Don’t be in Denial of West Nile

7 10 2015

West Nile Virus disease is here to stay in Dumas, Moore county and the Texas panhandle.  More cases are reported every week most likely due to the wetter than normal summer this year.

Ten years ago, we had never heard of it.  We were more likely to get sleeping sickness or malaria than something esoteric like West Nile Virus.  West Nile is a virus that originated in the Middle East and has made it’s way to the US and is moving westward.  It can infect humans, birds and horses from a mosquito bite and it can be deadly if it gets into the nervous system.   People with weakened immune systems are at most risk but it can even knock down a seemingly healthy person.

It really hit home this last month when one of my employees came down with a brain infection (encephalitis) from a mosquito bite in her backyard here in town.   She is recovering slowly after being unconscious for over a week and on a respirator and feeding tube.   Short of a miraculous healing, it will take many, many months to recover.  I have two patients that I have also seen that have the after effects of the disease.  One doesn’t have any eye problems but the other has damage to his optic nerve of the left eye, leaving him with permanent damage to his vision.

By the time people are having eye problems, they are probably in the hospital.  I have yet to see anyone in my office with early symptoms and I hope not to.  The problems that happen with the eye can have devastating complications to the vision.  Inflammation or infection can occur inside the back chamber of the eye (vitritis), in the retinal tissue (retinitis and choroiditis) as well as inflammation to the optic nerve (optic neuritis).   All can cause permanent vision loss.

Since eye problems from West Nile Virus are usually not the first sign of illness, I write about it more to create awareness of this relatively new disease to our area since it can be devastating to the body and even fatal.

Early signs and symptoms take 2-14 days incubation after a recent mosquito bite.  They vary from person to person such as fever, headaches, neck ache, joint pain, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue and less commonly a rash on the check, back or legs.   The severe form that affects your nervous system can cause disorientation, seizures, brain infections and even death in 1% of cases.

I would encourage city, county and state agencies as well as school officials to increase awareness of the disease and prevention.  Contact them and ask what they are doing to kill mosquitos to prevent the disease.   Spraying alleys and enforcing ordinances for residences with trash and high weeds around houses and vacant lots are important.   You yourself can make sure to apply insect repellant that contains the chemical DEET when going outside and especially on your children.   Avoid putting on moisturizer creams and fragrances that might attract mosquitos as well as not going out after dark when they are most active.  Consider wearing pants and long sleeve shirts too.  Make sure to remove standing water out of old tires, buckets and flowerpots, etc., which can be used as breeding sites.

If you look at the maps that show incidences of infection, Moore county is not indicated.  ( Centers for Disease Control )   I would speculate that cases are reported from the hospital they are being treated at when diagnosed, not WHERE they were bit and infected.  In the case of my employee, she hadn’t traveled anywhere and knew she had been bit in her backyard garden a few days earlier when she got really sick.   So take care out there.   We don’t have to live in fear, we just need to be aware and be smart to help prevent the spread of the disease.   Even though we live in the middle of nowhere, Moore county is not immune.


Courtesy of Dumas Vision Source, PLLC and Dr Tory W. Moore, Optometric Glaucoma Specialist and Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry.    Serving the Dumas, Texas,  Moore County and upper Texas Panhandle area for 25 years.   Call (806) 935-2020 for appointment or visit our optical gallery without an appointment.  Visit our website for more information.  Like our Facebook business page:  Dumas Vision Source  and you can also connect on Twitter @eyedocdumas

Tory Moore, OD  – “A Hometown Eye Doctor You Know and Can Trust!”

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Retinoblastoma (Cancer of the Retina)

12 05 2015

One of the saddest cases I have ever seen was a little girl who was brought in by her father because one eye looked white in the pupil of one eye.  I have seen a white pupil often in adults, usually from an advanced cataract or even a retinal detachment.  But in a child, your first thought is cancer of the eye. You may have seen the story recently about the mother that detected a problem in her child by taking a cell phone picture.  Either on Facebook or CNN:

or ABC News:

First of all, the pupil is the window into the eye.   Some say it’s the window to the soul but definitely it is a window into the overall health of the body.  It looks black normally because light doesn’t escape or reflect out easily as in some animals like cats and dogs.   If the pupil is big enough or you get enough light to shine in, you can see a reddish-orange reflection with the right tools.

