Eyes are the Windows to your Health

Your annual eye exam offers a look at more than just your vision.

view of dilated eye

You may have heard that the eyes are the windows to your soul, but did you know that they provide a look at your overall health as well.

Your dilated eye is an open window where blood vessels and nerves can be clearly seen. The view through the open pupil is a unique means of detecting health issues including:

  • Diabetes
  • Glaucoma
  • Hardening of the Arteries
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Macular Degeneration

Your eye doctor may be the first to alert you to developing health problems.The American Optometric Society reported that in just one year, over 250,000 patients were diagnosed with diabetes after their optometrists reported concerns. Early diagnosis and treatment are vital for the health and vision of diabetic patients.

Changes or fluctuation in your vision may also be an indicator of a larger health problem.  Report blurred vision to your eye doctor, it may be a sign of increased blood sugar levels and the need for medical treatment.

Uncontrolled diabetes can have severe consequences. Loss of vision due to diabetic retinopathy is a primary concern. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people under the age of 74, so a regular schedule of dilated eye exams are important for diabetic patients. If you know someone who is diabetic,or has a family history of the disease, make sure that they are getting the eye care that they need.

Our goal is to keep you healthy!

Dr. Moran and Dr. Tang not only provide excellent vision care, they are essential partners for your general health and well-being.  If you are overdue for a vision exam, don’t delay. Call us to schedule your appointment, Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm.

 

For a video of a dilated eye exam, click here National Eye Institute Dilated Eye Exam

Treating Cataracts & Glaucoma Together!

The iStent Inject: This procedure, done during your cataract surgery, may eliminate the need for daily glaucoma drops!

Dr. Mark Moran is now offering Micro-Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) with the iStent Inject.  This option is currently available for glaucoma patients who are having cataract surgery.

Clinical studies have shown significant decrease in eye pressure in mild-to-moderate glaucoma with this implant. The iStent Inject is the smallest medical device known to be implanted in the human body. The picture to the right shows the actual iStent as a tiny speck on the face of a penny!

If using drops to control your glaucoma poses problems for you, this procedure may be a great alternative.  Ask yourself if you have these issues with your glaucoma medication:

  • Do you have problems putting drops in your eyes?
  • Do you forget to use your drops as prescribed?
  • Do you have financial concerns with the cost of prescription drops?

How the iStent works: During cataract surgery, Dr. Moran inserts these tiny stents to create two openings between the front part of the eye and the eye’s natural drainage pathway. This improved flow decreases the pressure in the eye.

The iStent Inject procedure is painless, and is approved by the FDA. You won’t be able to see or feel these microscopic devices. They are so small that you won’t have to worry about going through an airport metal detector or having an MRI.

This combined cataract/stent procedure does not significantly increase the amount of time that you will spend in the operating room.  The recovery time from this procedure is the same as with cataract surgery alone.

Dr. Moran explains the results: “I’ve seen a decrease in pressure in the patients who have had the stents inserted. Many have stopped using their drops altogether. We remind patients that this stent procedure is a treatment, NOT a cure for glaucoma. You still need to follow up with regular appointments to monitor your glaucoma, and maintain the health of your eyes.”

If you have questions about glaucoma, cataracts, or any other vision concern, call to make an appointment at 610-628-2022.  Dr. Moran and Dr. Tang would be happy to review your history and discuss if this procedure is right for you.

Another Staff Certification Achievement!

The certificate has arrived, so now it is official!

 

Bobbi Spain has received her COA designation from the International Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAPHO). Bobbi is our surgical coordinator, who works with LASIK and cataract patients. She was surprised to see that the package from JCAPHO also included an official COA card, pin and patch!

The Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) is a core designation for eye care professionals. Along with hours spent under the teaching and supervision of an Ophthalmologist, COA applicants must complete an independent study course. The COA exam is three hours in length.  It is comprised of 200 scored multiple-choice questions in 19 specific content areas including:

  • Microbiology
  • Surgical Assisting
  • Ophthalmic Imaging
  • Patient services and education
  • Medical ethics, legal and regulatory issues.

To provide the best care for our patients, the staff at Moran Eye Associates makes learning a priority.  Every member of the team takes part in monthly compliance training, as well as taking on additional programs of study in general ophthalmology, low vision, dry eye management, regulations and billing.  They also attend industry conferences each year to keep up with advances in technology and and patient care.

