One of the “benefits” of being in the healthcare industry is I get to give shots to my kids. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t look forward to this and I’m not a sadist. But it’s easier than scheduling an appointment with their doctor and taking time off from work. My two daughters know that autumn not only brings Halloween, but also brings flu vaccines (they’re too young to care about college football).
About three years ago, my older daughter, Sydney, who was 6 at the time, was made aware that flu vaccines were on the afternoon’s agenda. You would have thought I told her she had to give up all of her stuffed animals. “NOOOOO! NEVERRRRR!” was her response, repeatedly. She ran to her room and made us a note (see attached). Then she hid under the dining room table. It was a response my wife and I had never seen from either of our daughters, and I have to admit, we looked at each other puzzled, and then laughed a little bit. Sydney would have nothing to do with this flu vaccine if it were up to her. We weren’t able to coax her out from under the table, so it was up to me to forcibly remove her like an Occupy Wall Street protester. Her four year-old sister, Lauren, was on board with the vaccine until she witnessed her sister’s vehement reaction. Then Lauren started to cry. In my head, I thanked Sydney for stirring the pot. In the end, both girls received uneventful flu vaccinations, and they even said the shots weren’t as bad as they thought they would be. We’ve done these shots every year since, and without the visceral response we witnessed three years ago.
It’s taken me a while to get here, but here’s my point: if you’re putting off an eye exam, don’t. It’s never as bad as you think it will be. We don’t even do shots. In all seriousness, early detection can lead to early treatment, and that leads to a better prognosis. The classic example of this is glaucoma which is damage to the optic nerve with visual field loss. Early changes from glaucoma are so gradual that patients almost never notice they have a problem until advanced disease has set in. Another example is cataracts. Cataracts are a change in a patient’s lens inside his eye. They are natural and occur with age. Cataracts usually progress so slowly that patients often don’t notice they’re having a problem until they see us for an appointment. Some of the early symptoms are glare and haloes while driving at night or things just don’t look as bright as they used to. In any event, the sooner we take of these cataracts; the sooner patients will be able to see the things they used to. Macular degeneration is a third example of an eye disease we’d prefer to see sooner rather than later. This can be a progressive disease of the retina that can result in blindness in the worst case scenario. Again, there are treatment options available, and the prognosis is much improved if the degeneration is in the early stages instead of the advanced stages.
We offer examinations for all of the above disorders. If you’re overdue, please do yourself a favor and call us to schedule an exam.