The retina is the inner back lining of the eyeball that detects light and sends the signals through the optic nerve to our brain in order for us to interpret what we see.   The eye is the camera, the brain is the TV set basically.  I used to say the retina is like film in a camera but with everything digital now, I have changed the analogy to the digital sensors in your phone or digital camera.  Anyway, the retina have ALOT of blood supply.  Between that and the layer of pigment cells on the outer layer, the color generally appears reddish-orange.

Eye doctors use that reddish-orange reflection to determine the amount of refractive error like nearsightedness or astigmatism a person has for glasses.  That is how we can tell what power glasses need to be for little babies or people who can’t talk.  It is also how we know if your child is malingering (faking) the need for glasses.

If that reflection is dim, has shadows, or a different color, that tells us there is something wrong with the pathway for light entering the eye.  Either the lubricating tear film on the front surface, the cornea, the crystalline lens, the vitreous fluid, or the retina could have a problem.

Retinoblastoma is a fairly rare cancer that usually develops in very young children but it is possible for an adult to develop it too.  It is from a genetic mutation of the retinal cells and the risk of passing the gene to offspring can be higher for those families that have had someone affected.  It is very aggressive and can spread to other parts of the body very quickly.  The sooner the eye is removed that better chance of survival.  Yes, the eye needs to be removed quickly.  As tragic as that sounds, children adapt fairly well since they are not seeing out of the affected eye anyway.

I encourage young parents to take a picture of their child with a flash straight on from 3-4 ft away.   I do it to screen children and to help them relax by showing them their picture so they get comfortable with me examining their eyes before I do more.  Both pupils will either be dark if the pupils are too small or both a reddish-orange glow, which is the reflection off the retina. If it is orange, you can enlarge the picture and look for shadows, which could indicate a problem with the surface of the eye or cataracts.   Yes, children can have cataracts, though rare.   If a reflection is white, it could be a refractive error (nearsightedness, astigmatism, etc.), a cataract, a retinal detachment or retinoblastoma possibly and you would want that checked immediately by having the child’s eyes dilated.  They may have to be given a sedative to get them to cooperate and get a good view. If the doctor is not getting a view because the child is not cooperating or crying, the child should be referred to someone who will perform a sedated eye examination, most often a pediatric ophthalmologist.

As a side note, there should also be a little white reflection on the cornea, the front surface of the eye, from the flash.  That white dot from the flash should both be in the same relative position to the pupil of each eye. If not, your child could have an eye turn.

Also, all children under 18 are mandated to be covered for at least a wellness eye exam once a year under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

Please have your kids eyes examined at 3-4 years of age at a minimum and every year after that.   Just because they seem to get around doesn’t mean that both eyes are okay.  If one is not seeing well or turned, the vision won’t develop properly and it is permanent after age 6-7 years old when the optic nerve quits developing.  Don’t take any chances with the vision and the health of your child.


Courtesy of Dumas Vision Source, PLLC and Dr Tory W. Moore, Optometric Glaucoma Specialist and Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry.    Serving the Dumas, Texas,  Moore County and upper Texas Panhandle area for 25 years.   Call (806) 935-2020 for appointment or visit our optical gallery without an appointment.  Visit our website for more information.  Like our Facebook business page:  Dumas Vision Source  and you can also connect on Twitter @eyedocdumas

Tory Moore, OD  – “A Hometown Eye Doctor You Know and Can Trust!”

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8 09 2014


I have had my share of them over the years.  More than average I dare to say.  I have had medical tests, CT and MRI scans, dental visits and special mouth guards to prevent teeth grinding while sleeping and have taken more over the counter and prescription drugs than the local drug addicts during my years.  I still remember my first severe headache on a trip with one of my friends to Six Flags of Texas in Dallas.  What a miserable time.  Ultimately I had sinus surgery ten years ago, which relieved almost all of them.

Believe me, I know how you feel.  When the pain is so bad you wish someone could drill a hole in your skull to relieve the pressure and all you can do is lie on the cold, tile floor with an ice pack on your head after taking tons of medicine and pray “God, please take away the pain.”  I’ve been there.