In 2017, Mandy, Beth and Dr. Moran attended the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) conference in New Orleans. In April of this year, Bobbi and Cindy accompanied Dr. Moran to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ASCRS) in Washington, D.C.

Bobbi joins Mandy and Cindy, who already have their COA certificates on display.  Mandy received her COA in 2017.  Cindy has been a COA since 2004.  In order to maintain certification, a total of 18 credits in continuing education must be completed every three years. Eighteen credits is an easy to complete at Moran Eye Associates, where continuing education plays a key role in our success!

 

Office Art Gallery

Our favorite artist has created two new paintings for our office collection.  They are so beautiful, we just had to share! 

You might notice that the paintings are signed Moran…but it’s not Dr. Moran’s talent on display.  All of the paintings in our office have been created by his very talented mother, Jeanne Moran. Dr. Moran said that his mother has been painting as long as he can remember.  She paints still life, landscapes as well as other nature scenes.  Her vibrant use of colors is especially stunning in person!

 

 

 

 

 

You might recognize this painting to the right.  It is the Moran Eye Associates office, as seen from Bergen Street.  You will see this painting in our waiting room. If you park in our parking lot, it is the view of our office as you cross the street.

 

Patients often comment about the beautiful artwork that we have on display. We feel very fortunate to have her work to share with our patients. It seems appropriate to have paintings in an ophthalmologist’s office, where we help patients achieve their best vision.

We’ve pictured some of the paintings here, but to see the full collection, you’ll have to come in to our office at 1204 Delaware Avenue for an appointment!

 

What Does 20/20 Vision Mean?

Eye chart and glasses

How Vision is Measured

 

The distance vision of a normal human eye is defined at 20/20.  This number illustrates what a person with normal vision can see at twenty feet.  Your visual acuity is measured on how it relates to vision at 20 feet.

  • If your vision is 20/40, you can see at 20 feet, what a normal eye can see at 40 feet.
  • If your vision is 20/100, you can see at 20 feet, what a normal eye can see at 100 feet.
  • If your vision is 20/400, you can see at 20 feet, what a normal eye can see at 400 feet.

When you read an eye chart, chances are that person testing you is paying attention to what you say, as well as how you say it. They will know if you are seeing clearly or are struggling and making guesses. It never pays to cheat on your eye test!

Driving vision requirements

How well do I need to see to drive?  

Although each state determines their specific requirements, generally 20/40 vision is needed to pass the driving test.  If you need glasses to see 20/40, it will be indicated on your driver’s license. While your distance vision is key to passing the driving test, there are other factors that are considered as well.  For complete information on what is required in Pennsylvania, click on the link.

Pennsylvania Drivers Visual Standards

After vision correction surgery, like LASIK or cataract surgery, you may be able to see well enough to have the vision correction restriction removed from your license.

What is legally blind?

If you cannot see any letters below the 20/200 line, even when wearing glasses or contacts, you are considered legally blind.  If your vision can be corrected by putting on a pair of glasses, you may have poor vision, but you are not legally blind.

Woman in Slit lampI see 20/20, do I need an eye exam?

Absolutely!  Measuring your vision is an important part of your comprehensive exam, but there is so much more that we check at your visit. We will check your pupils, eye pressure and field of vision.  We will record your visual history, health history and medications. The doctor will examine the health of your eyes using a slit lamp microscope, checking for eye disease, including glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts.

Early detection of eye disease is your best defense against vision loss.  So even if you don’t need a new pair of glasses, make sure to schedule your regular check-up, so you can keep seeing your best!

 

FREE Vision Screenings for Children – August 4th!

Your child’s vision is very important to his or her success in school…

which is why Moran Eye Associates is offering:

 

FREE Vision Screenings

for School-Aged Children

Saturday, Aug 4th from 8 am-12 noon
1204 Delaware Avenue, Bethlehem, PA 18015
 No Appointment is Necessary!

 

Vision screenings will be conducted by Dr. Mark Moran and Dr. Bianca Tang.  Our expert doctors and staff will evaluate your child’s vision to see if he or she may have any issues that should be addressed BEFORE school starts.

No appointment is necessary, this is a walk-in event. Parking is available in our lot on Bergen Street.

