Yesterday the American Optometric Association hosted the Buzz Aldrin Show in the form of a keynote address to the opening general session.
At 86 years of age Buzz is still fit as a fiddle, mentally as well as physically. He opened by playing with the initials “AOA”, rearranging the acronym into “OAO” – which he recalled from his USMA days that service personnel would use to refer to their sweethearts as my “One And Only”. That was about the one and only extent to which Buzz personalized his talk to the audience, quite a contrast with the three presenters who preceded him during the OD Talks yesterday. A bit of a lost opportunity when Buzz related how he had undergone cataract surgery and was having trouble using both eyes together. Although the surgeon reassured him that everything was fine, he suspected with his engineering background from MIT that the lenses might not have been implanted just right.
One can’t fault Buzz at all for his lack of awareness that binocular vision problems aren’t entirely uncommon after cataract surgery. In fact persistent diplopia after cataract surgery accounted for 3% of the cases reporting to a busy orthoptic clinic in Vancouver, British Columbia, but is rarely a topic of conversation in the ophthalmic sphere. Buzz regaled the audience yesterday with his dream of paving the way for human colonization of Mars, leaving no stone unturned in his quest. A noble venture, though I’d say we still have quite a bit of exploring left to do here on Earth.
MARS. Hmmm … if you play with the letters you might come up with an acronym for “Mad About Refractive Surgery”, which is how some patients feel when they have trouble fusing post-surgically. Their search for explanations often leaves them feeling alone and isolated. What’s that you say? Neuroplasticity and vision therapy? Wouldn’t it be a lovely mission if the three OD Talk presenters could guide Buzz toward doing something about his post-surgical vision? With his social media penetration we’d be light years ahead of where we are now.