Sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands. A 61-year-old man, decided to do just that. He is a surfer who suffered from a serious eye condition known as Pterygium, in which fibrous tissue grows over the outer layer of the eye. The ailment requires surgery to remove. Instead of seeking medical attention and dealing with expensive costs not covered by his vision insurance, he figured out a different approach to possibly solve his problem. While surfing in Waimea Bay, off the coast of Oahu, he dipped his head in a cascading 30-foot wave. The water pressure from the wave ripped the pterygium off of his eye. The surfer experienced some swelling and blurry vision for a few days. However, his vision returned to normal and he no longer had the horrible eye condition.
Dr.Thomas Campbell, a medical officer at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Queensland, stated “He momentarily dipped his face into the water while travelling at top speed, but was able to recover his balance and continue surfing the wave. This impressive maneuver resulted in the pterygium being ripped off his eye surface. The ailment, popularly known as ‘surfer’s eye, is common in people who spend a lot of time outdoors in sunny climates.”
Dr. Mark Fromer, an ophthalmologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, believed that this was a very radical and risky approach for the man to take. Other people should not duplicate his actions, since the odds of this success happening again are very rare. He said “Although big wave surfers can reach speeds of 30 or 40 miles per hour, it’s not easy for the blunt force of water to rip off a pterygium. This vascular tissue is even difficult to remove with scalpels and scissors. But it would take a heck of shot of water to do that. Pretty unlikely this is going to happen to anyone else.”