This quarter, we looked deep into each other’s eyes- literally! We got to use our diagnostic kit- more specifically, we explored the back of the eyes using the direct ophthalmoscope. We examined and assessed the optic disc’s health, including its shape, color, and size.
We finally put theory into practice, and it felt real and exciting. It was the first time I examined someone’s eyes all by myself. On my first try, I wasn’t able to see anything except a red-orangey reflex in the pupil. When you learn a new procedure and then try performing it for the first time, you want it to be perfect. Sometimes though, things do not go as planned and that may feel frustrating. That is OK. You ask for help and try again and again until you succeed- and that’s how you master a difficult skill.
After asking the attending doctors and TAs for some help, and changing up my original method, I was able to finally see some blood vessels. Following the blood vessels, I also found the optic nerve and macula. Isn’t it just amazing how much you can explore and learn about the health of the eye by just looking through the pupil? It made me feel closer to being a real doctor of optometry.
Now, everyone has a different sized pupil. To look through that opening while maneuvering your motions with the ophthalmoscope may be a bit of a challenge with every new patient. This is why it is so essential we get this early exposure. From the get-go, we start toward the skills that make excellent optometrists.
The road is still long, and we must still master many skills, but every day brings us closer.
GB- Imagine. Inspire. Improvise.