Optometrists can do awesome things!

  1. They can make crooked eyes straight for the child who sees two teachers in class, doing it using glasses or by using eye exercises. Who would not love to wear red/green glasses and do magic tricks with their eyes all day? And when the double vision is gone, if he falls from a tree and gets double vision again, an Optometrist can fix it again.
  2.  They can stop glaucoma in its tracks. The glaucoma that they find using the glorious machines that enable them to find the damage to the nerve before it even affects the vision. Amazing.

  3. They can find retinal detachments in patients who arrive reading the 20/20 line and argue against needing that dilation. And they can do that with cool flashlights on their heads.

  4. An Optometrist can guide an emergency room doctor to order blood work on a patient who reports a loss of vision in one eye over the last 24 hours with pain behind the eye. They do not give up when the blood work is not significantly abnormal but for anemia by begging their retinal surgeon buddy to do an angiogram to reveal ciliary artery occlusion leading to a temporal artery biopsy. They can ask for a bilateral test to be absolutely sure and find severe systemic vasculitis.
  5. They can make a baseball player a better athlete without the electrocution and ice!
  6. They can refer a patient with vertigo to the ENT when the primary-care physician (PCP) thought it was just a virus. Or they can scan a patient with headaches to find a Chiari malformation in the child the PCP thought was malingering.

  7.  They can see that patient after hours when the treatment by the doc-in-the-box does not make that enormous corneal ulcer better and turn it around in 24 hours. They can even take pictures of it for his Facebook page.

  8. They can help the child who can’t sit still in class and takes ADD medication sit still without the medication. (And create less work for the school nurse.)

  9. They can treat pink eye now – no waiting in the pediatrician’s office.

  10. They can fit contact lenses on patients with corneal disease preventing vision in spectacles—and teach them to apply the lenses when they said they could not.

  11. They can fit patients with low vision devices to enable them to read or drive or sign checks for their grandchildren.

  12. They can identify diabetic retinopathy in a patient who swore he did not need to see his doctor for a physical. Ever.

  13. They can educate the public that smoking is bad.

  14. They can make office lenses with a blue light blocker for the lawyer who complains every time he visits our office that he can’t read the computer for 14 hours because of eyestrain.

  15. They can fit multifocal contact lenses.

  16. Enough said.