If you suffer from dry, irritated eyes all year round, chances are they will be worse in the winter. When the heat is on in the house, office and car, your eyes become more dry.
Artificial tears, also called Lubricating Eye Drops – are your first line of defense. Whether they are your own natural tears, or artificial tears from a bottle, tears keep your eyes healthy and help you to see better in 4 unique ways.
The 4 Benefits of Tears:
Protect the eyes & keeps them lubricated
Wash away irritants & foreign objects
Reduce the risk of infection in the eyes
Maintain a smooth, clear surface on the eye to help you see clearly.
If your eyes are dry, you are missing out on the benefits that tears provide. Don’t suffer, there are different strategies to treat dry eyes. To find out the best treatment for you, make an appointment. Dr. Moran will discuss the best way to improve your comfort and vision. In the meantime, start using over the counter artificial tears for immediate relief.
How do we treat the lack of tears?
There are three main methods of treatment: Supplement, Stimulate, or Retain your tears.
SUPPLEMENT: The simple solution is to need to supplement your tear film. Using over-the-counter artificial tears can bring you immediate relief. Keep some on hand. We have them available for purchase in the office.
STIMULATE: There are drop medications that help you produce more tears and better quality tears on your own. Restasis and Xiidra are available by prescription. These prescriptions do not take effect instantly. They begin to improve your tear film over time.
RETAIN: There are two ways to help you retain your tears, heat therapy and punctal plugs. Using heat therapy, we can improve the flow of the outer, lipid layer of tear film. This oily outer layer seals in your tears, and keeps your tears from evaporating too quickly. Heat therapy is an in-office, relaxing, 15-minute treatment of continuous warmth that you enjoy while sitting in a comfortable recliner! Punctal plugs work to keep your tears from draining from your eyes too quickly. These tiny silicone plugs are easily inserted in the opening on the inner corner of your eyelids. Closing this “drain” conserves your tears, retaining them in your eyes for increased comfort and better vision.
As part of Moran Eye Associates outreach program, Dr. Bianca Tang is visiting schools in Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton to teach young students about vision. Using crafts and a story time presentation, she explains to first graders how the eye works and the importance of protecting your eyes.
“It’s been fun working with the students. They are good listeners and are enthusiastic to share what they know about vision.”
She shows the students with pictures of different kinds of animal eyes. These pictures illustrate how although cat, horse, lizard, fish and lizard eyes all look very different, the design gives the animals the right vision for their environment.
She talks with the students about how to protect their eyes, so that they can have good vision that lasts them a lifetime. They discuss how wearing sunglasses protects your eyes from the UV rays of the sun. They also talk about the importance of eye protection while playing sports, and how everyone should wear eye shields at work and at home if there is a danger of something hitting their eye. Everyone attending gets a pair of sunglasses with UV protection to take home.
To help the students learn about the parts of the eye, the children do a craft project to make an eye of their own, complete with iris, pupil and lots of eyelashes!
If you would like Dr. Tang to make a visit to your school, please contact our office.
If you would like Dr. Tang to visit your school, please contact our office to set up a date.
Dr. Tang recently saw a 47-year-old woman who suffered from severe, chronic dry eyes. She had a great deal of discomfort, gritty sensation, and blurred vision for 6 months. She had a long history of dry eye due to an autoimmune disease and chronic allergies.
The patient continued to have dry eyes despite multiple treatments: artificial tears every hour during the day and several times during the night; thermal therapy; punctal plugs; and several different prescription drops. The dryness caused irregularities on the surface of her cornea that were contributing to her blurry vision.
When all of the traditional treatments failed, we discussed Autologous Serum Eye Drops (ASED) and Prokera. The patient decided to try the serum tears first.
The Initial Results…relief from dry eye!
“I felt an immediate change in my eyes after the first day of serum tears use. This is the first time in as long as I can remember that my eyelids actually glide over my eye without discomfort!
