|Open Letter to Eye care professionals
Land O'Lakes, Florida March 29, 2002
I have read 1000's communications from detached retina patients. 100's have come to me
in crisis asking me what to do next. The great majority are high myopes. Most never heard
of detached retina and there are many tragic stories of people who lost vision in an eye
because they waited too long. I did not know of the risk when I had a blood vessel break
in my eye on August 30, 1999. I was lucky, I got to an Ophthalmologist in 2 hours, to a
retina surgeon in 17 hours and had a vitrectomy and scleral buckle within 45 hours.
I understand that for the general population that the risk is low (1 in 10,000) so
why worry people. The risk of dying in a traffic accident in my county is 1 in 3000 in any
But for high myopes (-6.0 diopters correction or greater)
the risk is 1 in 20! Shouldn't there be an obligation for the eye care professional to
communicate this risk to the patient?
That's really all I have to say except most patients are
not given much info by the retinal surgeon about what to expect in recovery. We tell them
to make a list and sit there with the surgeon until he/she answers all the questions, what
else can we do?
If anyone has any ideas of how to communicate better with
the at risk high myope population and recovering retina surgery patients please send me an
email to Hal at sightwise.org or post to our newsgroup
Hal Moyers, BSEE
Former Sr. VP Texas Instruments
Past Examiner for the California and Florida State Quality Awards