Patients In Denial

Over the weekend my college hosted a free community health screening event that turned out pretty well. I had my students out there doing vision screenings using an auto refractor. We had two local OD’s to refer people to if they need an exam. Late in the day I was astonished by what a lady told me regarding her eye health. The lady had a screening and then proceeded to tell me how We did it all wrong. That the machine was not accurate or reliable. So I sat down with her to educate her on her results. She then told me that she had been recently diagnosed with POAG (primary open angle Glaucoma) but after she got her medicated drops instilled by the MD the first time she went home and put them in the freezer and never instilled them again. This was 6 months ago! Needless to say I nearly had a heart attack. I quickly switched gears from a referral to the teacher and asked her why she quit using the drops and her reply was I see fine, I don’t have any pain in my eyes so the Dr. obviously didn’t know what she was talking about. Now I flipped out! When did the patient become the experts (In their own eyes) I informed her that with POAG there were no physical manifestations or pain. Eventually one day she would just loose her visual fields, and then it was too late to reverse. She seemed surprised that I would tell her that if she continued to ignore her Dr. that she would make herself go blind. My question is this, when did the patient get a medical degree? I see this all the time.