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.
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.
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.
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 warnings
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!
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!
The visual field test checks the range of your peripheral vision by measuring the ability to see pinpoints of light that flash inside the testing globe. The device measures the area that you can see up/down/left/right while the patient focuses straight ahead.
What is the visual field test used for?
Glaucoma Screening & Evaluation: Loss of peripheral vision is often an early sign of glaucoma. We repeat this test once a year so the doctor can evaluate treatment plans and the progression of the disease.
Lid Drooping (Ptosis): If your eyelids have started to droop, the visual field can see if you have any loss of vision due to the drooping lid.
Effects of Medication: We can also test for effects of medications, such as plaquenil, which can affect the central retina.
Optic Nerve Conditions: The visual field can help evaluate your vision affected by stroke, optic neuropathy, tumors and injury.
What is a normal visual field?
The definition of a visual field is the space or range in which objects are visible to eyes that are fixed in place, focused on an object.
The normal human visual field extends to approximately:
Inward: 60 degrees nasally
Outward: 100 degrees temporally
Up: 60 degrees above
Down: 75 degrees below
Taking the test:
The testing device is a large globe or bowl, with pinpoints of light that flash on and off during the test. Patients press a button each time they see a light flash inside the globe. The lights flash in varying patterns and different levels of brightness. It’s kind of like a video game!
During the test, the patient is asked to focus on an amber light directly in front of them, so that we can accurately measure the range of vision all around. We test one eye at a time, so the eye that is not being tested is covered with an eye patch. The test takes about 5-8 minutes per eye. Testing time can vary from patient to patient.
If you have questions about any of the tests that we do, please ask us in person, text or send us an email! We are happy to explain how we use each device to better care for your vision.
Why do I see better when I look through the pinhole?
When we check your vision, we test each eye individually using an occluder.
The occluder is a simple device that covers one eye at a time. If your vision isn’t clear, we move the pinholes into place and have you look at the eye chart again. If your vision improves with the pinholes, it means that your vision may be corrected with glasses or contacts.
Occluder for eye test with no pinhole
Occluder with pinhole in place.
The pinhole is a simple way to focus light. When you look through this tiny hole, light enters through the center of the lens of the eye only. If you can read the 20/20 line when looking through the pinholes, you should be able to see 20/20 with the correct prescription. Click to learn more about 20/20 vision
Ever wonder why squinting helps you to see better? It’s the same principle as looking through the pinholes. By squinting, you reduce the focusing area, which makes things appear sharper.
If your vision does not improve when you look through the pinhole, there may be other factors that affect your vision. The other issues that could be affecting your vision may include cataracts or problems with your retina. Lack of vision improvement with this simple test can be the first step in diagnosing, and correcting your vision problems.
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.
Topography Before LASIK
Topography 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.
Halloween is a great time to get into costume to display your alter ego or just to have some plain old scary fun. Over the last few years, decorative contact lenses have become part of these costumes. And, with familiarity comes complacency. The fact that decorative contact lenses are safe when dispensed and used properly, leads to cutting corners on their care.
Contact lenses, both the decorative type and the type that help you see, are medical devices, licensed and regulated by the FDA. They are regulated just like heart pacemakers, hip implants and other manufactured equipment used on and in the body. Selling contacts without a prescription is illegal.
Even though costume contact lenses for Halloween have no corrective vision power for nearsightedness or farsightedness, they still require a prescription from a doctor.
Dr. Moran likes to use the expression that some things are a “victim of their own success”. Since contact lenses are for the most part safe and effective, slacking in their care may allow you to “get away with it” without consequence. The problem isn’t with the lenses themselves but how they’re used. The stakes are high and cutting corners is not a risk you should take. Poor fitting lenses and improperly used lenses could lead to corneal ulcers, which could actually lead to permanentblindness.
To be safe in wearing decorative lenses you should do several things:
1. Get an eye exam.
2. Never buy contacts without a prescription.
3. Never share contact lenses.
4. Don’t sleep in your lenses.
For more information you can visit the FDA’s website regarding decorative lenses.
