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Eyes: The Art of Choosing the Right Office (part 2)

Published: 2022-11-23

Well, we continue our question-answer column with Dr. Arthur Benjamin about high-science and pseudoscientific myths in the treatment of stye. By the way, what is stye, and how dangerous could be a quick kiss on the infected eyelid. Read on!

Eyes: The Art of Choosing the Right Office (part 2)

Eyes: The Art of Choosing the Right Office (part 2)

In this case, the patient does not see anything?

Neither the doctor, nor the patient, nor the instrument can see! Usually they resort to infrared rays, which penetrate even the most difficult cataracts, but it often doesn’t help. Sometimes they use a more clumsy system, like ultrasound, but making calculations by echo or reflected sound isn’t very accurate. The speed of sound depends on the material, and there’s the vitreous humor, cornea, and lens, which are all of different densities… the cloudier the lens, the more dense. Too much potential for error.

So what are the consequences of this inaccuracy?

Well, that’s a strange question. It involves a patient saying, after surgery, “What happened? My vision is terrible!” And as a result, they’ll need very thick glasses. In these cases, the patient must return to the operating room to have the incorrect lenses removed and then replaced with new ones. It’s all unpleasant, uncomfortable, and risky. Why have two operations, instead of just one? That’s what this new instrument is for, the aberrometer, which is hooked up to the microscope in the operating room in order to make these fine measurements.

Now let’s turn to an easier subject, maybe even the most simple. In internet articles by ophthalmologists, lively discussions have begun about stye and treatment. But everyone ignores this, sharing only more “powerful” methods of treatment, like spells or charms, saliva, or just crossing your fingers. What do you think: can spells or charms help with stye?

I think that spells or charms are no less effective than crossing your fingers, and certainly not more effective. I would advise to trust less in folk remedies, black or white magic, and avoid self-medication. In a word, it doesn’t pay to be treated by cosmetologists or hairdressers.

What is stye?

It’s an acute inflammation of the eyelash hair follicles and sebacious and meibomian glands. It manifests itself as swelling, tenderness of the eyelid, or a small pimple. The most “popular” type of stye is external… that is, an abscess or boil on the edge of the eyelid. Internal styes, then, are abscesses on the inner surface of the eyelid. In the case of the plugging up of meibomian glands, internal styes can translate into a serious problem.

Once there’s an infection, can it be communicated?

No, but I wouldn’t recommend kissing on the infected eyelid. A quick kiss is dangerous, especially since an external stye usually has a yellow abscess at the edge of the lid.

I understand that styes are a relatively absurd issue for a surgeon of your level, but recently I’ve noticed that it’s a literal epidemic. How do you treat it?

You’re right; it isn’t a serious problem. We run a test, and then give an injection of 5-flurouracil to prevent recurrence. Simple, quick, and effective.

You often, for the record, talk about this guarantee that the Benjamin Eye Institute gives. You don’t often hear this in doctors’ offices. More often, it’s “perhaps it can help”. A doctor once prescribed me tablets with this words. I am alive, thank God, but his treatment had the opposite effect. What do you mean by the word “guarantee”? That you promise to try?

We mean what we say. Any doctor can promise you that they’ll try. 99% of doctors are good people with good intentions. I don’t know any doctors that want to do wrong by their patients. They all want to do good, but it doesn’t always turn out like that. Why? You can talk about certain limitations, lack of education, talent, experience, and equipment. But in order to be successful, you need the most modern diagnostic equipment and know how to use it. A doctor reads an x-ray scan. He has the same machine, same technology, and same scan as another office. Yet in one office it’s read correctly, and not in the other. Why? Because it’s extremely important to have a professional operator, which we do. All of it costs money. A lot of people participate in a successful operation. I want to convey this to our readers who are genuinely puzzled as to why prices vary so much out there.

So what exactly is this guarantee?

It’s that if we promised to liberate you from your glasses, we’ll do everything necessary, including free Lasik and other options.

You liberated me already; what else is there to say?


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