If I could break down my patient’s main reasons for wanting an eye exam into three categories, they would be in this order:

1. Blurred vision –either just a slight blur or a major blurring at distance or near, with or without lenses.

2. Wellness checkup – they see okay with or without vision correction but want to make sure everything is healthy and maybe update their contact lens prescription while having no apparent problems.  Perhaps previously diagnosed with a medical eye condition and ensuring there is no progression.

3. Headaches – There are so many things that can cause a person to experience a headache, it can give somebody….. well, quite frankly,  a headache trying to find the cause.
Since there are so many causes of a headache, a good patient history is absolutely important.  When did they start, do you have a history of headaches before, how often do they happen, how long do they last, what region of the head do they hurt at, what time of day do they generally happen, are they disabling or can you still function, do you have any vision abnormalities like spots or wavy lines before or during the headache, does medicine help the pain, do you get dizzy or nauseous with the headache, do they seem to happen related to certain activities such as reading or computer use, what other medical problems do you have that you know about, what medicines do you use or recently stopped using?  Doctors have to consider the patients age, sex, family history, history of seasonal allergies, medicines being used or even discontinued recently and any medical conditions you might have.    Your diet, water intake and sleep apnea even can play a large role.  Headaches are perhaps one of the most challenging diagnoses due to the many possible causes.  I will cover the most common in order of prevalence that I often encounter.

1. Uncorrected basic vision

When someone comes in with a complaint of frequent headaches, after the preliminary testing, one of the first tests we do is a refraction of the eyes.  That is the part where we determine how the eye can see and what glasses prescription might be needed to make the patient see more clearly and see more comfortably.  You know, “Which is better, one or two?”

The most common cause of headaches that I see in my office is uncorrected farsightedness, especially in school age children.  If the patient is farsighted, they can see far away easier than up close.  They may be able to see up close too but they have to work twice as hard as normal to do it if their eye is using it’s near focusing ability (accommodation) to help the patient’s far vision.  It does that subconsciously like an auto-focus camera.  The eye should only “focus” or tense up when looking at objects within arm’s reach for the most part.  Uncorrected farsightedness (hyperopia) makes the eye, without even thinking about it; try harder to keep the vision clear while looking far away.  That constant, unneeded focusing causes strain and ultimately headaches in the frontal region of the head or around the eyes usually by the early or late afternoon after focusing the eyes more than average.  Basic single vision glasses worn all the time will typically resolve the headaches even though the vision of the patient has been clear anyway up until this point.  The eyes are just working too hard and the extra muscle tension causes the headache.  So farsighted glasses correction is more for comfort than to help the vision in many cases.

2. Uncorrected near vision after 40 years old

After the dreaded big 4-0, (typically 43 years old) the focusing system of the eye that helps to see up close begins to weaken.  The lens in the eye becomes stiffer and less flexible, which causes the automatic focusing of the eye to strain even more to make your near work activities harder and harder to see.  It’s not a weakening muscle, it’s simply the lens not able to flex anymore very well, like a piece of old rubber that doesn’t flex very well.    At this point, we need extra help to see up close clearly and comfortably.  Whether we need a prescription or not for the far away vision and more power for up close, then at that point a multi-focal lens with multiple focusing powers is recommended so people can see at all distances.  When patients that are 40 years old or over seem to get headaches after reading or other near vision work, quite often this is a sign they need a multifocal lens such as a progressive lens or a bifocal.  This is like using a tool to take the load off the eyes and make them focus better and not to have to strain to see.  If you get headaches after reading or looking up close and your arms seem too short anymore, more than likely you need help with the focusing in the form of a multi-focal lens.  Glasses or contacts can help.

3. Binocular vision disorders

The eyes are separate organs that work as a team (think of a pair of horses yoked together) to give clear, comfortable, binocular single vision.  When the coordination of the two eyes is not optimal, they have to work harder than normal , if they can, to keep the eyes aligned exactly in the same direction in order to not see double.  Imagine someone that slouches or is pigeon toed is told to “straighten up” and they have to exert more muscle effort to get the back or feet lined up straight.  The eyes can do the same thing and it causes a lot of muscle strain and possibly a headache.  Sometimes an eye that turns inward, outward or is higher or lower than the other is not easy to discern.  The uncoordination of the eyes is possibly caused by uncorrected vision but also could be caused by a genetic muscle or nerve problem or even by a medical condition such as diabetes, hypertension or even a stroke.  If basic glasses with or without a bifocal doesn’t’ help, then prism power can sometimes help.   A prism bends light so the muscles don’t have to work so hard to see one picture.

