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How to convince a patient that a procedure, test, or follow-up care is valuable or essential. Enlist “help” to protect patients’ vision.

Posted by Tom Cockley | Posted on May 30, 2012

Some stories have good endings – becoming “lessons for life.”

A professional involved in vision care told recently about encounters with a patient who was ignoring advice about cataract surgery.  He had been treating  this patient for many years.  He had warned him years ago that cataract surgery was imminent.  But even when vision began to be seriously affected, the patient simply ignored the advice and put off the surgery.

The professional has seen this many times before.  Whether it was using eyedrops for glaucoma, controlling blood glucose levels better to stave off retinopathy, or laser treatments for high eye pressures, patients tend to postpone, delay, or even ignore needed, effective treatments or procedures.

We know that protecting vision often requires taking essential steps when patients still believe their vision is okay.  But what can a professional do?  Diminished vision takes place over time, and patients try to accommodate using many means to avoid needed treatments or they just ignore the situation.

In this case, the patient had lost significant vision;  even his family had noted it and was encouraging the surgery, but to no avail.  The family and the eye care professional were frustrated.

During the most recent eye exam, the professional bluntly told the patient that without the lens replacements he was in fact legally blind.  The doctor told him that he could no longer drive – that his vision was at the point that he was a danger to himself, to his family, and to others.  He told him that, as a licensed professional, he had an obligation to report to officials that the patient’s operator’s license should be revoked.  He told him that he could not allow him to drive home – that he had to call a family member to drive home, thereby involving a family member directly in the situation.

Degrees of vision impairment and dangers are often subtle.  In this case the doctor had converted the condition into a concrete, life altering situation.  Whereas pleas from family and past warnings had failed, the loss of driving privileges helped change the course.

After successful lens replacements, the patient admitted that the changes in his vision and his life were remarkable.  He said that he was seeing things he had not noticed recently and that he loved the idea that he did not have to search for and put on glasses when he awoke each morning.

At Gulden we have numerous eye models and diagnostic tests that can help educate, inform, and convince patients of dangers to their eyesight and their lives.  Check our website for the many products that help you protect and enhance patients’ vision – especially Eye Models, Vision Screening Tools, and Test Cards.  We know you will find these products useful in helping you to help your patients.

I encourage you to share any similar stories and successes with us – we are in this together to help protect and enhance patients’ vision and lives.

Tell me what you think.

Be visionary with Gulden!


Click here to learn more about our Eye ModelsVision Screening Tools, or Test Cards … or explore our website.

Gulden distributes a wide range of eye models including:  Glaucoma Demonstrating Models, Astigmatism Models, Cataract Models, Vision Threatening Diseases Models, Cornea Eye and Transplant Models, Retinal & Vitreous Detachment Models, Intraocular Lens Models, Lasik Models, plus more.  In addition, Gulden can design, develop, and produces custom models to meet every patient and staff education need.

Tom Cockley is president of Gulden Ophthalmics and the third generation of the over 70 year old visionary company that brings innovative, time-saving, utilitarian products to vision and health care professionals.

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