DROPS, DROPS, when does it stop?
Ocular medication for dilating and glaucoma, assorted types
Patients often ask when they come in to see Dr. Moran for a complete exam, diabetic exam or cataract recheck, “Why all these drops?” Here is the simple explanation.
The eye doctor is easier than the dentist!
Getting a comprehensive eye exam without dilation, is like going to the dentist and not opening your mouth. Sure, he can see your lips and the shape of your jaw but he’s unable to see the health of your teeth.
Dr. Moran can examine the lids, lashes, and cornea (outermost layer of your eye), but to see beyond the surface, you need the drops, drops and more drops.
Depending on your age, diagnosis and health history you may receive more drops than another. Let’s discuss someone in their 60’s with diabetes or cataracts.
First, you will receive the “yellow drop”- No your eyes will not stay that color. This drop will allow us to check the intraocular pressure of your eye (glaucoma screen). It also acts as a mild numbing agent.
Next, you will receive a Phenylephrine drop. This is the drop which will dilate your pupil and allow Dr. Moran to see into the depths of the eye and examine the retina.
Lastly, comes the Mydriatic drop which paralyzes the iris muscle to keep the eye dilated for the duration of the examination.
That’s the answer to why all the drops. Now when will it STOP?
Usually, dilation lasts from 4-6 hours. It will affect your ability to work close-up and you will be sensitive to light. Blue eyes tend to stay dilated longer. It is not unusual for some patients to remain dilated for more than 6 hours, but dilation is not harmful to the eye.
You can drive if you are comfortable doing so. We recommend dark sunglasses and will provide you with them if you forget to bring yours.
Although being dilated can be an inconvenience, the benefit significantly outweighs the hassle.
Schedule your DILATED eye examination by calling or texting our office at 610-628-2022, we look forward to seeing you.
Contributed by Mandy Bolton, COA
At Moran Eye Associates, patient education is a priority. Our goal is to make sure that you see clearly AND that you understand clearly as well!
Have you ever left a doctor’s office and not been completely sure about your diagnosis or treatment plan? We never want that to happen to you at our office! Dr. Moran is an expert at patient education. He makes complex medical information easy to understand by using analogies. We’ve compiled a “Best of” collection here. Our patients appreciate how he explains the sometimes confusing issues of eye care!
A peep hole in a wooden fence.
If you want to see what’s on the other side of a fence, the bigger the fence hole, the more you can see. When patients ask why they have to be dilated, this answer helps make it easier to understand. If Dr. Moran is looking through your normal pupil he/she will only see a small portion of the back of the eye. If he is looking through a dilated pupil, the hole is much bigger, and he can see much more to better evaluate the health of your eye.
Your eye is like a camera. The retina is like the film of the camera, and the eye’s lens is like the lens of the camera. In order to have good photos (clear vision), both the lens and the retina must be working well. You won’t have a good photo is there is a problem with the film…just like you won’t have a good photo if the lens is damaged.
Tear film is like rain on a windshield
Tear film is like rain on a windshield. If it is only drizzling and there is very little rain (poor tear film), your windshield will be streaky, the wipers won’t work effectively, and your vision will be blurry. If it is raining steadily (good tear film), the wipers will clear away the water effectively and your vision will be clearer. Your eye works the same way…good tear film is needed for clear vision.
You don’t need a bazooka to swat a mosquito. When Dr. Moran prescribes medicine, he chooses the right medicine for your needs. There are many options available, so it’s important to have the right dosage of the right medicine, more is not always better!
Cruise Ships turn very slowly!
Changing treatment plans is like turning a cruise ship, turn gradually and you will get you where you need to go smoothly. If you are moving from one treatment plan to another, we don’t want to make abrupt changes. Making gradual changes can help to achieve the best results.
Make sure the fire is COMPLETELY OUT!
When you put out a fire, make sure it is out completely. If you leave embers burning, it may reignite! It’s a good way to understand why you need to continue taking all of your medicine. If you stop taking it before the pain is gone, or before the infection is completely gone, your problem could start up again. Think of it like a fire that reduced to embers, it can burst into flames again!
Dr. Moran is always coming up with new and different analogies to make vision care less confusing. We’ll continue to update our patient education “best of lists” on Facebook! “Like” Moran Eye Associates us to stay informed!
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