Mark E. Moran, D.O., M.S.H.I., F.A.O.C.O is a board-certified ophthalmologist and Fellow of the American Osteopathic College of Ophthalmology. He has been practicing in the Lehigh Valley for 25 years.  Dr. Moran specializes in  LASIK vision correction, cataract surgery, medical eye care, and comprehensive eye examinations.

Bianca Tang, O.D.  Dr. Tang is a Summa cum laude graduate of Pennsylvania College of Optometry at Salus University.  She earned her undergraduate degree, also Summa cum laude, in Biological Sciences and Health Professions at Penn State University.  She specializes in comprehensive eye exams, contact lens fittings as well as low-vision solutions for children and adults.

 

 

Continuing to Learn and Innovate

Rooftop viewEducational Excursion 

Dr. Moran, Bobbi, and Cindy attended the ASCRS (American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons) Conference in our nation’s capital, Washington, DC. The conference ran over a “long” April weekend and presented a great opportunity to learn more about the diagnosis and treatment of cataracts and glaucoma, as well as vision correction procedures like LASIK.

 

The ASCRS Conference a great way to learn.

“Ongoing education is a priority not only for physicians.  It is important for every member of our team to be up-to-date on innovations and technology now available to offer the best eye care.  While at this conference, we were able to learn from industry experts on ways to more effectively care for our patients.  It was also a chance to share what we do at Moran Eye Associates,”  Dr. Moran explains.

Information sessions at the conference included new treatment techniques to manage dry eye, cataract surgery case studies, and advances in pre-surgical measurements.  There was much to learn in classes and from networking and exchanging ideas with other professionals there.  They were able to talk about how our new in-office procedures for floaters and dry eye are helping our patients see more clearly.

Cindy uses Virtual Reality to LearnNew Ways to Learn

In addition to the formal educational sessions, there were also many opportunities for hands-on learning.

Using Virtual Reality, Bobbi & Cindy were able to have a 360-degree view inside the eye.  They were able to witness how the eye is affected by glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataracts.  They agreed it was a little disorienting to be “floating” around inside an eye, but it was a memorable experience to see detailed images of changes to retina, vitreous and lens.

We look forward to using the knowledge gained to improve the care of our patients. After a busy and productive few days away, it is back to the office!

Winter Survival Tips for Dry Eyes

If you are one of the many people who suffer from dry eye, winter can be the worst of times.  Discomfort from dry eye goes up as the temperature goes down!snowing happy woman

With cold, windy weather outside and dry heat inside, winter can be the most challenging season for patients with dry eye.

While we recommended that you come in to see Dr. Moran for a medical evaluation of your dry eye, there are some things that you can do to help improve your comfort during the dry winter months.

Winter Survival Tips for Dry Eye

Turn on the Humidifier: Humidifiers improve air quality, making it more comfortable in your home or office.  Environmental factors can play a big role in the comfort of your eyes.  Adding a humidifier in your work or sleep areas can provide some relief.

Use Lubricating Eye Drops (Artificial Tears):  Lubricating eye drops provide instant relief for dry eyes.  They can be used as often as needed.  Using artificial tears not only improves the comfort of your eyes, it improves your vision as well.  Contact lens wearers should use these drops to make their lenses more comfortable. Supplementing your tear film is beneficial to the health of your eye.  Dr. Moran recommends using lubricating eye drops all year round!  Stay away from the drops that “get the red out!”  They contain vasoconstrictors that can cause long-term issues with your eyes.

Understand Medication Side Effects: If you are taking antihistamines to help combat a cold or flu, the medicine that dries up your sinuses, makes your eyes dry as well. When you pick up cold medicine at the pharmacy, make sure to pick up lubricating eye drops as well!

Drink Plenty of Fluids: Dehydration happens when your body does not have enough fluids.  Water is needed for  the proper functioning of your organs, including your eyes, to function properly.  For most people, eight 8oz glasses of water are recommended daily.  If you are dehydrated from medication or exercise, staying hydrated will keep you healthier from head to toe.

WASH YOUR HANDS!  Staying healthy will help you to avoid added eye issues. Not only will hand washing help against the spread of winter colds and flu, it will also help to protect you from the spread of eye infections, like pink eye.  If you are using drops, make sure your hands are clean before you put in your drops!

While our winter survival tips above will help make you more comfortable through the winter,  they won’t cure your dry eye.  There is no substitute for a medical eye exam when you are having problems with your eyes.  Don’t suffer, there are medications and procedures that can give you relief.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Moran to fully explore the options for dry eye treatment that are right for you.  Call or text us at 610-628-2022.

