Jim Goes Hollywood with Post-Dilation Glasses

I got a nice surprise recently after my one-month follow-up postop clinic visit following my retinal detachment surgery. The scheduling desk clerk gave me a pair of post-dilation sunglasses.  That was the first time in years that I’ve been offered them after getting mydriatic drops for eye clinic exams.

The last time I got mydriatic drops, I didn’t get a pair of post-dilation sunglasses and I had to drive myself home. It was pretty uncomfortable and I almost stopped along the way to just park somewhere. I was really light sensitive and I don’t have a regular pair of sunglasses. My eyes were tearing and I had a strong urge to squint so tight, I’d have been driving blind.

That experience was the inspiration for my blog post “Mydriatic Madness” on March 16, 2022.

The eye clinics I’ve been to in past years always used to hand out post-dilation glasses after eye exams in which pupillary dilation was done. It was automatic.

However, in recent years it seems this practice has been abandoned—until just a couple of days ago. The scheduling clerk offered me a pair, for which I was grateful.

Ironically this was after she gave me a form to evaluate whether any of the nurses and doctors had washed their hands before examining me. For the life of me I couldn’t recall if any of them had! I felt embarrassed for them because the rating form was a yes/no format. Essentially, I had to say “no” across the board.

And yet the pair of dilation glasses was the first such courtesy I’ve encountered in years after an eye examination. It’s really more than a courtesy. It could be a safety issue if you’re driving after the exam. And it was the scheduling clerk’s responsibility, evidently. The glasses are kept in a little slot and if you’re not standing in just the right place, you wouldn’t even see them.

I’m not sure if the scheduling clerk ought to be the one offering the glasses. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate for a health care professional to do that? I guess I’m quibbling in a situation where nobody offers them.

Maybe the patients should learn to just ask for post-dilation glasses. They’re even a little stylish. Mine look like what you can buy on Amazon (Scheaffer-Vicron Slip-in) for about $16 for a pack of 25. That’s about 64 cents each so it’s not breaking any eye clinic budget to offer them for free.

And hand-washing should be automatic—or at least noticing when it’s done in front of you.

Author: James Amos

I'm a retired consult-liaison psychiatrist. I navigated the path in a phased retirement program through the hospital where I was employed. I was fully retired as of June 30, 2020. This blog chronicles my journey.

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