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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

What is an Astigmatism?

Do you have an astigmatism?

The word might sound scary, but an astigmatism is nothing to be afraid of!  It is a common vision condition which most commonly occurs when the cornea (the clear front cover of the eye) is irregularly shaped.

If you have an astigmatism, the curve of your cornea is shaped more like a football, instead of round like a basketball.  This irregular curvature causes vision to be blurry, because your eye cannot focus light to a single sharp point on the retina.  Instead, light hits the retina in multiple places, so images are blurred.

You may have been born with astigmatism.  You could have inherited it from your parents.   It can decrease or increase over time. Astigmatism often occurs along with with nearsightedness, or farsightedness.

How is astigmatism measured?

Astigmatism refraction

Testing for astigmatism may may include:

  • Visual acuity-When you read letters on a distance chart, you are measuring your visual acuity. The result is given in two numbers, like 20/40.  The first number is the number of feet from the eye chart. The bottom number shows the smallest size line you can read.  If you have 20/40 vision, you would have to be within 20 feet of the chart to see what someone with normal vision could see at 40 feet.
  • Topography– This device measures the topography of the surface of the cornea.  As you might guess, this measurement is important for a good fit for contact lenses.
  • Refraction– You might know this as the “Better 1 or Better 2 test”.  While you look through an instrument called a phoropter, we rotate through a series of lenses.  Based on your answers, the power is then refined to determine the lenses for the clearest vision. This power can be determined with machines but patient input remains integral in determining vision needs.

How is Astigmatism Corrected?

A comprehensive eye exam will measure the correction or power needed for your vision, which may include a prescription to correct your astigmatism.  Eyeglasses or contact lenses will help you to focus and to see more clearly.

  • Eyeglasses. Astigmatism can be treated with a pair of prescription eyeglasses.  The lens will have a prescription that compensates for the astigmatism. This prescription provides additional power in specific parts of the lens.  The correction power lies along a specific axis.
  • Contact lenses.  Contact lenses may provide clearer vision and a wider field of view.  A special toric soft contact lens offers astigmatism correction for many patients. This contact lens is weighted so that it maintains the correct axis when worn. Another contact lens option is a rigid gas-permeable (RGP or “hard”) contact lenses to help reshape the cornea decreasing the astigmatism.
  • Laser and other refractive surgery procedures. LASIK or PRK surgery can correct astigmatism by reshaping the cornea.  With LASIK using Custom-Vue Wavescan, your  treatment is tailored to your eyes.  Dr. Moran has great success treating patients with astigmatism.

Let us help you achieve your best vision.  Schedule an appointment to correct your vision.  Click here for more information on LASIK

Expert Education – OCT Lecture

 

Continuing Education Lecture – Dr. Moran Presents

Dr. Moran recently gave a presentation to local optometrists at our office in Fountain Hill.  This lecture was part of a professional continuing education program approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Optometry. The doctors that attended earned two continuing education credits, and learned valuable diagnostic skills.

OCT lecture certificate

The topic was History and Mechanism of Retinal Coherence Tomography (OCT).  The OCT is a device that scans the retina using light waves.

Dr. Moran illustrated each of the retina’s distinctive layers, which are seen clearly on the test. The scan allows the doctor to check on the health of the eye, measuring and tracking changes to the retina.  This information is important to  diagnose retinal disease such as macular degeneration.  In addition to retinal scans, the OCT is also used to take pictures of the optic nerve, which helps to monitor glaucoma.

Since the lecture was done at our office, the doctors were able to get hands-on experience with our OCT equipment. During the lecture, Dr. Moran presented case studies, which offered the doctors a chance to make their own diagnoses based on the scans and some basic patient information – gender, date of birth, date.

Case Study

In one such case study, the date of the scan was an important diagnostic clue!  Remember the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017?  And do you remember the warnings not to look directly at the eclipse without special lenses.  The scan was taken on August 22nd, the day after the eclipse.  As The test showed that he had retinal damage because he looked directly at the eclipse…he didn’t listen to the warningsLecture shows eclipse damage

In addition to the presentation,  everyone who attended the lecture was treated to a homemade dinner featuring Beth’s turkey barbeque, with all the fixings.  We celebrated the season of thanksgiving with pumpkin and apple pies!  Education is always easier on a full stomach!

