October 23, 2011
Review of Reversing Dry Eye Syndrome by Steven L. Maskin
I've suffered just too many incompetents masquerading as doctors and "eye specialists" in Melbourne over the past year.
Forced to fall back on my own resources, I've spent hundreds of hours reading up everything I could get hold of on the subject of dry eyes, ranging from academic literature to patients' comments on the internet.
But I now wish someone had told me about the existence of Maskin's book earlier. This book is worth 10 times its weight in gold.
For a mere $13 (or $14) delivered to my home by Abe Books, this book is clearly the best investment of $13 I've made in my life.
I've squandering hundreds of dollars on incompetent doctors and ALL kinds of "medicines" and eye drops, nutritional supplements etc. (an expenditure of well over $1000 by now). Had I got this book earlier, it could have saved me not just money but a LOT OF PAIN.
The first thing this book did is to show me how to distinguish between an allergy and dry eyes.
My problem started with a huge amount of oral antihistamines that I dumped into my body last year to survive the worst hay fever of my life – that went on and on for two months. But no doctor inquired about this, and indeed I discovered that I have dry eyes by extensive internet searches. I had to get myself referred to an eye specialist since my GP didn't even know what I was undergoing.
But the eye specialists were utterly incompetent. They did not conduct any detailed diagnosis, and prescribed medicines without any diagnostic analysis. Naturally, these medicines didn't work.
It took me a long time to piece the jigsaw puzzle together. Finally one doctor prescribed Patanol a few weeks ago. Patanol seems to be helping. At least I'm no longer in excruciating pain.
But all this delay in treatment could have been avoided had I done the simple test that Maskin prescribes in his book – dip your eyes in water, and if they feel better (even temporarily) you likely have allergy. That's because water washes away allergens and provides temporary relief. And so on…
The book is a gem. Won't go into details, but let me simply cite a few key extracts from his book. His humility and understanding towards his patients is exemplary. I'd love to have a doctor like him.
Maskin has done the entire world a great favour by writing this excellent book. Much of what Maskin writes is not a surprise (given I've read so much over the past year), but important pieces of the puzzle fell together while reading his book. His structured method of presenting information is very useful.
I thoroughly recommend this book in EVERY eye strain/ dry eye/ eye allergy suffer's personal library.
Five stars won't do justice to this book.
From the Preface:
Despite the clamor today about dry eye, it came to my notice that although several excellent books for ophthalmologists, optometrists, and other eye care professionals were available, no book for the average lay person—the dry eye sufferer!—was on the market. And although a number of websites were accessible on the Internet, I felt it was difficult for a general reader to find the most helpful information.
In my practice I have found that a patient's knowledge about his or her disease or disorder is one of my most useful aids in making a proper diagnosis and prescribing appropriate treatment. The more a patient knows about the physiology of the eye, the causes of the dry eye problem (and any other health problems he or she may have), and the various opportunities for treatment, the more effectively that patient and I can team up to find the best solutions for the problems. This is especially true for dry eye syndrome, which can have many causes and may require a variety of treatments.With this book, I hope to share my experience treating dry eye in all its types and severity. Although this is not a "medical textbook," it contains a number of scientific descriptions and theories, all of which I have tried to present in a straightforward, easy-to-understand manner useful to the general reader. Reversing Dry Eye Syndrome is not encyclopedic (and dry eye can be an endlessly complex problem), but I have tried to at least touch on virtually every facet of this disorder, from definition, to causes, to diagnosis and treatment—both medical and home remedies. Remember, though, that this book is not meant to replace your personal eye doctor, but rather to equip you, or anyone suffering with dry eye, with as much up-to-date information as possible so that you too can better work with your ophthalmologist to find complete relief.
Finding a new doctor is as much a subjective task as it is an objective one. Objectively, you will want to know your doc¬tor's educational background, amount and type of postgraduate training, level of experience (that is, how many years he has been practicing), and specifically if he has had experience treating dry eye. However, you must also trust your more subjective instincts when deciding if a doctor of any kind is right for you. This caveat applies as much to eye doctors as it does to gynecologists or cancer surgeons. When dealing with a syndrome as elu¬sive as dry eye, the need for a doctor whom you are comfortable with and trust is even more important.Whether you have been seeing the same eye doctor for decades or are in the process of finding a new one, consider these questions carefully:
- Does my doctor spend enough time with me? Or does he rush me in and out of his office and routinely keep me waiting for long periods?
- Does he make me feel comfortable? Does he show respect for me? Or do I sense that he is annoyed or impatient with me or my questions?
- Does he really listen to my comments and questions? Does he ask me questions in return? (Questions from the
- doctor indicate not only that he is listening, but that he
- is considering all possible ramifications of the
- Does my doctor give answers that I understand? If I don't understand something, does he give clear,
- compassionate explanations?
- Do I trust that he is doing everything he can to deal with my dry eye problems?