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It’s all connected….

Dr Murphy: I truly do love being a healthcare provider. Being an eye care provider allows me to literally see into the windows of the body. While your annual wellness visit may seem to be focused on the comfort of your contact lenses, the recent change in your vision, the dryness you feel after working on the computer for 15 hours or a simply be a conversation catching up about your kids schooling, you should be aware that as eye care providers, we are CONSTANTLY thinking about the whole picture. The whole picture implies that we are contemplating how the abrupt change in vision in just one eye might be related to a recent onset thyroid condition. We are wondering if your steady decrease in acuity might have something to do with the fact that you are working three jobs to make ends meet and that your parent just passed away. We are wondering if the medication you started taking for birth control might be contributing to your contact lens intolerance. You see, it is TRULY all connected. Each one of these things can cause the other. So it is very important that we have the whole picture. Please help your care providers give you the best care by having this information at the ready. I am often asked, “Why do you care about medication I take for erectile dysfunction, You’re my eye doctor!” We care because it matters. It’s all connected. The eye is the only place we can view both components of both the nervous system and vascular system with a quick glance. Most know that we can detect early signs of diabetes and uncontrolled high blood pressure. But, did you also know that there are certain characteristics that may appear if you are having thyroid dysfunction, colon problems, and systemic cancers? Yes, these findings are rare but nevertheless your health history is extremely important in determining how hard we need to look for these things. I once had a patient who presented for his annual wellness exam. His vision was perfect. As I performed his dilated eye health check, I backed up and prepared myself to give him some bad news. His optic nerve was very unusual looking and I felt it would be important to tell him that I was concerned he might have an eye disease or worse yet a systemic disease. As I started to explain this unusual appearance and advise him I felt that additional testing might be indicated he interrupted me by asking “Could any of this be related to the fact that I have a brain tumor?” Seriously? I just wanted to kick him! Why would he not think this was important information that I should be privy to? So, please know….It’s all connected. Literally and figuratively. We can provide the best care if you help us put together all the pieces of the puzzle. If medicine were easy, we would not refer to it as a practice. We need your help.