You know it’s going to happen. As soon as your family and friends learn that you’re even beginning to consider a career as an eye doctor, the questions will come rolling in–if they haven’t already. It comes from a good place–a place of pride for your accomplishments and genuine curiosity–but eventually, I promise you, you will hear about every last ocular ailment of everyone in your life. So I think you’d be wise to begin preparing your answers now. Here’s a head start on how to handle some of the most common discussions you’re likely to be forced into over the winter break.
Cataracts (acquired lens opacification)
Also known as “Cadillacs,” this is a common condition almost everyone has heard of, and people are generally more scared about it than they need to be. Keep your emphasis on the good things here: Cataracts usually progress very slowly, so there’s no rush to do anything. We normally wait until the vision is blurred to the point it interferes with everyday activities, then refer for an outpatient surgery with a very low rate of complications. In the mean time, put on some UV-blocking sunglasses to try and slow down progression.
I feel like about 50-60 percent of my close friends are “legally blind without [their] glasses.” Don’t bother getting into the definition of legal blindness here. Acknowledge that their vision is blurry, make sure they’re not abusing their contacts, and let this one go.