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    The diagnoses you shouldn’t be missing

    Seattle—Andrew Morgenstern, OD, shared his list of diagnoses optometrists shouldn’t be missing in the exam room during a session at Optometry’s Meeting.

    “When you walk out of this course, I’m going to give you a bunch of hammers, so everything is going to look like a nail,” jokes Dr. Morgenstern. “But what we want to do is slightly change the way we think. You don’t see what you don’t look for.”

    Dr. Morgenstern explained a concept he calls the Trader Joe’s phenomenon. When you’re at the grocery store, do you often get up to the checkout line, only to see something in another shopper’s cart that you never spotted in the aisles?

    “We have to question ourselves on what we’re missing. If we’re diagnosing the same things 90 percent of the time, what are we not picking up? My dad’s an optometrist, and what he sees in his office is not what I see when I work in his office,” he says. “If I went to your office, my diagnoses would be different from your diagnoses on a large majority of the patients because what we get comfortable with is what we do.”

    Dr. Morgenstern says there are certain symptoms that may be hiding these diagnoses:

    • Vague vision distortion

    • Transient vision loss

    • Skin lesions

    • Odd facial sensations

    • Droopy lids

    • Irritated, burning eyes

    • Red, swollen eyes

    • Conjunctival injection

    • Diplopia

    • Facial asymmetry

    Next: Vague vision distortion

    Colleen E. McCarthy
    Colleen McCarthy is a freelance writer based in the Cleveland area and a former editor of Optometry Times. She is a 2010 graduate of the ...


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