Dr. Ernie Bowling is Chief Optometric Editor of Optometry Times. He received his Doctor of Optometry and Master of Science in Physiological Optics degrees from the UAB School of Optometry. Dr. Bowling is a Diplomate in the Primary Care Section of the American Academy of Optometry. He practices in Gadsden, AL.
Recently, I had a patient return to my office shortly after his yearly exam. This gentleman has advanced glaucoma, and after my initial diagnosis, he has undergone several surgical procedures by the comanaging ophthalmologist that has stabilized his condition. He was back in the office complaining of distance blur through his new spectacles. His exact words: “Thanks for helping me with my glaucoma, doc, but I can’t see a thing outta these new glasses you gave me.”
I'm obsessed with Steven Pressfield's writings. I've mentioned Do The Work before, and now I want to mention the second book in the series: Turning Pro. It spoke to me. In a short 1-sentence summary, the difference between an amateur and a pro: a pro, through hours and years of practice and training, can block out all the clutter and concentrate on the task at hand.
Like a lot of folks, I suffer from seasonal allergies. While the red, watery eyes do spring up (no pun intended), this time of year I am much more bothered by the constant, unrelenting runny nose accompanying my seasonal allergy attacks. Which shouldn’t be surprising. —42% of patients suffering from allergic conjunctivitis also experience symptoms of allergic rhinitis (AR).
My son, a recent graduate of the University of Alabama’s film school, does freelance video work. It is a cool way to pay his bills, and a fella has to start somewhere. On occasion I get to be his unpaid production assistant, which is to say I stand in the background and hold the microphone.
Every optometrist proudly echoes the changes in our profession and the increases in our abilities to care for our patients. Yet there have been other changes at work that have not been so great, and in fact I hold to be the greatest challenge to our profession for the future: vision care plans.
I recently completed Robin Cook’s new medical thriller, Cell. Cook, best known for his books Coma and Outbreak, is an ophthalmologist by training, and his books often tie his story lines to current events. Not to spoil the book for those who want to read the novel, but the premise of Cell is that a phone app, named iDoc, has been designed to replace the primary-care physician.
Contact lenses are a large part of any general eye care practice. It is one source of great pride and satisfaction when a patient new to contact lenses first sees clearly without his spectacles, and we all enjoy seeing that epiphany. Yet, like with all experiences, the new soon wears off, and those patients who started out with the best of intentions regarding their contact lens wear and care can slip into some not-so-healthy habits.
I readily admit I am from another time, before cell phones and laptops. But not video games. I wore Pong out back in the day. Still, I think I have adapted reasonably well as an old curmudgeon to the available technology.