Are American Optical Patients "Spoiled"?
I think a lot of them are. I'm not a lib, so generally when someone insults the American public and announces they are "spoiled" (on gas that's under $5/gal, etc) I am not a fan, but I think a lot of Americans demand *excellent* acuity at *all* distances and thru *every* optical device, simply because they have access to it and can afford their eye care. MOST people worldwide who are 20/25+ and have an Rx of low astigmatism do not wear glasses or contacts. At all, ever. But Americans go to the OD and complain of headaches, eyestrain and "blur" (some of them do not know what actual blur is), and get glasses made that are plano-0.75x097. They have the means and the motivation to see that well when most others worldwide do not get glasses made unless there is a serious visual deficit (i.e. -2.50 or more of myopia, for example). And why not? I mean if you have the money and the ability to see 20/15, why shouldn't you? That's usually easy to do as an OD and those patients have a right to see as well as I can make them see and as well as they can afford to see, right? That is no problem. The problem arises when those same patients rudely demand to see 20/15 all the time thru glasses, soft contacts, at the computer after 15 hours, during their soccer match, at the beach, thru the "sides" of their progressives, etc...all with incredible comfort and little effort. It would also be nice if it was inexpensive. Some of this stuff is impossible. But they've become accustomed to seeing literally 20/15 and they *will not* be told that sometimes they are going to have to "just deal with" less. They've become optically "entitled" to see better than 20/20, and they make for some frustrating patients. I am finding ways of politely telling them they're "too picky" w/o using those words. I occasionally will see 3-4 of those patients in a row and it makes for a bad day. I'd much rather have the high myopes who actually have what I consider a bonafide medical/visual problem that I can solve, not another 27 year old completely healthy computer user with half a diopter of astigmatism and "horrible" headaches, "terrible" (20/20) vision, etc etc. It's exhausting. The counter, of course, is that they're paying for my time so they should be able to complain about whatever they want, right? But let me tell you that we docs don't always consider every complaint valid. Some of them just come across as spoiled and entitled.