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The Other Side of the Exam Chair

It was my turn to be on the other side of the exam chair.

I was sitting at home on a Sunday afternoon, when I first saw sparks of light out of the corner of my right eye.  At first, they occurred a few times an hour.  By Sunday night, they were happening a few times a minute.  They moved in curved arcs along my peripheral vision.

Since I happen to know people trained in eye care, I sent a text to the office staff to tell them what was happening.

They asked me all of the right questions:

  • Did you sustain an injury to the eye? No
  • Was there a curtain falling across my vision? – No
  • Did you see a sudden shower of floaters? – No
  • Any loss of vision? – No
  • Any pain? – No

Dr. Moran asked me, “What would you tell a patient who called with these symptoms?”  I answered, “We would tell them to call us if it gets worse, or they can answer YES to any of the above questions. We would then schedule them for a dilated exam the next day.” 

I understood everything that I was told.  It was a “classic textbook” issue.  I have spoken to patients who were experiencing the same symptoms, and explained that they should come in for an exam, but not to worry. Flashes can be a common occurrence.

But…I must admit that it felt different being the patient. Even though I understood what was happening,  I felt better after checking in with Dr. Moran and the rest of the team.

By the next morning, the symptoms had stopped. I had a very thorough dilated eye exam, and everything was normal. I knew that the sparks of lights were caused by the vitreous tugging on the retina, which is common.  It is seen more often in older adults.  I am 58, so I fit that profile.  I knew that the issue was most likely age-related.

When you are having an issue with your eyes, don’t delay, contact our office.   

We will ask you the key questions that mean the difference between an emergency, or something that can wait until you can come into the office for an exam.

You can feel confident that you are in good hands with Dr. Moran and the staff at Moran Eye Associates.  We take your concerns seriously, because we know what it is like to be on the other side of the exam chair.

P.S.  Almost two months later all is well.  I am very aware of the importance of  follow up exams, and will make sure to see my ophthalmologist regularly!  Bobbi

You should not wear perfume to your LASIK procedure

Perfume particles in airThere is a lot to think about before getting LASIK surgery, and smelling nice isn’t usually at the top of the list. Smell and sight are too different senses right? What does one have to do with the other? Well here’s why as part of your pre-op LASIK instructions you will be told not to wear perfume or cologne.

LASIK surgery is a very precise and controlled surgery. While we can’t control how your eye will respond to the treatment, we can make accurate predictions. We can control how the laser is programmed and how the treatment is delivered. And we do control those things very precisely. We deal in microns. A micron is a millionth of a meter. To give you an idea of the size of micron, your hair is about 50 microns. And anything smaller than 40 microns you can’t even see.

While we can’t control your eye’s response,  we can and do control other things. The air the laser passes through before it treats your eye is a factor. We monitor the temperature of the air, the humidity in the air and the purity of the air. The laser only passes about 12 inches through this air. But the laser we use is a short wavelength laser.  The laser “fixes” or treats the first thing it comes in contact with. It doesn’t penetrate substances well. When we calibrate our laser and design our treatment we take this passage through air into account.

Because the smells are actually particles in the air, perfume can change this air. If everyone wore exactly the same perfume and the same amount we could account for this in our treatment. But that’s impractical and it’s best to have just “clean” air which we have calibrated for.

Skipping the perfume the day of the surgery allows for a more accurate treatment and more predictable results. Enjoy some of the cleanest air you’ve every smelled during your surgery and save the perfume for after surgery.

LASIK Myths & Facts

 

How Does LASIK Work?

How the laser works to improve your vision during LASIK surgery.

LASIK vision correction uses a laser to reshape your cornea to help you see better.  To apply the laser treatment, Dr. Moran uses an excimer laser which emits a cool beam of ultraviolet light to precisely remove corneal tissue.  The reshaped cornea allows for light rays to focus properly on the retina to give you clearer vision.  

open book Think of the cornea as a closed book with 500 pages.  We create the flap about 100 pages into the book. Once the flap is opened, we apply the laser treatment to correct your vision in the last 400 pages of the book.

After your flap is lifted, the excimer laser applies pulses of ultraviolet across the cornea in a custom pattern designed for your eyes.  These precise light rays are able to remove as little as 0.25 microns of tissue at a time. How small is a micron?  One micron is a thousandth of a millimeter.

How the cornea changeS DUring LASIK

The laser treats your cornea to give you better vision.  Your cornea may be too long, too flat, or irregularly shaped.