4. Medical eye problems

The most common medical eye problem  that can cause a headache from a more uncommon type of glaucoma called acute angle closure glaucoma.  When the drainage system of the eye is narrow, it can be difficult or even impossible for the inner eye fluid (aqueous humor) to drain properly.  This makes the fluid pressure inside the eye to increase rapidly and often times there is signs of a red eye, blurred vision and a severe headache over the eyebrow to the point of nausea.  There are treatments to relieve the condition.

Inflammation inside the eyeball itself, usually related to an auto-immune condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, can cause pain in and around the eye that can be construed as a headache.  Rarely a corneal abrasion or a bacterial ulcer on the eye’s surface can cause inflammation and pain enough to cause a frontal headache.

5. Eyewear and lens problems

Eyeglasses are precision made devices that must have very exact measurements in order for the brain to see clearly and comfortably at all distances.  If the frame is crooked on the face, it can cause eye strain and eventually a headache.  The same goes for a lens that is not centered in front of the pupillary axes.  Even what the material the lens is made out of can sometimes cause subtle distortion that could cause a headache.

6.  Sinus headaches

Having personal experience in this area, I can attest that these can be extremely painful.  When the air spaces in the bones of the skull that surround the eye called sinuses get inflamed  from infection or irritation from allergens,  the tissues expand and gets congested.  That causes a pressure feeling around and between the eyes but even on the side of the temples and down to the jaw.   It can cause the eye to feel like it’s going to pop out it hurts so badly.  Often times a patient will wake up with sinus pain due to sleeping on one side causing fluid to build up and congest the sinus passages more.  Increased water intake, decongestants (Sudafed), mucous thinning medicines (Mucinex) and sometimes antibiotics and nasal steroid inhalers when needed, can generally help but long term treatments may be needed such as nasal saline rinses, antihistamines, and immunotherapy (allergy shots).  Cysts (fluid filled bubbles) can develop and block off the drainage of sinuses at times building up pressure and pain and are not easily seen on CT or MRI scans.  Frequent severe headaches that are not getting better should be evaluated by an ENT (ear, nose and throat specialist) or neurologist (specialist of the brain and nervous system) if sinus and brain imaging with CT or MRI scans did not reveal any problems.

7. Tension headaches

Tension headaches generally happen later in the day but can happen at any time due to the stress load, work ergonomics (how your body is positioned at work) or anxiety the patient is suffering from, whether they realize it or not.  They tend to make the head hurt like a tight band around the head or start in both temples and work backwards.  They usually happen while at work or school in the afternoons but can wake up a person due to neck or back vertebrae misalignment.  Sleeping wrong on a pillow can cause muscle tightness and a resulting headache.   Resting and using pain reliever medicine usually makes tension headaches better.  Children can often get headaches from internalizing anxiety from bullying, domestic abuse or the stress caused by fighting or divorcing parents.  A child’s home life can impact them severely.

8. Migraines (vascular) headaches

Not all headaches are migraines as some people mistakenly believe.  A migraine headache is generally a severe headache on one side of the head that is preceded by some sort of visual distortion such as spots or wavy lines.   The pain is so severe a patient may experience nausea or dizziness and is usually sensitive to light and sounds.  Over the counter medications generally don’t help very much except for some that have caffeine and so migraine sufferers usually have to lie down and rest in quiet, dark locations until it gets better.  They can happen at any time and can be brought on by menstrual cycles or even certain foods.  Sometimes the cause is never found.  They tend to happen in women more than men.  There are prescription medicines that can help prevent or thwart migraine attacks.   Migraines are considered a diagnosis of exclusion however.  Your doctor needs to be fully confident that all other causes of headaches including tumors and aneurysms have been completely ruled out and excluded before they can be called a true migraine headache.  The International Headache Society has listed specific signs and symptoms that must be present or not present to officially classify your headache as a migraine.   I recommend keeping a journal of your headaches:   date and time when they happen, what you ate and drank that day, associations that made it worse such as reading or computer use, medicines used, menstrual cycles, etc… that might help isolate any specific triggers.

