A 59 year old female patient came to see me for her routine maintenance check. She mentioned in passing that she had experienced a couple of strange flashes of light in her eyes the previous evening. On further questioning she felt that her floaters (which she already had a history of) seemed a little worse and she thought her vision might be a little blurry.
My training in Western Medicine led me to think that my patient might be experiencing symptoms indicative of a detached retina where the retina itself starts to tear away from the tissue of the eye. It is a serious problem that if left untreated can cause visual impairment and blindness and it is certainly a condition that needs to be treated quickly to avoid any lasting damage.
I referred her as an emergency to her GP who instantly referred her to an eye specialist at her local hospital. The Consultant confirmed my suspicions that she was experiencing a retinal tear and she underwent emergency laser surgery that day and further operations over the course of several weeks to stop her retina from detaching. Despite these gruelling procedures she is now on the road to recovery. Her consultant has given her a good prognosis that there should’t be any lasting damage and I will continue to treat her with acupuncture to make for a speedy recovery.
So all in all a good story, but all credit to the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine for their extensive Western Medical programme. As gruelling the study was at the time it has given us graduates a great platform and supplied us with the knowledge to provide the best possible care for our patients.