Eyes on an Old Problem
A childhood injury and a dire prediction convinced this patient to accept poor vision. But his eyecare practitioner was not satisfied with the status quo.
By Ken Buss, Columbia, Ill.
I've had problems with my vision since I was 8 years old when my right eye was injured by a stick. After the accident, the doctors told me I'd eventually lose sight in this eye completely. I'm grateful I still can see out of my right eye, but the best vision I've ever had with correction is 20/80 – that is, until I changed eye doctors.
Glasses weren't really a problem for me, but I wanted contact lenses so I could wear sunglasses and safety glasses at work (I'm an equipment operator). I was just looking for convenience, but my optometrist had bigger plans.
The first time I saw Dr. Kelly Kerksick, she listened carefully to my history and then did a thorough examination. While I looked at a chart 3 feet away, she tried lenses of different strengths. Suddenly, I realized I could see detail with my right eye for the first time since my accident. Dr. Kerksick was able to prescribe contact lenses that corrected my vision to 20/30. We were both in tears.
Not only did I regain vision that had been lost for more than 20 years, but I also got the convenience I wanted. My contact lenses are comfortable, and I can see clearly. Dirt, dust you name it no problems.
ADVICE FOR PRACTITIONERS
I saw many eye doctors over the years but none of them did what Dr. Kerksick did. She spent time with me and asked the right questions. No other eye doctor dedicated as much time to correcting my vision as she did.
The best advice I can offer eye doctors is: Don't rush when you examine your patients. Instead of trying to see more patients and collect more fees, take the time to find the right prescription for every patient, especially if their vision problems were caused by an injury.
And finally, be persistent: The easiest or most common contact lens doesn't always fix a patient's problem. When you find the the right solution, though, you'll gain a loyal patient.