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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11309
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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My optometrist of 20+ years is concerned that my eye

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My optometrist of 20+ years is concerned that my eye pressure is too high (despite having thick corneas). My visual field tests for the last few years haven't shown any changes, but he has advised me to start using drops to reduce the pressure. He gave me samples of a medication called Travatan. Do you think I should consult an M.D. about this? I live in a small town, but we do have an ophthalmologist here. However, my optometrist didn't recommend that I see him.
I appreciate your time and expertise,
LuAnn from Moscow, ID
Dr. Rick :

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

Dr. Rick :

I do not believe that optometrists should be treating glaucoma. Yes. I know that their state licensing board had legally won them the "right" to do that in many states, but this is a blinding disease and, if you are not being treated properly, you will loose vision.

Dr. Rick :

I suggest you travel to see an ophthalmologist to obtain the best possible care for this, possibly, blinding disease.

Dr. Rick :

I have a very good friend who lives in Moscow, ID. She has horses....name is Amy.....

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

Travatan is a very good drop and will lower your pressure.....

Dr. Rick :

Hi. Welcome to the chat room.

Customer:

Hi, there

Customer:

What a coincidence that you know someone here! Moscow is a great place to live, but like I said, we only have one ophthalmologist. However, he is board-certified according to the phone book.

Dr. Rick :

Do you know Amy? She lives up the hill from the horse arena.....

Dr. Rick :

That's all you need. Dump the optometrist.

Customer:

He's been a friend for a long time. I guess if he's a good health-care provider, he'll understand.

Customer:

I don't think I know Amy. Does she have a couple daughters?

Dr. Rick :

You can go back to him for other stuff but you should not let him treat your glaucoma, I don't care what Idaho's state optometry boards say he can do legally.

Dr. Rick :

No. No kids. Husband is Mike. She rides a lot, does reining. ***** *****mps :)

Dr. Rick :

We were each others first boyfriend/girlfriend many years ago....

Customer:

Not familiar, but I'll watch out for them. It is a small town. Hope you get to visit sometime. Summers are wonderful.

Customer:

Thanks for the advice!

Dr. Rick :

I've been there. It is nice.

Dr. Rick :

Last time I was in the area they were working on expanding the highway.

Customer:

We have four-lanes to the north and south, but none of them come close to town, so it still feels like a remote place.

Dr. Rick :

I have, in the past, had patients sent to me for a consultation for glaucoma. One case I remember had been 'treated' by the optometrist for many years. We had to take the patient to emergency surgery the next morning to save what tiny sliver of optic nerve the patient had left. He had perfectly documented the slow vision loss over years, but didn't now how to read the visual field test! You only need to have one patient like that in your life to put you off of letting poorly trained people treat this serious disease.

Dr. Rick :

I will now get off my soap box :)

Dr. Rick :

If you meet Amy and Mike, tell them Rick say's hi. She'll know who you are talking about.

Dr. Rick :

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Dr. Rick :

Sorry to lecture......

Customer:

This has been great. Just what I needed to help make a uncomfortable decision. Thanks very much! And I'll tell Amy and Mike hi for you when we meet. LuAnn

Dr. Rick :

She will get a hoot out of it!

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