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
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.