September 30, 2011
Second eye “specialist” proves equally disappointing
Having failed to find sensible information or analysis from the previous eye specialist I had been to, I decided to try one more. My aim was to get certain tests conducted – tests that, based on my research, are pivotal to the identification and hence resolution of the dry eye problem I developed last October.
I prepared thoroughly for the visit, having read about 10-15 journal articles, including skimming through key findings of the 170 page report on the world's latest academic workshop on this topic (linked here – 15MB). In other words, I was thoroughly prepared (my 2 page Word document for the visit attached).
The doctor started off by asking me whether I drink enough water each day.
What an IDIOT!
I tersely responded that there had been NO CHANGE to my water consumption in October 2010 when this problem started.
Then he said something inane about keeping the eyes away from airconditioning. I'm sorry, Mr. Doctor, but normal eyes (with good tear glands) are happily able to cope with airconditioning. This was some kind of quack, it seemed at first glance.
He then seemed to be interested in studying the BACK of my eye – but the back of my eyes is perfectly fine.
Politely I had to direct him to study my mebomian glands (MG) carefully which he did for a minute and declared them normal.
Not at all satisfied, I asked whether he could get a meibography and other tests conducted to determine the health of these glands. He said he was not familiar with the test. I showed him the extract from the world's latest workshop on the topic (I had taken the 170 page printout with me) but he seemed completely disinterested.
Instead, he showed me a visual image on his computer screen of the slit image (magnified photo) of my MG – which seemed normal at first glance, even to me. However, without detailed meibography it is impossible to confirm whether the MG have been permanently affected in any way.
More problematically, when I tried to explain the history of my case and what has worked and what has not, he kept interrupting.
In particular I've been applying antibiotics recently. That has significantly eased the possible bacterial load in the glands. In addition to applying Neosporin ointment (the tube in my possession is by now 15 years old), I had managed to get a prescription for a particular antibiotic (doxycycline 100mg) for a week from another doctor. But that (in my view – based on considerable review of the medical literature) is simply not enough to destroy all bacteria.
I asked this specialist, therefore, to prescribe low intensity antibiotics (doxycycline 20mg) for three months. He declined.
He finally gave me anti-inflammatory eyedrops and some diet supplements.
Very disappointing. $150 spent once again, to no avail. No test conducted. No antibiotic tried. Just more of the same (anti-inflammatory) which DOESN'T work in this case.
After visiting 4 doctors (including 2 specialists), 3 optometrists, and consulting with one Indian eye specialist over email, I'm BACK TO MY OWN RESOURCES – back to Dr. Google and electronic medical journal databases.
When talking to medical "specialists" I get the sense I'm talking to people who have CLOSED THEIR MINDS.
They are simply NOT interested in conducting appropriate tests. They make up their mind WITHOUT analysis. They don't even listen to the patient properly – despite the patient having studied this issue carefully for nearly one year.
I'm getting really upset at the monopoly of the medical profession.
The more I see of doctors, the less I respect the medical profession.
If only we could unbundle the servlces provided by this profession, things might get better – at least for INTELLIGENT patients capable of critical thinking. Tests should be readily available in the open market on payment. That way I wouldn't have to waste hundreds of dollars on stupid doctors but get myself tested fully – for half the time and money I'm spending on stupid doctors.
Medicines should also be supplied in the open market – WITHOUT REGULATION. At least then I could get the antibiotics I need.
(Of course, Australia is the backwater of the world where perhaps the tests which are widely available in USA are not even available. Open competition and trade would fix that.)
Looking forward to a trip to India to accumulate antibiotics
By now I'm almost 98% normal after having self-diagnosed and self-treated myself. But one thing I'll do is to get myself FULLY TESTED when I'm in India in February, and stock up on a lot of antibiotics.
Thank god for the relatively unregulated and chaotic Indian market where all medicines are readily available WITHOUT prescription. Of course I'll need to get some prescription made so that Australian customs won't make a fuss on my return.