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    How patient care resembles parenting


    Option 1: Bore them to death with explanations of how their pressure needs to be reduced to prevent glaucomatous damage.

    Option 2: Let them stop the drops for two to three weeks, then them return for a pressure check. The pressure goes up. They get what they wanted (no drops for two to three weeks), and I get what I wanted (an elevated intraocular pressure [IOP] and verification to everyone involved that the drops are required.)

    My dry eye patient does not want to take her artificial tears anymore.

    OK, stop everything, and see me in three weeks. Check topography and take pictures of her eyes when she comes back with itchy, red, burning eyes and prove to everyone she needs the drops.

    Boom goes the dynamite.

    Just to be clear, this will not work on amblyopia.

    Related: Top 10 qualities of engineer patients

    Sometimes it works

    I have been surprised a few times.

    One patient wore monovision contact lenses and requested monovision spectacles.

    Optometry 101: Monovision spectacles do not work.

    To discourage the patient from going through with the order, we required her to sign a form stating that we would not remake the lenses. She wasn’t having it and paid for her monovision glasses.

    She loved them.

    When I saw her the next year, I said she had the most flexible brain on earth. I told her not to tell anyone we ordered monovision spectacles for her because I was afraid people with less flexible brains would be jealous of her. I could not imagine what my optician would do if word got out that we made monovision glasses. Pandemonium would ensue.

    The patient was happy, and I was happy she was happy. And she will never get her glasses anywhere else.

    Boom goes the dynamite. 

    Read more from Dr. Schroeder-Swartz here

    Tracy Schroeder Swartz, OD, MS, FAAO
    Tracy Schroeder Swartz currently practices at Madison Eye Care Center in Madison, Alabama. She serves as Education Chair for the ...


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