Optometrist Response to Atlantic’s Article on The Eye Exam “Scam”
Your eye exam is not a scam. Glasses and contact lenses are medical devices.
When you notice a change in your vision, it can be caused by a host of other things. For example, I’ve seen…
– patients who were unaware that they had diabetes, but were diagnosed based on the appearance of the retina at the back of their eyes
– patients who didn’t know they had high blood pressure, but again were diagnosed after an eye exam
– a patient who thought she had dry eye, and was using drops suggested by the pharmacist, but it turned out to be an inflammatory eye condition linked with thyroid disease
– patients with retinal holes which required laser surgery to prevent retinal detachment
– 2 patients that came in for a routine exam, but ended up having an eye tumour 🙈
On the less “scary” side, I’ve seen plenty of people after they tried to order a higher powered contact lens themselves, thinking they needed something stronger, but they did it incorrectly and ended up giving themselves a headache. Or they ordered glasses online after modifying their glasses prescription a bit and couldn’t see out of the new ones. I’ve seen TONs of people with burning, itchy, red eyes who tried to self-medicate with over-the-counter antibiotic drops, which didn’t help. Do you really trust yourself to know what you need without going to the doctor? Your optometrist is not just a barrier to getting glasses… we’re here to help you take care of your eyes and catch preventable causes of vision loss! 👀 Eye exams might seem simple when everything is going well, but it takes years of training for me to rule out eye disease and other more sinister causes of a prescription change.
This author as simply upset because he was too unprepared to have spare glasses or contact lenses. If you use medication, it’s your own responsibility to have a supply wherever you go. It’s NOT a local doctor’s job to give it to you, sight unseen. Don’t be a statistic in preventable vision loss!
The main takeaway from this should be to make sure you always have a backup pair of glasses 🤓
Yascha Mounk – It is very irresponsible to encourage people to risk their eye health like this
(This is a response to the article The Great American Eye-Exam Scam in the Atlantic )