Brookside Optometric Group doctors and partners share their most meaningful and memorable patient stories from the year!
Dr. Bob Melrose: My Most Memorable Patient 2018
My most memorable patient this year was a patient that I have had the pleasure to take care of for years. She has a particularly difficult prescription to correct due to an extremely high amount of astigmatism in each eye. In the past, I was only able to correct her vision adequately with glasses even though she really wanted soft contact lenses.
This year she came to me with a dilemma. She needed to be 20/20 with contact lenses or she would not be able to become a police officer. We discussed how difficult this would be and decided we had to try so she could realize her dreams.
With the advent of improvements in contact lenses I was able to get her to 20/20 vision. When I put the lenses on she started to scream with delight, “I can see! I can see!” One of my staff was walking by my exam room and opened the door to say, “I don’t know what you did Dr Bob but I love hearing this delight echoing down the hall.” That was a moment I will never forget!
Dr. Rosemary Melrose: The College Student Who Needed Bifocals
Sometimes the most rewarding cases are the ones that have flown “under the radar.” Recently I examined a college student who had had regular eye exams growing up and already had glasses that she wore part-time. She came in for a routine check-up but curiously mentioned that she often found herself closing one eye when she read. There had to be a reason she needed to do that.
One quick measurement called a “cover test” showed that my patient’s eyes over-converged (turned in too far), but only when she was reading. Although not cosmetically noticeable, her eyes were crossing enough to cause strain and double vision. Usually we think of bifocals (or no-line progressive glasses) as being for middle-aged people, but there is an occasional young person who benefits from this format of lens. Because the glasses do the focusing for my patient, her eyes no longer cross while she reads. She can study as long as she needs to, and school has become much easier.
This problem is easy to diagnose, but the doctor needs to look for it. And, yes, we chose the no-line progressive lens for her. Who wants to wear bifocals in college?
Dr. Richard Vanover: My 2018 Patient Highlight
I have a sweet 16-year-old patient who has been a patient of mine for a long time. She has a strong prescription that she has to wear full time. Recently she had been suffering from headaches that were getting worse and worse and her doctor had put her on some strong medication that had significant side effects. During her exam, I found a misalignment of the eyes which was causing her to strain significantly to keep from seeing double. I prescribed prism for her glasses which decreases the strain and her headaches went away! She was able to discontinue her medication and go out and enjoy the things that a teenager should be enjoying!
Dr. Kurt Skinner: The Patient with Keratoconus
I had the most fulfilling experience working with a patient earlier this year. She was referred to my care to try to see if specialized rigid contact lenses would improve her vision better than glasses are capable of providing. As it turns out, she has a condition called keratoconus. This causes the corneas of the eyes to stretch out like a cone, causing the vision to be distorted. In her case, a specific contact lens design gave her much better vision than glasses and have been tolerated for up to 20 hours of wear during her day. She is now able to pass her driver’s license qualifications and gain one more step in confidence and take one more step towards independence.
Dr. Yolanda Scheer: My 2018 Patient Highlight
During this past year, an adorable 2-year-old patient was referred to me by her pediatrician due to concerns of an inward, crossing eye. Her parents were very concerned. Upon examination and dilation of her eyes, I found that she was significantly farsighted (hyperopic). This was causing her eye to cross when she tried to focus on objects, most notably up close.
After prescribing her glasses for full-time use, her eye was no longer turning inward and was staying straight while wearing glasses. If left untreated, this type of eye condition, accommodative esotropia, will cause the connections between the eye and brain to not develop normally and the eye will become “lazy” or amblyopic.
This serves as a reminder how fragile and precious vision is, especially in the development of vision at such a young age. Thanks to the referral by the patient’s pediatrician, my patient will enjoy clear vision with good depth perception with her new glasses correction. This in turn will impact her ability to learn and grow.