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Ask Dr. Rick Your Own Question

Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7745
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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My children and I went to the eye dr. today and she gave us

Customer Question

My children and I went to the eye dr. today and she gave us our prescriptions, but I don't know how to interpret them. can you help?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

Sure :)

Customer :

If I type in my prescriptions for myself and my children, can you interpret it in lay terms? the one I'm really concerned about is my daughter...I was told that she was 'legally blind' a few years ago, but the dr. said that her eyes have really improved over the years.

Dr. Rick :

Yes. I can.

Customer :

here's her prescription:

Customer :

OD -2.75, -2.50, 180 OS -2.75, -3.5, 175

Dr. Rick :

what would you like to know?

Dr. Rick :

I would venture a guess that your family was examined by an optometrist and not an ophthalmologist.....

Customer :

yes

Customer :

I typed her prescription earlier...what does it mean? I know it means she's nearsighted, but to what degree? and, is she still classified as 'legally blind?'

Dr. Rick :

Your daughter has astigmatism and near sighted.

Customer :

would you still classify it as severe?

Dr. Rick :

astigmatism means that her cornea (the clear part of the front of her eye) is shaped more like a football then a baseball....

Dr. Rick :

No. I would not classify it as severe.

Dr. Rick :

If she can see well with her glasses in each eye then it is nothing to be concerned about at all.

Dr. Rick :

Also, as she goes through puberty her glasses Rx may change a lot. This is normal and nothing to worry about.

Customer :

yes...she gets that from me, unfortunately. :( you know how people say their vision is 20/60? How do I get that from these numbers? I was told she was 20/400 at one time...6 years ago.

Customer :

which the dr. said was 'legally blind'

Dr. Rick :

Do not buy into diet, pills, exercises, machines etc to "keep her eyes from changing" or her glasses from being thicker....her eyes will be, in the end, what they are meant to be

Dr. Rick :

he means that, without her glasses, she can't see the giant E.

Dr. Rick :

He really shouldn't have mentioned this as it is of no consequence and can just make you worry.....although I've been guilty of saying the same thing to patients myself :(

Customer :

ok...I was worried about the 'legally blind' label when she starts driving in 6 years. I know it's a long way off, but I couldn't help but be concerned.

Dr. Rick :

"legally blind" just means that the BEST vision WITH GLASSES is less then 20/200. Of course, this does not apply to your daughter.

Customer :

the dr. then said that 'with glasses, she is only 20/60 at best'. I don't know what that means really

Dr. Rick :

I would have to wonder why a healthy girl can not get to 20/20 with glasses......how old is your daughter?

Customer :

10 now...she's been wearing glasses since she was 4.

Customer :

she is very healthy otherwise

Dr. Rick :

did he say if she could see 20/20 in one eye and only 20/60 in the other?

Customer :

however, she had some fibrile seizures from when she was an infant- 4 years old. some of them were over 10 min. long. I always wondered if that could've caused her eyes to be in such shape. no, just said that he couldn't get her to 20/20 with glasses

Dr. Rick :

In that case, your daughter needs a more complete eye exam -- I would take her to a pediatric ophthalmologist. It is not appropriate to just say "Oh well. Your ten year old daughter can only see 20/60 with the best glasses I can give her. See 'ya in a year!" Such a statement verges on malpractice.

Dr. Rick :

I don't think the febrile seizures would lead to decreased vision.

Dr. Rick :

She needs a complete work up by an expert.

Customer :

wow...really? You can tell I don't know much about vision...I research medical conditions before ever being treated for anything, but I am at a loss with vision...It's such a mystery to me

Dr. Rick :

I've been a retina surgeon for over two decades and many eye things are still a mystery to me.....so don't feel bad ;)

Customer :

well, that's good to know :)

Dr. Rick :

It is not an emergency that you daughter see an peds ophthalmologist but I would get her an appointment.

Dr. Rick :

If you can obtain copies of her eye records and bring them with you to the appointment that may be helpful.

Customer :

ok. thank you so much...you've been a tremendous help. I can definetely get her records. You've relieved some of my worries as I was worried she would never be able to drive.

Customer :

the dr. said that she can have surgery when she's 18...is that true?

Dr. Rick :

In many states 20/70 is good enough to drive....

Dr. Rick :

but this still needs to be worked up

Dr. Rick :

Is there anything else I can do for you tonight?

Customer :

no...thank you so much...have a good evening.

Customer :

I will make her an appointment

Dr. Rick :

LASIK surgery is not for improving vision, only getting rid of glasses.....

Dr. Rick :

My pleasure. Give my best to your daughter.

Dr. Rick :

I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. And please let me know if the rating system gives you any troubles.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick MD FACS

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.
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