Eye doctors share the craziest things they've ever seen at work

Published October 06, 2017

When you see your eye doctor, it’s probably for something simple, like your vision is a little off or you need a refill on your contact lens prescription. But, like all doctors, optometrists and ophthalmologists deal with some pretty dicey cases as well.

“You'd be surprised what I have seen,” said Alan Mendelsohn, M.D., a Hollywood, Fla.-based ophthalmologist with Eye Surgeons & Consultants.

With that in mind, we got eye doctors to open up about the craziest situations they’ve ever seen and how they fixed them. Keep these on the backburner next time you’re annoyed that your eye doc is running late due to an emergency situation:

MOM LOSES FINGER IN FREAK INJURY AT SON'S BASEBALL PRACTICE

...Sudden Unexplained Blindness

“A 60+-year-old glaucoma patient came in as an emergency appointment with sudden unexplained blindness. Turns out, she mixed up her glaucoma drops with cyanoacrylate, an extremely fast-acting and an extremely effective adhesive. The glaucoma eye drop bottle and the adhesive bottle are very similar and she was working on building models and inadvertently glued her eyelids shut. Turns out, the adhesive worked beautifully on human tissue, causing the upper and lower eyelids to be sealed shut, with the eyeball underneath being totally immobile. Utilizing topical anesthetic and extremely sharp micro surgical scissors, I separated her eyelids. Thereafter, with lots of anesthetic drops, Q-tips, rounded forceps, and gentle pressure, I was able to free up the eyeball and remove residual glue. Each eye took at least 30 minutes, and her vision was restored.” —Mendelsohn 

...An Ice Pick in His Eyeball…

“I did my eye surgery residency training at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, a major trauma center in the heart of the city's most violent neighborhoods. Every night was an adventure, with man's inhumanity to man showing up in the form of all sorts of injuries. After my first year, I stopped asking patients how they got their injuries and just marveled at the human body's ability to survive. One night, a fellow showed up at the emergency room with an ice pick in his eyeball. Because he couldn't afford an ambulance, he drove himself to the ER—on a motorcycle. He apologized for not wearing a helmet for obvious reasons.” —John Hovanesian, M.D., an eye surgeon at Harvard Eye Associates in Laguna Hills, Calif., and a member of the clinical teaching faculty at the UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute.

...A White Spot on the Surface of Their Eye...

“A couple of years ago when I was doing a fellowship in Miami, the ophthalmology residents in the emergency room were seeing a patient who came in for a white spot on the surface of their eye. The first-year resident who was looking at it was perplexed at what the lesion could be, so he called over some other first-year residents to take a look. They were all sort of confused, so they called their senior resident to come take a look. The senior member saw the patient, then grabbed a cotton tip applicator, and flicked the ‘lesion’ off…it was a popcorn kernel!” —Alberto Distefano, M.D., an oculoplastics fellow at the Yale School of Medicine.

More on this...

...A Spike Had Flown Off the Metal...

"A couple of years ago I had a patient who came to me for decreased vision and a little pain in one eye. The patient had been working on his car using a metal grinder, which is used to remove rust off of the car frame. He thought something hit him but wasn't sure—he had poor vision and could only see a hand moving in front of his face. It turns out, a spike had flown off the metal grinder, had punctured his cornea, and was sitting in the middle of his eyeball. It was an inch long, which is the length of the eye. Fortunately, it didn't touch his retina, but he needed emergency surgery to remove this very large foreign body from his eyeball, which involved removing the lens and jelly from the back of the eye. After that surgery and another surgery months later, he ended up seeing 20/30 uncorrected." —Jonathan Criss, M.D., a comprehensive ophthalmologist at Florida Eye Microsurgical Institute.

DONORS CONTINUE TO LINE UP AT BLOOD CENTERS IN RESPONSE TO LAS VEGAS MASSACRE

… Foreign Body Sensation, Discharge, Redness...

“Two years back, an older lady visited my clinic with complaints of foreign body sensation, discharge, and redness. There was history of multiple consultations in the past to many ophthalmologists and using many eye drops without any relief. On examination, I found a folded contact lens in the upper fornix of her right eye. I removed that contact lens. Later, the patient said that she had some eye problems 20 years ago during her visit to her son's place in Australia. The ophthalmologist had placed a contact lens in her eye and asked her to come back after a month, but the patient missed the visit and forgot about that contact lens. That same lens was in her eye for 20 years and that was irritating her eye. On her one-week follow-up visit with me, she was very relaxed and she said that she had a sound sleep, as all these years she could not sleep properly due to irritation by her contact lens.” —Vaibhev Mittal, D.O.M.S., a fellow in comprehensive ophthalmology at iCliniiq.

...The Lenses Were Placed Off Axis...

“A patient of mine came in explaining how her son, a middle schooler, had trouble focusing in school. He had been seen by a therapist who was testing him for ADD, but recommended having his eyes tested. He was already my patient and wearing glasses. I retested his vision and there was no change. But when we checked his glasses, the problem immediately became apparent. The lenses were placed into the frame 90 degrees off axis. His mom had purchased the glasses at a ‘buy-one-get-one’ optical special with a reputation among professionals for poor quality. Once his lenses were corrected, his focusing issue in school was no longer an issue. A buy-one-get-one special is not always a good deal.” —Mendelsohn 

This article first appeared on Women's Health.

URL

https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/craziest-eye-doctor-stories