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Overheard Optometry

11 of the Weirdest Things that Eye Doctors Heard from Patients

“When I smoke weed, why do my pupils dilate like I’m on speed?”

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AS AN EYECARE PRACTITIONER, you know that certain commonly asked questions and comments — “What’s astigmatism?”, “Are the dilation drops necessary?”, “I can’t read up close anymore” — come with the territory. But occasionally patients also say things that are jaw-dropping, cringe-worthy or downright bizarre.

Today, we bring you a few of our favorite weird remarks that have been shared by optometrists, opticians and optometric technicians.

1. “When I smoke weed, why do my pupils dilate like I’m on speed?” –Dr. Sarah Lyn Sliva, optometrist, Saskatchewan, Canada

2. Patient: “So Doc, am I near-farted or what?”

Doctor: “I hope not, I’m standing right beside you!” –Anonymous

(Patient accidentally combined ‘near’ and ‘far’-sighted together)

3. Patient (to female optometrist): “Didn’t you used to be a man?” –Anonymous

4. “Years ago I had a patient see the progressive identifiers in his lenses. He was convinced they contained personal information and that it was a government conspiracy. He insisted I remake the lenses without the markings. I happily said that’s not possible, but he could switch to a lined bifocal, which he did.” –Kristi Johnson, optician, Rochester Hills, MI

5. Optometrist: “OK, now that you’re dilated, we are going to do the internal portion of your eye exam.”

Patient: “Um, OK. Does that mean you want me to take my pants off?” –Anonymous, technician, DE

6. “The funniest thing that I’ve encountered was when a patient asked me if I was going to check him for gonorrhea as it runs in the family; I politely asked, ‘Do you mean glaucoma?’” –Dr. Steven Koganovsky, optometrist, Fort Lauderdale, FL

7. Low-vision elderly patient: “This is my bad eye! I can’t see any of the ladies with this eye!”

Doctor: “Your wife is sitting right there!”

Patient: “It’s OK. She’s hard of hearing!” –Dr. Sarah Truman, Optometrist, Wichita, KS

8. “I had a follow-up a few years ago in which I placed a woman on Muro 128 ointment for Fuch’s Dustrophy. She came in for appointment and her cornea looked chewed up. I was dumbfounded. I asked her if she was taking her ointment as directed. She said she was. I asked to show me the ointment to make sure it was the correct one from the pharmacy and she pulls out Vagisil cream. She said she read the labels and it was ‘safe for delicate areas’ and assumed it was okay for her eye.” –Dr. Angela Tsai, optometrist, Fredericksburg, VA

9. Optometrist: “Are you taking any medication?”

Patient: “Does weed count? It really should, legalize it.” –Anonymous

10. “Patient called and was very concerned her sold her plutonium frames and was confused as why we would sell her radioactive frames that cause cancer. We politely informed her that they were titanium.” –Dr. Julie Hart, Optometrist, Hart Family Eyecare, West Plains, MO

11. “My glasses have prism in the left eye for astigmatism.” –Anonymous

Can you share any similar stories? Submit yours to @OverheardOptometry on Instagram or Facebook through direct message, or send an email to overheardoptometry@gmail.com.

Elvira Derhovsepian is an ophthalmic scribe and the creator of the social media platform @overheardoptometry, a community of people who share their unique (and sometimes so very common) stories in eyecare. Derhovsepian recently published the first volume of the Overheard Optometry book, now available at Amazon.com, and enjoys freelance writing and editing in her free time.

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Overheard Optometry

12 Patients Who Left Everyone Speechless at the Optometrist’s Office

Off-the-wall comments are approaching record levels.

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MAYBE IT’S JUST that time of year, when everyone is stressed because of the fast-approaching holidays. Whatever the reason, patients sure seem to be coming up with some off-the-wall comments lately.

With the new year coming, I want to say that it’ll get better. I want to encourage readers that the year 2020 will bring forth fewer shocking statements in eyecare offices everywhere.

But when I look at the number of submissions we receive at Overheard Optometry, I know that’s unlikely.

Here are some examples:

1. I mean … 365 days a year x multiple years and you, patient, could be on to something.

 

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Anonymous location #overheardoptometry #wrinkles #contactlenses #optometry

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2. Well. At least this patient adopted a viable daily routine and has one less new year’s resolution.

3. Are we talkin’ natural? Gluten-free? Purified air? We need answers.

4. We got shopping to do, gifts to wrap, places to be, things to see …

 

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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 🇦🇺 #overheardoptometry #visualfield #glaucoma #optometryinaustralia

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5. Are we talking retinal pictures or holiday gifts at this point?

 

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Los Angeles, California, USA 🇺🇸 #overheardoptometry #itsallgucci #retinalphotos #optometryincalifornia

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6. Not sure who/what feels more invisible: the technician or the neglected black chair?

 

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Los Angeles, California, USA 🇺🇸 #overheardoptometry #awkward #optometryincalifornia

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7. Wish I was at the dentist, too, to avoid the obligation of having to reply to this.

 

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Boise, Idaho, USA 🇺🇸 #overheardoptometry #dentist #optos #optomap #retinalphotography #optometryinidaho

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8. Neither is your brain, is it?

 

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Los Angeles, California, USA 🇺🇸 #overheardoptometry #retinalimaging #patients #fundusphotography #optometryincalifornia

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9. Taking natural eye remedies to a whole new level.

 

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Los Angeles, California, USA 🇺🇸 #overheardoptometry #grits #eyeinjury #optometryincalifornia

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10. Can’t you see through the phone that I’m preparing for Thanksgiving dinner next week?