9.  Severe Medical Problems

Very rarely, a very serious medical problem can cause headaches.  The main serious medical problems causing headaches would include:

·         Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)   Usually happen with poor diet, get a feeling of weakness, shakiness, moodiness and breaking out in a sweat and nausea.

·         Hypertension (high blood pressure)   Usually start at the base of the back of the skull where the head and neck meet, have ringing in the ears, sometimes dizziness.

·         Aneurysm (small area of ballooning outward of blood vessel)  Usually a quick forming, stabbing pain that is incredibly painful.  Often described as the worst headache ever.

·         Benign increased intracranial pressure (higher than normal fluid pressure in the brain and spinal cord caused by poor drainage or reabsorption of fluid)   Often related to females that are considered overweight and over 30-40 years.  Rarely, some people have smaller than average drain openings (foramens) in the skull that keeps fluid from circulating well.

·         Inflammation of cranial arteries – usually hurts on one side of temple, vision decrease in one eye, over 60 years old. It is not normal for someone over 60 years old to have frequent headaches unless they have a long history of them.

·         Poor blood circulation from a blood clot or stroke – usually sudden, associated with numbness or paralysis of facial muscles or limbs, eyelid drooping, sudden loss of vision.

·         Brain tumor – usually very gradual onset of headaches and other symptoms such as vision or hearing loss, behavior changes, depression, and can feel like general sinus pressure in some cases.

If you are experiencing frequent headaches, please see your medical physician for a medical evaluation and a reputable eye doctor for an comprehensive eye and vision examination to find the source and make sure it’s not serious.

Why I Care

3 05 2014

So maybe it’s time to share why I care about eyes and saving vision.  I’m asked fairly often why I decided to be an eye doctor.

Why do I care about your eye care?

The biggest reason is that I can empathize.  I have walked in many of your shoes.  Many doctors genuinely care about their patients but they can never know what it is like to not be able to see.  I’ve read about how some physician’s attitudes toward their patients completely changed after they were seriously sick and scared about what was going to happen once it happened to them.  Then they understood and were more empathetic, not just sympathetic.

Well I’m as blind as a bat with a blindfold.  (Bats are really not blind, that’s a wives’ tale but you get my point.)  I’m one of my own worst patients as far as being nearsighted. Glasses like the metaphorical “bottom of glass coke bottles.”

Trust me.  I understand what it’s like!  Spending a few days being totally blurry on summer vacation at your grandma’s house with broken glasses is not fun.  Not when you could be playing in the creek or exploring the woods.  It’s not very fun being teased about being “four eyes” and all that.  Not very reassuring to your self-esteem as you enter puberty either.   Wearing contact lenses changed my life so I will try everything I know how to try to get people to wear contact lenses successfully if they want to.   Perhaps sometimes I don’t know when to say often enough, “Contacts are not going to work for you.”

Being rendered visually impaired is very motivating to make sure it never happens again.  It’s one of the reasons I’m always harping on patients about having spare pairs of glasses, especially contact lens wearers.  It’s like backing up a computer. It’s not if but when it crashes and you need to be prepared.  An eye infection or having broken glasses always happens at the worst times too:  weddings, funerals and vacations.

After doing a research paper in my 9th grade health class about a possible career, I picked optometry as a career.  I knew deep down in my knower that this is what I was born to do.  So much so I started studying eye terms and anatomy that summer.  I mapped out what college courses I would take each year to get me to optometry school. I was like a missile locked on it’s target and had only one goal:   getting into optometry school to help other people to be able to see.  I will always be grateful for one of my mentors and coaches, Joe Pat Mowery.   Teachers, you can make such a difference in the path of a student and help change the world.  Thank you.

The other reason is I care personally.   I care about you as a person.   It’s something that God put in me.  The need to help others especially those that can’t help themselves and to give grace and show compassion and love to others.  I’m not perfect at it but I’m a work in progress.

