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Check Yo Self Before You Wreck Yo Self. Eye Exams Scarier than Halloween.

This stuff happens at my practice, Oakland Vision Center on a weekly basis. Swear.

Read on and let's promise each other that you will never be THIS person:

1. "My glasses broke and I have been wearing the same pair of contact lenses for a few months."

OMG. I die a little bit on the inside when a patient tells me this. To me, this is like wearing the same pair of underwear for months. Talk about bad hygiene. There is more bacteria in those contact lenses than a dirty kitchen sponge. And yes, recent microscope studies show that you can never truly remove 100% of all bacteria from a contact lens after the first use. The longer you wear them, the more bacteria. They just love a good party.

2. "My optometrist told me a few years ago that I have high eye pressure, so I'm here now."

I'm pretty sure that same optometrist also advised you to get an eye exam every year to check your eye pressure. Think of eye pressure as one of your body's vital sign. Elevated or high eye pressure is a risk factor for developing glaucoma. Yeah, you know that disease of the eye that causes irreversible blindness? It can happen slowly. It can happen quickly. Have a family member that has glaucoma and you're automatically a member of America's Most Wanted Glaucoma list. I just made that list up, but I hope you get my point. 

3. "I have this really sharp, constant pain in my left eye for a week and Visine isn't helping."

I saw a case like this last week. It turned out that the bachelor's degree that the patient got from the University of Google wasn't all that. Pain in the eye can be a serious eye condition. The clear part of the eye called the cornea is an amazing body part. It will try to heal itself, but often creating scar tissue. Guess what, you can't see through scar tissue. Time is of the essence when it comes to pain in the eye. And depending on the diagnosis, the treatment plan can be drastically different. My patient ended up having a condition in the eye that required immediate treatment with 3 different prescription strength eye drops. Visine wasn't one of them.

So the next time your friend or loved one tries to make you their optometrist, have them actually call one. We know stuff.