Never ignore the diagnosis of an eye condition even if you do not agree with it

Akin, a 35-year-old man visited the clinic with complaints of needing more light to see and difficulty seeing objects on his right side. After a comprehensive eye exam, it was discovered that he had glaucoma with significant visual field loss on one side. When the eye doctor informed Akin, he narrated how he had gone for a routine eye check about 5 years ago and was informed that he had glaucoma. He said he rejected and ignored the diagnosis because he felt it was not correct since it contradicted with what he knew about glaucoma. According to him, he was young, didn’t have any symptoms at that time and there was no history of glaucoma in his family.

There are many more people like Akin around us today. They ignore the initial diagnosis only to find out later (when complications have set in) that the diagnosis was correct.

For the safety of your vision, never ignore the diagnosis of an eye condition. Here is what you should do instead:

  1. Learn more about the eye condition from trusted online sources: This can help you understand the diagnosis better and ask your doctor more informed questions. He/she may be able to explain the diagnosis in a way that makes better sense to you.
  2. Weigh your risks: Based on the knowledge you acquire about the eye condition, consider the risk of ignoring the diagnosis versus going for treatment. If you are likely to lose more by ignoring a condition that may truly exist, then you may want to be double sure about the diagnosis.
  3. Seek a second opinion from another eye doctor: If the 2nd doctor gives an entirely different diagnosis, then get a 3rd opinion. Some people recommend getting a 3rd opinion only if you are unable to get the 1st and 2nd doctors to discuss and agree on your case. Whichever path you decide to take, do not ignore your diagnosis unless you have consulted 2 eye doctors that agree that the diagnosis is wrong.

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