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Early Macular Degeneration - Any Advice?

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  • kirtondmkirtondm Forumite
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    Or actually the 4th way is to run an eyeplan type scheme and provide tests required 
  • edited 23 April at 10:19PM
    LouLouLouLou Forumite
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    edited 23 April at 10:19PM
    Well! A turn up for the books. I actually complained about my treatment by the first optometrist, on the phone today to the original store (I was polite, you'll have to take my word for it, of course). Instead of saying "sorry, I mucked up, we're putting it right" - she DENIED diagnosing me with AMD, she doesn't have it in my notes, and yes, she would always refer someone with Macular Degeneration to a specialist. She now says it was pigment changes only (in my right eye). It was a real W T F? moment for me.

    I then found out this optician is also the manager of the store!
    I am not a complainer by nature but I am not a liar, nor would I waste my time (or others') visiting different opticians or self-diagnosing for fun. Not to mention my precarious mental health at times (anxiety disorder/insomnia).

    Wondering if my long-term optician's store phoning the first a few days ago has now made her backtrack (they had a private conversation - I was told it was to verify my first prescription).
    I've put in a formal complaint by email today (the email address is the optician's/manager's - which doesn't exactly sound impartial). Unfortunately, as this is a franchise store who appear to refer you to the staff there when customers complain - not sure what will happen. But I am going to follow Which's advice.

    Edit: As this is a hearsay situation - this isn't the response I was expecting. Thinking about it, when I was choosing frames (after my first appointment/diagnosis) I flippantly mentioned to an assistant about the Macular Degeneration diagnosis and was so blasé, thinking it wasn't serious. That could be "proof" that the diagnosis happened - but I doubt an employee is going to throw their manager under the bus.
  • PterionPterionPterionPterion Forumite
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    Out of curiosity what specific outcomes were you hoping to achieve from the complaint?
  • edited 28 April at 6:59PM
    LouLouLouLou Forumite
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    edited 28 April at 6:59PM
    Out of curiosity what specific outcomes were you hoping to achieve from the complaint?
    No outcome in mind - to be honest, it's my mum that pushed for me to make the complaint. I have had a reply and they admit that certain things could have been handled differently. Now, I just want to forget all about it.

    Edited to add:
    I actually cringe at confrontation and get nervous before any sort of appointment, so this hasn't been fun for me at all.
    It has been said (by the "mediator", if you like) that pigment changes can be a sign of early Macular Degeneration and that it was good advice to go for an OCT scan. It still doesn't explain why I was asked if my sight was distorted at the eye test (the comment about the doorway). There were also the questions about my lifestyle and comments about risk factors. I left the appointment with "see you in two years, or get in touch if your eyesight becomes distorted" ringing in my ears.
    I did suggest that it would be a good idea to refer patients to their long-term optician (if possible) when anything serious is suspected. (Though, I shouldn't have to mention this! I'm a person who knows very little about eye conditions and puts trust in a clinician's judgement).
    I have had pigment changes mentioned by a few opticians now.
    There is the likelihood I just heard "OMG you have a condition" and crossed wires happened, but surely that is understandable from my (uneducated/trusting) viewpoint and the conversations with the first optician (outlined here)?
  • wannabe_a_saverwannabe_a_saver Forumite
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    Out of curiosity what specific outcomes were you hoping to achieve from the complaint?
    A throwaway comment has left someone worried they would lose their sight and get no support while it was happening! 

    That needs to not happen to anybody else. 
  • PterionPterionPterionPterion Forumite
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    Reason for the question was often complaints end up in an emotional argument (patient upset practitioner defensive) without any real lessons learnt. 

    As mentioned above it was the blasé comment without further explanation that led to the unnecessary worry and in reality rather than a second opinion elsewhere patients should feel confident and comfortable in being able to approach the same practitioner for clarity, further information and reassurance. Sometimes in complaints these basics get overlooked ! Its nice to hear they have been acknowledged as something that could have been done differently.  

    The doorframe distortion would have been a gross test to assess whether the pigmentary changes they saw on the retina correspond with or cause any subjective (real-life) visual disturbance. It's actually one of the first things old school ophthalmologists at the hospital ask when the macula is involved just to determine whether changes seen by the practitioner are actually causing any issues for the patient. 
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