Moran Eye Associates recently took part in a beautification project on the Southside of Bethlehem. Planters all around the Southside are being transformed into works of art by local artists…and aspiring artists, like us, too!
We were inspired by the digital artwork from our website home page, and decided to bring this colorful “celestial eye” design to the planter. It was a team effort, with Mandy, Bobbi & Dr. Tang all pitching in on the painting. We had lots of people stopping by to offer encouragement as we worked. It was a fun project, and gave us a chance to meet some of the people who live and work close by.
Moran Eye Associates Website Home page
Bobbi & Dr. Tang putting on final touches.
If you are out and about in Bethlehem, you can find our planter across the street from the post office at 128 South 4th Street. It’s right outside A List Hair Salon. There are still planters available that need some TLC. If you know anyone who would like to adopt a planter, contact Missy Hartney at the Southside Arts District to find out how to take part in the program.
This beautification program is part of the South Bethlehem’s Main Street Initiative. Moran Eye Associates is glad to be a part of the exciting things happening in our community. Click to find out more about events and news in the Southside Arts District.
What is the first test we do when you come into the office for a complete vision exam?
The Autorefractor measures your prescription
We take a measurement of your vision with the AutoRefractor.
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.
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.
Why do we use a balloon photo?
The image isn’t important, but the need to focus on something at a distance is key to a good measurement. The balloon is just one of many visual targets used in the autorefractor. Besides the hot air balloon, other popular images include: a pinwheel/peppermint candy, a house (or barn) at the end of a road, a house in the middle of a field.
It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t wear contact lenses, has worn contact lenses in the past, or knows someone who wears contact lenses. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has declared August 19th to the 23rd contact lens health week. https://www.cdc.gov/contactlenses
Soft contact lenses
That’s right…the CDC is concerned about contact lenses! Contact lenses are medical devices, just like a heart pacemaker or an insulin pump. Contact lenses have been in use for over 100 years and during that time the technology behind them has progressed and been perfected. For that reason, complications and problems with them are less common. However, that only applies if they are used as prescribed.
Human nature is when you are comfortable with a situation, you may take some shortcuts regarding safety. Because contacts are considered so safe, most contact lenses users are prone to intentionally and unintentionally cut corners. Take the advice of Dr. Tang, Dr. Moran, and the CDC: DON’T TAKE SHORTCUTS!
Here are a few key reminders on handing and wearing your contact lenses.
Don’t sleep in your lenses.
Tap water, hot tub or swimming pool water are not good for your contact lenses.
Wash your hands before handing your lenses.
Follow your eye doctors instructions for use of your case and disinfecting solutions.
Replace your contact lenses case every 3 months.
Replace your contact lenses as prescribed.
See your eye doctor as recommended.
Contact lenses are safe when used appropriately, but things can go very bad if they are used improperly. You INCREASE your risk of permanent vision loss when you don’t follow the instructions above! Be safe and enjoy your contact lenses: follow the rules.
Have you spoken to your pharmacist lately? We know that prescription medications can be expensive. Your pharmacist can help you manage your medications, and may be able to help you find savings on your prescriptions.
Make friends with your pharmacist.
Your pharmacist is an essential part of your healthcare team. They may be aware of resources that can save you money, all you have to do is ask! Ask if you can speak with your pharmacist, they are happy to take a few minutes to review your medications. Most pharmacies have a private place for patient consultations.
Your pharmacist might be aware of discount programs that can save you money. They have a complete list of your medications, so they can can review the list with you. Talk to the pharmacy staff to see if there are any discount plans or strategies that might help you save some money.
ASK YOUR DOCTOR.
Ask your doctor if you there is a generic version of the medication. Generics are less expensive, and have the same active ingredients as the brand-name medications.
We want you to stay on track with the medications that are prescribed for you. The first step toward that goal is making sure that you get the medications that you need to stay healthy.
We know that an informed patient makes the best healthcare decisions, so make sure ask questions! You can benefit from relationships with every member of your healthcare team.