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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8102
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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MY SON HAS VERY MILD NIGHT BLINDNESS AND HIS EYE SURGEON FEELS

Customer Question

MY SON HAS VERY MILD NIGHT BLINDNESS AND HIS EYE SURGEON FEELS HE WOULD BE ABLE TO DRIVE AT NIGHT AFTER A SHORT PERIOD OF ALLOWING HIS EYES TO ADJUST. HOWEVER DVLA FEEL DIFFERENTLY TO MY CONSULTANT AND I BELIEVE ARE NOT TAKING IT ON ITS OWN MERITS. ARE THERE ANY PAPERS TO BACK UP OUR CLAIM?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I can help you tonight.

Dr. Rick :

Does your son have any medical problems or take any medicine? How did he become aware of his mild night blindness issues?

Customer :

He was diagnosed age 6 with short sightedness and then they noticed the mild night blindness. He was discharged regarding this almost immediately once it had been confirmed by the Birmingham Eye Hospital. It is non progressive and when we saw his eye specialist regarding his provisional licence,having been sent by DVLA, she said he was fine and did not foreree any problem. We are hoping to get clarification of this in writing which we would then pass onto the DVLA but wondered if there was any back up papers we could supply them with.

Customer :

Regards XXXXX XXXXX

Dr. Rick :

good morning.

Dr. Rick :

There are a number of congenital night blindness conditions and they have various degrees of night vision loss. If you had the specific condition you son has I could find some papers and/or textbook references for you.

Customer :

Thank you - maybe when we get our eye specialists letter back I could write to you again but I only know that it is mild night "blindness" until I receive the letter. Many thanks for your help. Linda Blakemore

Dr. Rick :

Rather then references, I think the DVLA would be more interested in data concerning your son's specific visual functioning

Customer :

His eye specialist says it is well within the limits for driving during the day and she never mentioned night driving so I assume she thinks he would be fine with that but he saw the optician yesterday and she tells us that he has 2-20 vision when using glasses/contact lenses. Is that what you mean by visual functioning? (my husband is an orthopaedic surgeon but he knows nothing about eyes!!) Regards Linda

Dr. Rick :

Ahhh...your husband is a member of the crew that always made the ORs run behind when I was in my residency. Why do orthopods always think they can fix bones faster then they actually can? :o)

Dr. Rick :

No, I was thinking of more specific testing such as full field ERG and dark adaption testing.

Customer :

'Cause they are all over-confident ever-so modest people!!

Dr. Rick :

That would tell the DVLA exactly how well your son's vision functions in various conditions and how it compares to normal.

Dr. Rick :

Truth! And they all played football in College ;o)

Customer :

He did have a test in a dark room and Mrs Robinson his eye surgeon saw them but what it was without her letter I am unsure. I feel more informed now though and will ask her these questions.

Customer :

I guess you like orthopods then???

Dr. Rick :

However, if your sons vision tests out as 20/20 (or 6/6 as you metric folks call it), I don't understand why the DVLA is giving him any grief at all.....

Dr. Rick :

Only if I break a bone ;). Actually I have a funny story. When I was chief resident we had a case with bilateral fx femurs, pelvis etc and open globe. The orthopods put the pt in one of those tables that suspend the pt by his bones and wanted my senior residents to do the eye surgery at the same time as they fixed the legs......I had to explain to them that we couldn't do microsurgery while they played with drills and hammers....

Customer :

Nor do we but they don't have to give reasons yet - they are just asking him to sign a declaration not to drive in illuminated areas - whatever that actually means - so we are trying to get something to argue with them as they seem to apply the same rules to everyone and not take it on its merit. It would have consequences all his life and it is very difficult to fight later in the day rather than now.

Dr. Rick :

After a long discussion we got to go first.....orthopods don't like to wait for the OR so they went and pouted in the lounge <LOL>

Customer :

They are not very bright are they?! I used to work for a plastic surgeon who said they were as strong as an ox and twice as thick! My husband might agree with that.....

Dr. Rick :

That doesn't make any sense. You should try to get into the folks at Moorfields for advanced testing. A letter from one of their eminent Retina docs, along with specific retinal function testing should make the folks at the DVLA stand up and listen

Dr. Rick :

They can show how fast your son's visual function returns after dark adaption, exposure to higher illumination (like what they are asking him not to do) and how fast his dark adapted vision returns -- and all of this can be compared to age matched controls. With that data in hand there will be very little that the DVLA can contest.

Dr. Rick :

that is, of course, if it is close enough to normal so as to fit whatever criteria they have set....

Dr. Rick :

That is a very smart plastic surgeon you worked for....

Customer :

Yep, he was pretty smart.

Customer :

I appreciate your help and will have a word with Martin - orthopod - and his eye surgeon but at least it gives us some options. Can I save this excellent advice or will it save itself in my in-box. Lovely to speak to you and I appreciate your help. Linda x

Dr. Rick :

it should save itself but I believe you can also print it out using the print function on your browser.

Dr. Rick :

It is a pleasure to help a fellow sufferer of Orthopod exposure ;o)

Dr. Rick :

I noticed you tried to push the 'accept' button in the beginning when I had it turned off....don't be afraid to push it now if you want. Ophthalmology doesn't pay like it used to and my girls need new shoes for the winter :(

Customer :

Will try that - BUT I AM A BIT RUBBISH WITH COMPUTERS. CHEERS XXXXX XXXXX Linda

Dr. Rick :

.Take care Linda. Have a wonderful holiday season. My best to your husband and son

Customer :

Very much appreciated - you too and don't get Rudolf's nose by drinking too much! Linda x

Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8102
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
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