Dr. Tang has gone above and beyond to help me find the right treatment for my dry eyes. I would absolutely recommend her.” Lori
How it Works
ASED treatment is effective because the drops contain antibodies and growth factor that come from the patient’s own blood. These drops repair the surface of the cornea, helping the patient to see better, feel better, and enjoy an improved quality of life. In a recent study, the visual acuity improved in 100% of patients*.
Made in a Specialized Pharmacy
The Serum eye drops are created in the lab from the patient’s blood, so they are uniquely customized to treat the patient’s condition. The drops are made by a specialized compounding pharmacy.
To make the serum eye drops, the patient has blood drawn, then the blood is spun through a centrifuge to extract the clear serum. The serum in placed in a dropper bottle and mixed with a sterile saline solution.
A three-month supply of drops is made from each blood draw. These drops can be used with the same frequency as artificial tears. Patients may continue to use the serum drops as long as needed.
Find our if serum tears are right for you
If you would like to explore this treatment to help alleviate dry eye, call us to make an appointment today. For more information on ASED treatment, click on the articles below.
Health insurance can be very confusing. We talk to patients about it everyday, so we thought it would be helpful to outline the basics.
We can’t stress enough that every plan is different. While you may be covered for a service, you may have a co-pay or deductible that must be paid. If you aren’t sure, please check with your human resources department or insurance company.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: Exams that qualify for Medical Insurance include care and treatment of eye disease and injury. Among the conditions covered are Glaucoma, Cataracts, Diabetic Retinopathy, Macular Degneration, Injury to the Eye, and Infection.
Most medical insurances do NOT cover the cost of checking to see if you need new glasses. This part of the exam is called Refraction (Better 1 or 2?), and is NOT part of medical eye care. Refraction is a separate charge.
VISION INSURANCE: Some benefit plans include vision insurance. Each plan’s coverage is unique, so you need to check specifics with your insurance plan. Items that MAY be covered under vision insurance at a reduced cost or co-pay include your routine eye exam, contact lens fitting, glasses and contact lenses.
Again, we recommend checking with your insurance company to verify your coverage, co-pay and deductible.
We are here to help if you need any treatment information or diagnosis codes so that you can discuss specifics with your insurance provider.
Ultimately, your insurance company considers you responsible to investigate your coverage and will often only provide that information to you, not to your doctor.
When you see the trees and flowers start to bloom, do you think “YAY, Spring!” or “OH, NO, Allergies!”?
Do your eyes feel itchy and irritated with seasonal allergies? Don’t suffer, come in for relief from the symptoms of allergy eyes. Dr. Moran and Dr. Tang can evaluate the best treatment for your allergy eyes that will help you enjoy the beauty of Spring.
SYMPTOMS OF ALLERGIC CONJUNCTIVITIS: Itching, redness, tearing and eyelid swelling. This condition is often accompanied by other signs of allergies, like a stuffy, itchy and runny nose. It’s not contagious since it is caused by dust or allergens. Artificial tears, antihistamine eye drops, and medication can help relieve the symptoms.
If you use an over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medicine like to treat a runny or congested nose, while this medicine dries out our sinuses, it causes dryness in your mouth and eyes too! Use lubricating eye drops (artificial tears) when you take allergy medicines, and you give your eyes the moisture that they need to feel better and see clearly.
There are also specific OTC allergy eye drops that are can be used to treat irritated allergy eyes, but these drops aren’t suitable for long-term use. We don’t recommend drops that “get the red out”. These drops may offer a quick fix for red eyes, but they don’t give you any long-term benefits. In fact, you may become dependent on them, since they don’t solve your dry eye issues.
Our doctors can diagnose if there are other underlying causes for the eye irritation…it might not be just allergies. If you have a crusty, yellowish discharge you may have an infection that needs to be treated with antibiotics.
We are here to help you maintain good eye health and excellent vision no matter the season. Call us, text us, or fill out the form on this page to make an appointment with Dr. Moran or Dr. Tang.