  • If you are nearsighted, the laser will make the cornea more flat;
  • if you are farsighted, the laser will make the center of the cornea steeper.  
  • If you have an astigmatism, the laser will smooth your corneal tissue into a more symmetrical shape. 
  • If you have a combination of issues, the laser can treat  nearsightedness with astigmatism, as well as farsightedness with astigmatism.
How the treatment is determinedCustom vue

In order to create your treatment plan, Dr. Moran does careful calculations using the data from your pre-operative testing. He takes into account your age and your visual needs. Then, the laser is programmed with your unique measurements.  Once programmed, the laser is controlled by computer settings programmed to correct your specific refractive error.  We use Custom-Vue Wavescan technology.  It is called “Custom-Vue” since the pattern of treatment is customized for each patient to give you the best possible vision. 

Dr. Moran will ask you to focus on a light while the laser is being applied.  While it is important to keep your eye focused during the treatment, the laser has an added safety feature. The laser uses an eye-tracking system that monitors any eye movements and keeps the laser beam on target during surgery. Studies have shown that eye trackers produce better outcomes and decrease complications.  If your eye moves during the surgery, the laser will stay centered.  It will track and follow your eye movements. 

What to expect After LASIK

Post Op LASIK patientWhen the laser treatment is done, you will notice clearer vision than when you entered the room.  However, your vision will still be a little blurry – similar to seeing under water. The blurriness is because you have a lot of drops in your eyes!  Dr. Moran will have you sit up and look across the room at a clock about 10 feet away.  You will be able to tell him what time it is, even if you weren’t able to see the clock when you walked into the room. Your surgery day instructions are to go home and keep your eyes closed for the rest of the day.  Your vision will fluctuate as your eyes are healing, however, the next day you can drive to the office for your 1-day PO LASIK appointment.

 

To see if LASIK is right for you, schedule your FREE Consult today.  Call, email or text our office for your appointment.  Learn more about, just click LASIK

 

 

 

 

 

Dry Winter Eyes

Winter is the season for dry eyes.  Tears provide moisture

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: 
  1. Protect the eyes & keeps them lubricated
  2. Wash away irritants & foreign objects
  3. Reduce the risk of infection in the eyes
  4. 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.

Click here for more information about treating dry eye http://moraneyeassociates.com/dry-eyes/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Does this Test Do? Part 2: Topography

Corneal Topography rings

Corneal Topography Test

As you look into through the bright red colored rings, the topography machine creates a map of the clear front portion of your eye, the cornea.  Corneal topography allows us to detect irregular conditions of the surface that can’t be measured in other ways.

How does a map of the cornea help us evaluate your vision?

A healthy cornea is very important to your vision, because 77% of the eye’s focusing ability is done by the cornea.  Light enters the eye through the clear cornea. The shape and curve of the cornea plays an important role in the quality of vision. An eye with normal vision has an evenly rounded cornea, like a basketball.  An eye with an astigmatism has an unevenly curved cornea, more like a football.

Corneal topography is performed by projecting lighted rings onto the surface of the eye.  These rings are reflected back and measured by the instrument, and a map of the cornea is created.

Topography is an important tool in measurements for LASIK Surgery.  LASIK surgical correction changes the shape of the cornea to help patients see more clearly.  During LASIK, the shape of the cornea is changed to help images focus properly on the retina. Below you can see how the shape of the eye is changed with the laser after LASIK surgery. The photos show the same eye before and after LASIK.

Corneal Topography is just one of the testing resources that we use when treating our patients.  You can trust Moran Eye Associates to use the tools that we need to keep your eyes healthy, and your vision the best it can be.  If you have questions about your vision, contact Moran Eye Associates.  We focus on making vision clearer.

 

What Does this Test Do? Part 1 – AutoRefractor

What is the first test we do when you come into the office for a complete vision exam?

Autorefractor measures vision.

The Autorefractor measures your prescription

We take a measurement of your vision with the AutoRefractor.

Image used for measuring your prescription

Focus on the balloon!

When you take a seat at the autorefractor, we ask you to look into the device.  You will see a blurry hot air balloon at the end of a long straight road. As the balloon comes into focus, we measure your prescription.

We ask you to focus on the image (balloon) to keep your eye centered while we take measurements.  It only takes just a few seconds to measure using an autorefractor.  The balloon is at the center of the image, which aligns your eye perfectly for the test. 

When we use this machine, nothing touches your eye, and there is no puff of air!

The autorefractor provides an objective measurement of a person’s refractive error and prescription for glasses or contact lenses.  The device measures how light is changed as it enters your eye.

Calculating your glasses prescription

Better 1 or Better 2?

We don’t use the numbers from the device to order your prescription glasses or contacts. The autorefractor is just part of the process.  The information from the autorefractor is used as a starting point to determine your best prescription.  We take these numbers and dial them into the phoropter.

Here is where your opinion comes in.  As we cycle through lenses, we ask, “Is it Better 1 or Better 2?”  Your responses help us to pinpoint your best vision.  When we show you different choices, we aren’t trying to trick you!  We are showing you different options to find your best correction.