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Follow up

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I saw a patient the other day, who was being treated for an eye disorder. Now, after prescribing medication, I asked that he return for a follow up visit in a few days.

When the patient arrived, I noticed that he was a little bit apprehensive, and it took a while for me to discover what his apprehension was all about.{{more}} It turns out that he was concerned, because he had seen me the week before, and didn’t understand why he had to come back again. After I declared that he was fine, I asked that he check back in eight months time. The patient looked at me with indignation and asked: “Doctor, why do I have to come in eight months time if nothing is wrong with me? Now, I don’t know about you, but I know that grandma always told us “prevention is better than cure”.

Yes, It is very important to follow up on your health and your eyes, because what happened today is only for today. Nobody can tell what will happen tomorrow, next month, next three months, next six months or even in a year. We often take our health for granted. Most people do not practice preventative medicine. They are mostly into quick fixes, only going to their doctor when they feel pain or have blurry vision. Often times, it could already be too late.

It comes as no surprise that statistics show people who check frequently have fewer eye problems and fewer general health problems. As a rule of thumb, glaucoma patients are to be seen every four months, Diabetics with retinal changes every six months and all diabetics at least once a year. In some cases even more frequently. Your doctor can tell you how often you should check for your particular condition. So, again, I’d like to encourage that when your doctor tells you to come back for a follow up, please go back. You would be doing yourself a big favour. The best investment you could ever make in yourself is that of looking after your health on a regular basis.

Until next week.

Dr Kenneth Onu is a resident Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Beachmont Eye Institute/Eyes R Us.
Send questions to: Beachmont@gmail.com
Tel: 784 456-1210

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