Dr. Ronald Kristan Makes a Lifesaving Call

When Atlantic Eye patient Lisa Economou noticed in a photo that one of her eyelids was drooping lower than the other, she was not particularly concerned. “I thought nothing of it. My grandmother had a droopy eye, and it was fixed. I assume it runs in my family,” explains Lisa, a 40-something wife, and mother. She knew that a drooping eyelid, known as ptosis, is usually not a serious health issue and is treatable with surgery when indicated. At her recent regular checkup at Atlantic Eye, she told Dr. Kristan about the drooping and that it was interfering with her vision.

“I expected that he would schedule me for eyelid surgery to fix it,” she says. But what happened next was totally unexpected. After examining her eye health and vision, Dr. Kristan told Lisa that before dealing with the ptosis he wanted her to be checked out by a neurologist. Before she left their office, the Atlantic Eye staff had made her an appointment with Dr. Matthew Davis, a neurologist based in West Long Branch. “I’ll be honest,” she says. “I was so not worried about it, if they had let me leave the office, who knows when I would have gone to a neurologist.”

But the speed was likely critical. At her appointment, Dr. Davis sent Lisa for a brain MRI.  A few hours after the test was complete, he called and directed her to a brain surgeon. The scan had shown a benign brain tumor with accompanying hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the brain that if left untreated can be fatal.

Lisa Economou went into her Atlantic Eye appointment feeling fine except for her drooping eyelid. A week later, she found herself being prepped for brain surgery to relieve a life-threatening pressure on her brain. “It’s a bad, bad thing. If it went on longer, I could have lost all my cognitive skills or even my life.” Lisa is still amazed that her ophthalmologist suspected something neurological might be wrong, though she had no other symptoms like headaches.

“I made an appointment after my surgery just to thank him,” she says. Lisa reports that Dr. Kristan was very humble about the praise, saying that he was just doing his job. “I told him; you saved my life. You were amazing, and I’m so grateful.”

Lisa’s story is a powerful reminder of the importance of regular ophthalmological examinations, not only to keep eyes healthy and protect vision but in some cases to indicate possible health concerns in other parts of our bodies. Don’t put off your routine eye exam. Call us today at Atlantic Eye, (732) 222-7373.