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Overheard Optometry

12 Snarky Things That Eyecare People Have Said in Their Heads (But Not Out Loud)

“The drops will sting, not stink. You can stop pinching your nostrils now.”




YOU PROVIDE the best possible care for the eyecare patients who come to see you. You offer impeccable customer service. You do it all with a smile. After all, you truly enjoy your work, right?

But what if you also happen to have a sarcastic streak? Does the snarky running commentary inside your head just shut off when you’re on the job?

Not likely. In fact, dealing with the public all day might just amp it up.

Here are a few of the snarky things that might go through your head, even though you’d never say them out loud because you do, in fact, love your patients.

  • Why is it taking so long to adjust your glasses, you ask? I don’t know, why did you get drunk and decide to do cartwheels with them?
  • Your aquamarine blue lenses look much more natural than the sapphire green. If you were auditioning for Avatar.
  • As blasphemous as it is, you need to take off your cap for the phoropter. Whoa. Only washing your hair on special occasions now? Please put on your cap again.
  • No, the dilation drops are not going to be yellow. Those are actually called fluorescein drops and they’re — oh sure you can ignore me and continue texting — made with lemonade and turmeric. Please don’t write that down.
  • I really hope your “Positive Three-Hundreds” are a new line of shoes and not the readers you’re holding in your hand.
  • Thank you for bringing the last 14 pairs of glasses you’ve worn in your lifetime. I presume their deteriorating cases are being properly conserved for the artifact exhibition?
  • Do I like to puff air in your eyes for fun? That depends on the questions you ask. *Puff*
  • No, your lenses are to be changed biweekly, not biannually. Yes, I’m sure. No, you don’t need to look it up. Sure you can “text someone really quickly” and secretly Google it anyway.
  • Yes, you’re going to wait if you arrive 40 minutes late. Your appointment will begin at the time you arrive, as outrageously unfair as our policy may be.
  • If progressives don’t work well, I can refer you to the local orthopedic surgeon for a consultation on your Short Arm Disorder. A lot of patients from the Presbyopic Denial Committee swear by him.
  • The drops will sting, not stink. You can stop pinching your nostrils now.
  • Unless you have a prosthetic eye, please stop warning me that you can’t see anything. I just rolled my eyes so far back I think my eye fell out. Now I may need a prosthesis.

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, and enjoys freelance writing and editing in her free time.




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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?”




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

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Overheard Optometry

14 Ridiculously Funny Things That Kids Actually Said at the Eye Doctor’s Office

“Are you allergic to anything?” “Poison.”




As a child, going to any kind of doctor’s office is nerve-wrecking. You notice the latex gloves, red-capped eye drops, alcohol wipes and different metal tools, not to mention the smell of “exam room” everywhere you walk in the office.

So it’s no wonder that kids arrive to their eye exam appointments filled with mixed emotions. Some are curious, filled with questions for which doctors have no way to prepare ahead of time. Others react with horror to any sight of drops or gadgets. Some child patients even come to the office with words of wisdom for adults to live by.

Read below for 14 of our favorite stories of children at the eye doctor’s office, submitted by ECPs from all over. One thing’s for sure: Children are funny, curious and charming no matter where they live, or which doctor’s office they visit.

When the optometrist is no longer a doctor in this innocent child’s eyes, but a blatant traitor.

I mean, she’s not lying …


Why haven’t we thought about this before?

Asking for a friend.

At least he’s too young to reveal this on Yelp.


How could Mom forget?

Think twice before you call your patient … err, patient’s eyes … lazy.

He comes prepared.


Dreams are broken at the optometrist’s office.

Creative jargon.

I think this gets covered during second year of optometry school … right?


At least his sinuses are working!

When life’s answers are revealed in the exam room.

When you decide there should be an age limit on when to show retinal photos to your
patients …

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Overheard Optometry

34 More Sad-But-True Things Patients Actually Said to Their Eye Doctors

‘I might be suffering from guacamole.’




IF YOU’VE BEEN FOLLOWING Overheard Optometry on Instagram and Facebook from the beginning, then you’ve read about many of the unbelievable things that patients have said to their eye doctors.

Of course, if you’ve been in the profession for any amount of time at all, you’ve probably heard similar things yourself.

INVISION’s first collection of Overheard Optometry posts, published nearly a year ago, has proved enduringly popular because the stories are just so relatable — and hilarious.

And if you’re one of the thousands who enjoyed it, you’re in luck. Today, we bring you the sequel: 34 more sad-but-true things patients actually said to their eye doctor. (Warning: salty language.)

Fluctuating vision in pregnant patients … and fathers?


Richmond, Virginia, USA • #overheardoptometry #pregnancy #optometryinvirginia

A post shared by Overheard Optometry (@overheardoptometry) on


And the “most attentive patient” award goes to …


Dry eye syndrome denial, perhaps?


Explain “anything”.


Things optometrists can’t say out loud can always be said here instead. #odconfessions


Kudos for trying.


Sounds like a legitimate question. Anyone know the answer?


So descriptive.


Carson City, Nevada, USA • #overheardoptometry #headaches #optometryinnevada

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Sounds like a great case study. Who wants to pioneer this research experiment?


No please, humor me more.


Are these patients trying to test our patience?


Is it 5 o’clock yet?


That colorful conversation escalated quickly.




Such patient patients we have.


Wiltshire, England, UK • #overheardoptometry #1or2 #optometryinengland

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Hate it when my astigmatism’s drop shadow shows.


Are you afraid of the dark?


Let’s get to the bottom of this.


Fancy condition. Wonder how much the surgery cost.


I don’t see anything wrong with herbal remedies. It was organic.


Well, that must have hit where the sun doesn’t shine.


Seems like a logical plan.


I’m sure it worked great in the Department of Losing Friends. OR Another awesome holistic method!


Why would they burn? It’s just a hot pepper.


Hope the medicine didn’t expire.


So quick to blame.


Dublin, Ireland • #overheardoptometry #icantsee #optometryinireland

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Glad this patient was able to paint a picture for us.


He has a point, you know.


Hobart, Tasmania, Australia • #overheardoptometry #eyechart #optometryinaustralia

A post shared by Overheard Optometry (@overheardoptometry) on


I think I just got a stye, in addition to nausea, from reading this.


Maine, USA • #overheardoptometry #stye #homeremedies #urine #optometryinmaine

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Can’t believe they kept this patient waiting without offering coffee and Netflix to get them by.


*Prescribes plano glasses for the rest of patient’s life.*


And perhaps it was, indeed, a detached eardrum.


Ambitious patient we have here.


If guacamole is a form of suffering then I want to suffer forever.


Sassiness exists in all corners of this world.


Penang, Malaysia • #overheardoptometry #patients #optometryinmalaysia

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ELVIRA DERHOVSEPIAN is an ophthalmic scribe applying for optometry school for fall 2018. She is 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, and enjoys freelance writing and editing in her free time.

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