One of the verses from the Bible I claim for myself is Jeremiah 29:11-13.   For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

God has plans for me and for you.  He gives us certain gifts and abilities to help that plan He has for us.  Looking back, He opened so many doors and kept me from taking lots of wrong paths. I haven’t always done what He wants and I’m sure I’ve disappointed Him at times by my actions but His grace is sufficient and covers my sins, past and future.  I know He wants me to be here in Dumas, where I ran from after high school, like the Jonah and the whale story, and as in Esther “for such a time as this.   Paul says  “for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.”  Romans 11:29

Yes, there are patients that aren’t always so loveable and hard to work with.  Any business has that.  But we still want to please them as a customer and try to do our best to help them when they aren’t always pleasant.   It reminds me of when Paul writes in Romans 5:8,  “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”   Despite how bad we are, how “unloveable” we all are, Jesus died for each one of us in order to make a way to have a real, living relationship with Him.  (click here for more about how to have that relationship)

If He can do that for me, surely I can try to look past how a person behaves and still love and serve them as a person. Once you experience God’s agape love (love without conditions) you have to pass it on.   Despite all the headaches of insurance paperwork and regulations, I know I was born to do this.  And while someday I may slow down a little, I plan to practice optometry until the day I die.  Who says I have to retire if you love what you do?

So, in the end I guess, eyecare because I care.  I care about you and I know what it’s like to not see.


Oooh baby, baaby…

14 03 2014

Baby baaaby…baby, baaaby….Push it.  Push it good.  Oooh…Baby baaaby.   Yup, got my grove on (in my mind). Who remembers the group Salt N Pepa?  Yes, I’m going back to the 80’s…girls with big hair, Miami Vice,  OP shorts, Member Only jackets…glad that era is over. Almost as bad as the disco 70’s.  But I digress.

Babies.  Just how do we check babies and those little kids eyes?

Well, it’s not easy.  It helps to be quick, creative and sometimes a goof ball to get their attention and help them not be scared.

When we check little children’s eyes, we are looking for three main things:

1. Clear vision in each eye

2. The eyes are aligned straight ahead

3. The ocular health is normal.

While we often can’t be as detailed in the exam data as an adult, we get what information we can.

To determine if the child is seeing clearly, we shine a light streak at the pupils which gives us a red reflection, much like that of a bad photograph where someone’s pupil has got a red reflex.  By moving the light streak in different directions, we can use that red reflex to determine the refractive power of the eye and thus what power of glasses they would need.  If they are old enough to sit for it, a computerized machine called an auto-refractor can read the approximate power of the eye within seconds.  This gives us a second opinion from the manual method.  So if the child is handicapped, won’t speak or too young to respond to questions, we can determine very closely what the refractive status of the eyes are without them saying a word.  When the two readings are close, especially with the help of eye drops that make the focusing system of the eye relax, we can be assured the refractive status of the eye is determined accurately.  That is how we know often times if a child is trying to fake a vision problem.

We usually use pictures instead of letters if they are old enough to speak to help determine what their visual acuity is on the eye chart.  A spinning hand held drum with alternating black and white lines can be used also to get a gross screening of what an infant is capable of seeing.

To determine if the eyes are straight, we cover and uncover the eyes back and forth to see if the covered eye moves to look at a target when the eye is uncovered.  This is called the “Cover Test.”   We also can shine a flashlight toward the eyes and look at the reflection off of the corneal surface and compare it to the pupil location and with the other eye reflection to look for symmetry.  If the reflection differs in one eye, it usually because one is turned a certain direction.  We also use a 3D picture the child looks at with special polarized glasses that makes the picture seem to be floating in the air if they have good stereopsis or depth perception.  If there is an eye turn, usually their depth perception is weak.

Finally, to determine the eye health, we look inside the eye as much as possible.  We try to utilize eye drops that make the pupil dilate and increases the view inside with our special equipment.  At the very least, a good bright red reflection should be coming out of the child’s pupils from the light.  If there is not a good red reflection or especially a white color coming from the pupil, that could indicate a serious eye problem that should be checked immediately by an eye doctor.

I recommend an Optomap Retinal scan be performed on everyone, every year to help see a more complete view of the retina inside the eye.   Even retinal specialists can overlook small things that an Optomap can bring attention to.  It was developed by a Scottish engineer whose 5 year old son had a retinal detachment that was not seen by regular means until it was too late.  Many kids even as young as 2 or 3 years old can often have an Optomap picture taken to see almost the entire back of the eye at one time.

If there is a suspicious finding and the child is just too young or too uncooperative, they can be sedated slightly with medicine that makes them sleepy and just not care or even totally sedated if needed for a more thoroughly internal eye examination.