 

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Every office ever #overheardoptometry #eyeexam #receptionist #optometry

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11. Praying for 2020 vision in 2020.

 

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada 🇨🇦 #overheardoptometry #astigmatism #optometryincanada

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12. As well as a 2020 mind for all our patients.

 

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Carson City, Nevada, USA 🇺🇸 #overheardoptometry #1or2 #refraction #snellen #optometryinnevada

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Overheard Optometry

10 Mind-Bending Things Overheard at the Eye Doctor’s Office

‘This is worse than a gynecology exam.’

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TO THE ECPS reading this: When you got into this field, did you really know what you were getting into? Sure, you trained for the technical and medical parts of the job. But the daily chit-chat can be quite a different story.

Did you anticipate the double-meanings behind each answer? Did you predict having to work as a psychologist in addition to being an eye doctor? Did you ever think you’d unintentionally dig deep into your patients’ lives and open a Pandora’s box of life stories?

Take a look into the stories our followers have documented and reported to Overheard Optometry over the past few months. See if you can relate to any of your fellow ECPs — or perhaps even the patients.

1. When you need to take a second glance at your life and make sure you are an optometrist, and not an obstetrician.

 

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Madison, Wisconsin, USA #overheardoptometry #dilation #delivery #dilationdrops #optometryinwisconsin

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2. Or a psychologist. Wait, pull that chair back up. No you can’t lie down on it—are you serious?

 

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Anonymous location #overheardoptometry #clearvision #2020 #hindsight

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3. When your optician is equipped with a request in one witty answer.

 

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Port Saint Lucie, Florida, USA #overheardoptometry #optical #optician #glasses #optometryinflorida

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4. Or when you realize this optician and technician can be great friends.

 

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Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA #overheardoptometry #prostheticeye #optometryinmichigan

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5. When the tables have turned and you become your patient’s patient.

 

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Northamptonshire, England, UK #overheardoptometry #opticnerve #fundus #optometryinengland

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6. Have you ever experienced a moment when you can’t say anything to make your patient feel better?

 

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St. Louis, Missouri, USA #overheardoptometry #gynecology #gynecologist #eyeexams #optometryinmissouri

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7. Or thought about perfecting your poker face when you’re hit with statements like this?

 

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Northamptonshire, England, UK #overheardoptometry #varifocals #multifocals #presbyopia #optometryinengland

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8. Sometimes, it may just be better to nod and smile, or pretend you didn’t hear anything.

 

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Anonymous location #overheardoptometry #flask #eyeexamsarerough

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9. Especially with comments like this…

 

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Trinidad #overheardoptometry #presbyopia #aging #optometryintrinidadandtobago

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10. When you’ve heard it all, it’s best to answer it as straightforwardly as this optometrist:

 

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South Africa #overheardoptometry #poorvision #contagious #eyes #optometryinsouthafrica

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Overheard Optometry

12 Overconfident Eyecare Patients Who Thought They Knew More Than the Doctor

‘I’ve always had unisex eyes!’

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WHEN YOU EMBARK on the journey to become an eyecare professional, you endure years of classroom and clinical training to be able to see patients on your own. You proffer your professional advice on eye health, write prescriptions, and generally make it your business to know what you’re doing.

But what about the moments when your patients can teach you a thing or two? It happens sometimes, no doubt. But other times, they come up with some pretty crazy stuff.

What would you do if your patients said the following?

1. Denial ain’t just a river, it’s apparently a drink too.

 

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St. Louis, Missouri, USA #overheardoptometry #blurryvision #dilationdrops #beers #optometryinmissouri

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2. Stay tuned for the androgynous contacts, scheduled to be released next summer.

 

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Kansas, USA #overheardoptometry #unisex #contactlenses #optometryinkansas

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3. Oh, honey…

 

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Darwin, Australia #overheardoptometry #manukahoney #dryeyes #optometryinaustralia

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4. Perhaps it was on the “Popcorn” feature?

 

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Setúbal, Portugal #overheardoptometry #glasses #optical #optometryinportugal

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5. Tap, still or sparkling?

 

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Northamptonshire, England, UK #overheardoptometry #dryeyes #water #optometryinengland

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6. Flipping minds and corneas alike.

 

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Grants Pass, Oregon, USA #overheardoptometry #cornea #cornealinjury #optometryinoregon

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7. Meyend-blowing.

 

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Northhamptonshire, England, UK #overheardoptometry #contactlenses #dryeyes #naturalselection #optometryinengland

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8. Probably had it on “Heavy Wash”.

 

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Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada #overheardoptometry #dishwashersafe #glasses #optical #optician #optometryincanada

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9. What kind of insect was that and where can we find it?

 

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Hermitage, Pennsylvania, USA #overheardoptometry #astigmatism #optometryinpennsylvania

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10. Glaucoma…gluten-free…tomato…tomahto.

 

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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia #overheardoptometry #glutenfree #glaucoma #visualfield #optometryinaustralia

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11. Isn’t it easier to pronounce the word with two syllables than the one with four?!

 

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St. Clairsville, Ohio, USA #overheardoptometry #obstetrician #optician #tomatotomato #optometryinohio

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12. No! Then all your logic would flow out of the holes. Don’t do that.

 

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Hampshire, England, UK #overheardoptometry #humphreyvisualfield #visualfield #eyepatch #optometryinengland

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If you’d like to join the fun, subscribe to Overheard Optometry for daily stories like the ones above on Instagram and Facebook. You can also email your submissions here.

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