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,” says 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:
“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 microsurgical 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
“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