. It is a procedure for refractive correction, you know that technology eye centers do if you don’t want to wear glasses (and contact lens) anymore if you’re not eligible for lasik.
So far this is what we know: There are only a few parts of the eye that can be transplanted and implanted. There is only a corneal transplant, and maybe in the future Retinal (RPE) transplant. Eyebrow, eyelash, artificial “Iris” (eye color), Intra-ocular lens and Implantable Collamer lenses are some of the implants that I have heard of. Please update me for more on the comments.
3. “Huwag mo isuot yung salamin nya mahahawa ka sa grado nya”. 😱
In translation: “Don’t wear his glasses, you’ll be contaminated with his eye power”. I like how they said it in my national language, it made so much impact on me that it actually motivated me to write my long overdue post in my life as an optometrist. First of all, having an eye power is NOT an infectious disease. You can’t get infected with another person’s refractive error. Again, lenses are just a medium to re-focus your vision into a clear target. If the lens you wear is not the right power you need, this will cause blurred vision, eye strain, headache and nausea.
Did the patient refer to contact lenses instead? Contact lenses, are worn directly in-CONTACT to the eye, thus this may be a medium for infectious diseases. Never borrow contact lenses!
The best thing to do, really, is to return the borrowed glasses from your friend, stop googling about eye problems and symptoms (if you don’t want to scare yourself from STD eye images from google), and stop tolerating your blurred vision. Set an appointment to a proper eye doctor, wait for a few hours (yes be PATIENT) and get yourself your own pair of glasses. Happy seeing! 👓👀👩⚕️