Since the nerves from the eye to the brain quit developing by age 7-8 years, we want to make sure children are seeing clearly well before that age.   Ideally, children should have an early childhood, wellness eye exam to look for any abnormalities that could affect the eyes development by ages 3-4.  Now with Obamacare, children under the age of 18 are mandated to be covered by a yearly vision exam as a routine procedure.  Check with your insurance provider for specifics.

Don’t assume those big, bright baby eyes are seeing perfectly.  Often the problems are subtle and hard to tell they have a problem.  The child certainly doesn’t know any difference.   We need to correct those problems as early in life as possible so they can develop clear, comfortable,  binocular vision at all distances they are looking at by age 7 or 8. Especially when they look at your old high school yearbook and laugh at your big hair and Madonna outfit.

Don’t gamble with your children’s eyes.  Start checking their eyes by 3-4 years old.  Schedule your kids for an eye exam today.


Courtesy of Dumas Vision Source, PLLC and Dr Tory W. Moore, Optometric Glaucoma Specialist and Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry.    Serving the Dumas, Texas,  Moore County and upper Texas Panhandle area for 23 years.   Call (806) 935-2020 for appointment or visit our optical gallery without an appointment.  Visit our website for more information.  Like our Facebook business page:  Dumas Vision Source  and you can also connect on Twitter @eyedocdumas

Tory Moore, OD  – “A Hometown Eye Doctor You Know and Can Trust!”

Pregnancy and Vision

3 03 2014

I’m going to be a grandpa!  Wow, how did that happen? Weren’t my kids just in school? Yes, it happens that fast. Virtually in the blink of an eye.  Anyway, a new era is about to begin and it got me to thinking about pregnancy and vision.

I see many young mothers to be and they often have many questions about their vision.  Will the pregnancy affect their vision?  Will it make their eyes worse?  The answer is…maybe.

So just what could a new “mother to be” expect to happen with their eyes?  Most of the time, nothing will change. However, since there is a flood of different hormones throughout their body sometimes we can see a few common things.  The most common are:   1. Dry eyes  2. Blurred vision

Dry eyes can cause fluctuating vision, burning and dryness, redness, watering and a sandy, gritty sensation.  This can be helped by a variety of different types of treatments including eye drops and even temporary tear saver plugs that help keep more of your own body’s natural tears.

Blurred vision  can be caused by dry eye but often I see changes in astigmatism and nearsightedness due to corneal shape changes.  With the hormonal changes and water retention, it makes the cornea change it’s shape, thus changing the refractive power of the eye and thus requiring a lens change.

When blurred vision is really a problem, it is because of blood sugar changes.  We never change a prescription on pregnant women until they have had a blood glucose screening to make sure they don’t have gestational diabetes.  If their blood sugar gets higher from the pregnancy, it makes the crystalline lens swell and causes them to become more nearsighted.  The vision usually goes back to where it was once the blood sugar goes back to normal with treatment.  If pregnant women have some relatively small refractive vision changes, it is left alone for the last month of pregnancy and up to one month post part-um since it will usually go back to normal on it’s own.

 Of course if it’s a really big change, we can work with people to help them see with temporary disposable trial lenses until the vision equalizes and we can get a final prescription.  If you are having trouble seeing, please come in and let us help you!  You  don’t want to miss out on such an important time of your life just because your vision is blurry.

It is really important to have  a pair of glasses to wear for when you are in the hospital or if you are laid up in bed and don’t feel like putting on contacts.  You will be plenty tired and worn out both physically and emotionally at times.   A pair of glasses comes in real handy at 3:00 AM in the morning for when that cranky baby is fussing and you just went to sleep.

Rarely, a few more serious eye problems can develop as a result of pregnancy or childbirth.  The main one would be hemorrhages from high blood pressure or from vomiting during preclampsia.   Usually these resolve on their own without any damage as long as the high blood pressure is kept under control.    It is rare they need any surgical intervention.  The worst case scenario would be where the pituitary gland is swollen and putting pressure on the nerves of the eyes.  This is rare but has been known to happen occasionally due to pregnancy hormone changes. Rarely, a blockage or stroke in the eye can occur as well.

