Moshe Schwartz, O.D., F.A.A.O.
Contact Lens Specialist Baltimore
Dr. Schwartz earned his Doctor of Optometry degree from the Nova Southeastern University in Florida, and has been in private practice since 1997.
He is a Diplomate in Cornea, Contact Lenses, and Refractive Technology of the American Academy of Optometry. Becoming a Diplomate in the Academy demonstrates that one is an expert in their discipline, this 5 year review process is the highest clinical designation in the field of optometry and is achieved only after a grueling series of written, practical, and live patient examination testing by his peers.
There are around 120 diplomates worldwide and he is one of three optometrists in Maryland who has achieved this milestone. He has lectured nationally and internationally on contact lenses and refractive technologies. He is an active member of the College of Vision Development (C.O.V.D.)
Dr. Schwartz spent a year at John’s Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Wilmer Eye Institute as a Pediatric Optometrist and actively participated in the Baltimore Pediatric Eye Disease Study.
How does your specialization in contact lenses affect your perspective on eye health/eye exams?
Dr. Schwartz: Because we do a lot of specialty contact lens prescribing, we elevate our anterior segment diagnosis and treatment, because the people coming for specialty contact lenses do have some anterior segment conditions that need to be addressed prior to the fitting and prescribing. So by nature, it has to go hand in hand, as being a contact lens specialist requires any practitioner to elevate their diagnostic and clinical skills to a high level so they can treat anything prior to prescribing.
Are most doctors capable of treating myopia as a disease, or is there a fear in the industry to diagnose and address it properly?
Dr. Schwartz: There’s a little bit of both. A lot of doctors just look at it as a refractive condition, the patient is near-sighted, and not a medical condition. We do know that there’s a direct correlation as someone becomes more myopic, there’s a higher risk of render detachment. So for doctors to not address preventive care for the future and to just address the present is almost a form of negligence.
It’s important to keep on top of studies and current research, and to embrace eye health, to look past prescriptions and glasses.
Is it the same with dry eye- focusing on a full diagnosis and treatment, as opposed to the oft prescribed eye drops?
Dr. Schwartz: The way we approach things is to form a comprehensive approach. We are just trying to target one simple thing: a vision problem. We need to make sure that we prescribe appropriately. If the cornea is compromised, we first rehabilitate it, and then we prescribe medications, drops, or whatever is necessary. We don’t just guess at what could work, especially if someone has a compromised or damaged cornea.
This is the kind of thing where it’s really up to the doctor to identify the disease and know how to handle it. The doctor is the specialist, and as long as he knows how to handle it from diagnosis and treating areas beyond tear glands, you’ll achieve a lot more. Of course, as I have done in the past, I’ll refer out as needed, but any doctor must handle a patient’s issues, whether it’s the right pair of glasses or even daily contact lenses.
My approach to my patients is that whatever they need, they’ll be in good hands.