Ophthalmologists are doctors with specialized knowledge relating to the eye, optical neural pathways, muscles controlling eye movement, the eyelids, functions of all the aforementioned components, and illnesses or pathologies that can effect the components. Ophthalmologists can prescribe vision correction measures, or not- typically, vision correction is handled by optometrists. Examples of disorders and diseases an opthalomologist can treat are:

  • Chemical burns
  • Strabismus (cross eyes)
  • Eye trauma (injuries)
  • Eye tumors
  • Glaucoma
  • Iritis
  • Optic neuritis (eye inflammation)
  • Orbital cellulite (disease that can infect eye and surrounding tissues)
  • Retinopathy 

The eye is different from many organs as is the second most complex form in the body after the brain. Being a sense organ, it has many outputs from the brain controlling motion, lubrication, protection, and the vision function.  The one input from the eye to the brain is the optical nerve.  Of the 12 cranial nerves, 5 concern the eye in some way. The specialized training of an ophthalmologist must include an expanded knowledge of neural pathways and how the eye relates to other systems. Also, several diseases have symptoms that will manifest with symptoms in the eye as shared nerve pathways can refer symptoms to the eye when it seemingly has no connection to the affliction.

Types of medical errors an ophthalmologist might make are the following. Unnecessary procedures might be recommended and performed. Elective surgery, such as LASIK surgery might or might not fix certain eye problems. Make sure a doctor is not recommending it if it will not provide an expected long term fix. Also, LASIK surgery is a fairly new procedure and problems can arise post-surgery as it weakens the integrity of the corneal membrane. Also,  non-opaque cells of the eye can become introduced into the cornea. 

The most common type of error made by doctors by far is with medication. The wrong medication can be prescribed, or the right medication with the wrong dose. Errors in medication can also occur with improper instructions, lack of contraindications listed.  All doctors have to be familiar with their patient’s medical history so as not to prescribe something that will cause an adverse drug interaction. Other negligence errors that can happen in ophthalmology are lack of informed consent to a procedure, misdiagnosis and failure to treat a condition, correct diagnosis- but wrong treatment. Negligence by a physician is defined as the medical provider acting outside the norm of what most knowledgeable, experienced doctors would have done in the same circumstance.

If you believe you or loved one suffered worsening of a condition, or a death, you may be eligible for damages. Let our experts at the Sweeney Law Firm review the facts to see if you have an ophthalmologist negligence case. If we decide to accept your case, there is no cost for representation unless there is a settlement or recovery of funds for you.