Click to read more about  Heat Therapy for Dry Eye

 

Improving Patient Education

New Patient Education Screens in the Exam Rooms.

Dr. Moran knows that an informed patient makes the best health care choices, which is why we take the time to make sure that you have all the information you need to make the right choices for you and your family.

As part of our commitment to patient education, we have recently installed education screens in our exam rooms.  Dr. Moran’s goal has always been to give patients the information they need  to maintain healthy vision.  The addition of these screens takes us to the next level in increasing patient understanding.

It’s best to Show & Tell! 

Now during your exam, not only can we explain what is happening with your vision, we can show you too!  We can choose images and videos to help better explain treatment options.  The best part is that these boards are interactive!  Dr. Moran can draw and write notes on them to help you better understand your eye health and safety.

Educational topics include:

  • Dry Eye
  • LASIK & PRK
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Understanding Vision: Myopia, Hyperopia, Astigmatism & Presbyopia.

And we are doing our part to save trees, too!

With this new technology, we can take the information from the screen and email it directly to you!  We also have the ability to print directly from the screen as well.

As always, if you have any questions about caring for your eyes, please ask our staff.  We are happy that we can now SHOW & Tell!  To schedule your next appointment call or text 610-628-2022.

Is $299 LASIK a Real Deal?

I’ve been doing LASIK surgery since the turn of this century, so I keep up on LASIK news. I hadn’t seen deeply discounted LASIK at unbelievable prices in quite a while. But recently, I have started to get emails offering me LASIK at $299 per eye.

As a physician practicing in today’s environment, I have a responsibility to ensure my patients are getting a fair price.  When an EpiPen can cost $500, and drug prices can increase from $7.50 to $750 overnight, I must make sure that I consider price options when making recommendations for my patients.

In the past, knowing what it costs to operate a LASER and the cost of performing a safe and accurate LASIK procedure,  it was evident that there weren’t many LASIK surgeries being performed at the advertised price of $299.  It costs far more than $299 for the doctor to perform LASIK, not to mention the equipment costs for accurate testing and measurements.

I had been told by patients who had investigated the $299 LASIK offer, that the $299 LASIK wasn’t available for them. It seems as though $299 was just the starting price.  The cost escalated soon after the consult started. This was second-hand information so I never really got the specific facts until now…

Recently I got an email offer which finally included the “fine print.” I’m going to break it down.

Following is a breakdown of the disclaimer on their low-cost offer:

“Prices based on prescription: up to -1.00 $299,”

The first phrase in the disclaimer is the main reason why so few $299 LASIK procedures are done. A -1.00 prescription is probably about 20/40 vision. You would still be able to drive an automobile both during the day and night. (There are stronger restrictions for nighttime driving.)

The pricing detail continues:

“…-1.25 to -2.0: $1099;

…-2.25 and up as well as all hyperopic and/or greater than -0.50 diopter of astigmatism: $1799.”

Then the other shoe drops. If you have a half of diopter of astigmatism that raises the price to $1799, which is now approaching a reasonable price for a standard LASIK procedure.  Seventy percent of all prescriptions written in America have some astigmatism. Which means if there if there is a significant enough prescription that needs correction and one is given, three-quarters of the time it’s going to have astigmatism. The price has now hit the $1800 per eye mark.

“Individual results will vary.”

I got a chuckle from this portion of the disclaimer. Pretty obvious observation.

“Candidacy determined by an independent doctor located within or adjacent to the LASIK Vision Institute’s (LVI) facility. All procedures performed by an independent surgeon. Punctal plugs, assurance plans and other technologies available at additional cost. This offer may not be combined with other offers. Other conditions may apply.”

And then there’s the “additional cost” disclaimer. So even with the maximum quoted price of $1799 there are still add-on charges to consider.

The take-home message:  you’re not likely to get LASIK  (or do you need LASIK)  at $299. There may be small variations in price for LASIK surgery by area doctors, but the costs for procedure tend to be similar.

The smart consumer considering LASIK surgery should be looking for other factors in making their decision.  Choose your surgeon based on:

  • Level of Experience,
  • Successful Patient Outcomes,
  • Equipment and Technology Used,
  • Patient Satisfaction & Reviews, 
  • Overall Quality of Care.

caveat emptor.