Why saying YES to dilating your eyes can save your life: Student athlete is rushed to the hospital from eye exam.
Don’t you love getting your eyes dilated?
You are not alone. Everyone hates getting their eyes dilated at the eye doctor’s office. Many patients say, “can I do that on my next visit?” And continue to put it off.
This article is not meant to scare you, it is meant to make you aware of what can and cannot be found during an eye exam and why it is very important that you get an exam every year, and that you make sure to say YES to dilation.
Nick was a 15-year-old high school athlete.
Nick needed a new pair of contact lenses before his soccer tournament.
Nick’s mom was in a hurry.
Instead of taking Nick to Walmart where he usually gets his contact lenses, she called a family friend who happened to be an ophthalmologist to get him in quicker since his contact lenses were out.
Well, all of these things happened for a reason.
When Dr. Gene Gaddy realized that Nick’s vision was not what it should be for his age, he dilated his eyes and found 2 small pinpoint hemorrhages in his retina. That’s when he knew, something was not right.
He took a step back, and a good look at Nick.
He looked pale. He thought for a young athlete, he may even be anemic.
He ordered a blood test for that same day.
This blood test confirmed his white blood cell count and hemoglobin. Nick had leukemia.
He was rushed to the hospital where his diagnosis was confirmed and blood transfusions were started immediately. This was after only 12 hours after his appointment with Dr. Gaddy.
3 years later, Nick is cancer-free and in remission.
Dr. Gaddy shared “When I was in training, the head of my ophthalmology department told me early to realize that there is a patient connected to that eye and to look at the patient first and then look at his eye second. So that’s what I was doing. I was just trying to take care of the patient and his eye along with him.” Well Dr. Gaddy saved a life and gave us an amazing story to share with all of our patients so that they know the importance of eye exams and specifically, DILATED eye exams!
If you have not had a dilated eye exam in over a year, call us at 305-598-2020. Our doctors are here to help you with your eye health and overall wellbeing.
For the rest of the article posted on the American Academy of Ophthalmology website, click here.