UP NEXT

In 2020, Dr. Moran will be taking this presentation on the road.  He will be giving a similar seminar on interpretation of OCT tests at an upcoming ophthalmology conference.  Education has always been an important part of his professional life, and is a vital part of our practice.  Whether it is educating doctors, staff or patients, Dr. Moran provides excellent instruction!

Along with his medical practice, Dr. Moran is also a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM).  He graduated from PCOM in 1986. In 2017, he earned a Masters Degree in Healthcare Informatics from Drexel University.

Want to know more about your vision and the health of your eyes?  We are happy to take the time to help you understand, just ask!

 

Eyes are the Windows to your Health

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

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

    Dilated Eye View

  • 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

Complete Eye Care

 

A patient asked the other day, “Do you do regular eye exams?” 

Of course we do!  At Moran Eye Associates we offer Complete Eye Care, which includes Vision, Medical and Surgical services.

Refraction

Better 1 or 2?

VISION:  We accept VSP & NVA 

  • Routine Eye Exams
  • Contact Lenses: Traditional & Specialty Lenses

MEDICAL: We accept most medical insurances

  • Diabetic Eye Care: Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Glaucoma Care: Medical and Surgical Treatment Options
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Dry Eye Treatment: Diagnostic Services & Thermal Therapy
  • Eye Emergencies
  • Infection/Inflammation
  • Low Vision Services

SURGICAL: Dr. Moran does surgery at the Surgery Center of Allentown, Sightpath LASIK Center in Bethlehem, as well as some procedures in our Delaware Avenue office

  • Cataracts
  • LASIK
  • PRK
  • Laser Floater Removal
  • Glaucoma Eye Surgery
  • Foreign Body Removal
  • Eye Lid Surgery

Please contact our office if you need an appointment for your eye care. Call or text us at 610-628-2022, or send us an email by filling out the form on the right!

 

 

Quick Q&A: Diabetes & Your Eyes

 

How does Diabetes affect your eyes?

Diabetic eyes

Diabetics need to see their eye doctor at least once a year.

Diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels that supply the retina.  These damaged blood vessels may leak, swell or bleed causing problems with your vision. Diabetes can also increase the growth of cataracts, and increase your risk of glaucoma.  Changes in your blood sugar can cause blurriness in your vision, and fluctuations to your glasses prescription.

What is the best way to keep my eyes healthy?

Annual eye exams are important, because left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can worsen, and lead to blindness.  Patients with uncontrolled blood sugar are at a higher risk for problems, but even patients who control their diabetes can develop issues.

Are there warning signs of diabetic eye disease?

Whether you are diabetic or not, if you notice any changes to your vision, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.  If you notice a change in prescription, any cloudiness, blind spots or increased floaters in your vision, you should see your eye doctor.

Will controlling my blood sugar help my vision?

Yes. Swings in your blood sugar readings can cause changes to your vision.  High blood sugar can cause swelling in the eye, which can affect your vision.  If your blood sugar fluctuates, your vision will fluctuate too, and you may find that your glasses don’t work effectively.

Is there a way to treat diabetic retinopathy?

There are different options for treating diabetic retinopathy. Dr. Moran and Dr. Tang can discuss which options are best for your needs.  There laser treatments which target the damaged vessels, as well as medications which can help preserve your vision.

If you are Diabetic, Annual Vision Exams are a MUST!

Diabetics have special needs when it comes to taking care of their eyesight.  With a dilated exam, your doctor can detect and begin to treat diabetic eye disease before you notice any vision changes. Your annual exam allows our doctors to check for early onset cataracts and glaucoma.

If you (or someone you care about) has diabetes, make sure to connect with the trusted eye care team at Moran Eye Associates.
Call our office to schedule an appointment 610-628-2022.