While it is extremely rare that pregnant mothers will have any vision problems, there are things that can affect the vision adversely.  The point is to have the eyes examined and make sure it is not anything serious if you are having any kind of trouble with your vision.  Most of the time it is not serious.

Watch for future blogs about how a baby’s eyes develop before they are born and when to start having their eyes examined to make sure they have normal vision and are healthy.  You are taking part in one of God’s most precious creations.  It is not something to take lightly.  Children are a blessing from God so make sure you steward that gift as best as can.  Delight in your children and take joy in them.  Trust me, they grow up way too quickly.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”   Psalm 139:13-16

Courtesy of Dumas Vision Source, PLLC and Dr Tory W. Moore, Optometric Glaucoma Specialist and Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry.    Serving the Dumas, Texas,  Moore County and upper Texas Panhandle area for 23 years.   Call (806) 935-2020 for appointment or visit our optical gallery without an appointment.  Visit our website for more information.  Like our Facebook business page:  Dumas Vision Source  and you can also connect on Twitter @eyedocdumas

Tory Moore, OD  – “A Hometown Eye Doctor You Know and Can Trust!”

Are School Vision Screenings Good Enough?

30 12 2013

I often get asked by parents of children I am prescribing glasses for, “How come they passed the vision screening at school but still need glasses?”

While school nurses provide a valuable service that sometimes detect serious problems with children’s vision, school vision screenings are an incomplete check of a child’s visual status.

For one, a screening is just that – a screening.  Screenings are looking for a big problem in a large amount of people in a short period of time.  It might catch the big things but it leaves alot of little things hidden.   Kids are masters of manipulation too.  Some can fool the nurse that they can see well while some kids can fail that don’t need glasses.

Secondly, the criteria of what defines reduced vision is generally 20/30 vision or worse looking off into the distance.   For some kids, that is too blurry for their needs.  That is the minimum to get a Texas driver’s license and be able to see road signs adequately.  Most of the time, the near vision of school children is not even tested in a school vision screening.  But that is where they use their vision the most!

The biggest group I find need glasses that have passed a screening are farsighted.  Farsighted children generally can see at all places.  Often they can force their eyes to focus to make their eyes see 20/20 at distance and near.  They generally have headaches or eye strain, are slow readers and do poorly with reading comprehension, don’t do well with their grades, labeled incorrectly “dyslexic”, and get in trouble for not paying attention.

Also, the degree of focusing power or accommodation is not tested as well as eye coordination or how the eyes work as a team either.   The vision system of the eyes is very complex.  You are using two eyes that each have to have clear sight, keep things focused in and work in tandem as they move around.  Can you imagine holding two video cameras steady in each hand and trying to video something moving around and try to make a movie that takes both video feeds, in focus, and produces one single picture on the TV?

Lastly, the health of the child’s eye is not examined.  True, there are not a lot of eye diseases at young ages but they do happen.  Diabetes, blood disorders, genetic problems and most importantly tumors in the eye or brain are some things I have come across without much or any symptoms.

I have occasionally had a nurse that went the extra mile and did more than what the school district recommends and I commend them for that.  They perform a vital role that helps find the big problems sometimes.  But don’t rely on  just a school vision screening.  The future of your child depends so much on how well they do in school.  Why would you not want to ensure your child has a normal vision system and healthy eyes?   They can’t be replaced like teeth.  Don’t skimp on this critical need in your child’s development.  Have your children’s eyes tested by a reputable private practice optometrist and please don’t take them to them a mall doc or Bigmart type place.  There generally is a reason those eyedocs work in those type settings.  You don’t get your teeth or mammogram at Bigmart do you?  At any rate, don’t take any chances with your kids.  Make a point to have your children’s eyes regularly, every year,  in a professional setting.

Courtesy of Dumas Vision Source, PLLC and Dr Tory W. Moore, Optometric Glaucoma Specialist and Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry.    Serving the Dumas, Texas,  Moore County and upper Texas Panhandle area for 23 years.   Call (806) 935-2020 for appointment or visit our optical gallery without an appointment.  Visit our website for more information.  Like our Facebook business page:  Dumas Vision Source  and you can also connect on Twitter @eyedocdumas

Tory Moore, OD  – “A Hometown Eye Doctor You Know and Can Trust!”