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Niki Collins-Queen

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Do our Ophthalmologist's know best? My story
By Niki Collins-Queen
Saturday, July 14, 2012

Rated "G" by the Author.

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To my horror the world looked blurry through my new glasses. Then it occured to me both doctors gave me the wrong prescription when my eyes were dilated.

In my late 50s I noticed the picture on the TV screen was blurry. Like most people I started using reading glasses in my early 40s. This was new. Even the leaves on the trees appeared fuzzy. Dr. Kirk Smick, the Ophthalmologist at “The Eye Care Center” in Morrow, GA confirmed my need for distant vision glasses in 2009.

I chose glasses with tri-focal, progressive, non-glare, transition lenses as they eliminated the need to wear reading and sunglasses. Sadly, when I put the glasses on the world looked blurry. A few days later Dr. Smick retested my eyes and gave me a new prescription. I was thrilled. The world looked crisp and clear and again. The glasses had a one-year warranty so I did not have to pay anything.

But there was a problem. My right eye went blurry after awhile when I read a book. Assuming there was something wrong with the eye I began reading with a magnifying glass.

In 2011 two years later a different Ophthalmologist, Dr. Charles W. Ficco at “The Eye Care Center” checked my vision after dilating my eyes during my bi-annual check up. He said I needed a new pair of glasses as my prescription had changed. In shock I wondered why I needed new glasses when I could see clearly with my present prescription. When I told him how my right eye went out of focus he said I had dry eyes and recommended some over the counter eye drops.

To my horror the world looked blurry again with the new glasses. Then it occurred to me both Ophthalmologists had given me the wrong lens prescription when my eyes were dilated. When my eyes were not dilated the prescriptions were right.

When I asked Dr. Ficco if the incorrect prescription had something to do with my eyes being dilated he snapped, “Your prescription readings has nothing to do with your eyes being dilated. We do it all the time! Why did you want a new prescription in the first place?”

“You said I needed one!” I stammered.

He scowled, “This is the last prescription I'm going to write!

There were no explanations or apologies. I felt attacked and blamed. Did he really think I had purposely given him incorrect readings? He handed me the same prescription I had two years ago.

I became tearful when I ordered the replacement lenses from one of the technicians. He was kind and

expressed concern. I told him what happened and how the clinic is a two-hour drive from my home.

I could have returned the glasses and refused to pay for them but I did not. To my delight I discovered my right eye no longer became a blur when I read books with my new pair of glasses. I suspect the lens reading area of the glasses were wrongly placed in my first pair.

I send a letter about my concerns to Dr. Charles Ficco and the Corporate Office in Morrow, GA on April 18, 2011 and never heard back.

A note to Dr. Charles Ficco and the Corporate Office in Morrow, GA. I know you have huge case-loads and you're busy. But it would help you and your patients if you were more courteous, listen to your patients and be more open-minded. No doctor knows everything. The medical establishment is still a work in progress.


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