My two children, the (ugh!) dentists, once told me that they decided not to go into optometry because they were not interested in all the mathematics—the numbers. Well, indeed, numbers are an important part of our weaponry and we just love ’em to pieces.

Here are some of the most important numbers in optometry:
1. In “Which is better?” the number that comes before “number 2.”
2. In “Which is better?” the number that comes after “number 1.”
3. The number of times you multiply by 100 to get the number of times I have to ask my older brother “Which is better” before he will commit.
4. The maximum number of employees who actually do work in your office—if you employ nine or more employees.
5. The minimum number of your employees who are checking their cell phones while you’re reading this column between patients.
6. One-third of the number of patients your favorite cataract surgeon schedules to see him or her at 9 a.m. every morning.
7. The number of years it takes for a Yellow Pages ad to bring you one patient.
8. The number of different Yellow Pages companies who want you to buy their ad “for real results!”
9. The number of golf holes I have to play to stay under 100.
10. The number of trillions of dollars my grandson will owe for income tax in the year 2039 to pay for my Medicare patients who come in this year.
11. The age I act like when a patient brings me a pie.
12. The number of old phoropters your kin will find in your attic someday.
13. The maximum number of dollars the millionaire president of the city bank spends on his reading glasses every two years.
14. The number of computer passwords the average optometrist forgets every year.
15. The number of new computers the average optometrist buys every year because it’s easier to start over than to remember the old passwords.

Exploded Brains
20. Stated twice with a slash between the number… Oh, you figure it out, doc.
21. The average age of the average optometrist’s favorite shoes.
22. The number of optometrists per square inch in New York City.
23. The number of seconds it takes for your computer system to crash the Monday you reopen your office after a two-week vacation.
24. Out of 25, this is the number of legislators in any given state who have no clue about optometry.
25. The maximum number of eye examinations the average optometrist can do in eight hours without someone having to scrape his or her exploded brains off the biomicrosope.

27. The age my kids reached when I realized they could survive without my “wisdom.”
28. The average number of teeth that young adults have until their wisdom teeth come in. (OK, I have learned something from my kids, the [ugh!] dentists.)
29. The number of hits my new YouTube music video got in the first hour. I hope one was Jay-Z. I was the other 28. (
30. How many years of practice it takes before an optometrist does not wake up in a cold sweat because of his or her practice.
36. How old I was when I last used my direct ophthalmoscope.
42. The age when my arms got too short.