Ophthalmologist perfects lens

Local Ophthalmologist Perfects Plastic Lens For Injured Eyes

Dr. Loran B. Morgan, Torrington’s ophthalmologist, has produced a plastic lens that helps to end pain in injured eyes and promotes healing, according to the November issue of the Journal of American Medical Association.

Dr. Morgan first made this crude lens, that is about the size of a quarter, on his last trip to Vietnam. He made molds of the eye and with a Bunsen burner and a clear, round, plastic disc fit it around the mold.

The device has a seven inch tube attached to a small hole. This tube is then attached to a syringe or an intravenous bottle. Fluids can flow at a controlled rate to the lens and bathes the eye in the fluid. The fluid is mostly lactated Ringer’s solution but other medications may be added depending on the patient’s problem.

Protection of the damaged or infected eye from the eyelids so it doesn’t grow to the eye, and continual washing of fluids and medication so the eye can heal itself are the purposes of the lens, according to Dr. Morgan.

The fluid, which can run for three days, cools the eye 20 degrees Centigrade, and washes out dead cells, bacteria, and other debris.

Disappearance of pain within two or three hours, and corneal healing are amazing aspects of this device, Dr. Morgan said.

He cited an example of a little boy who had pure gunpowder blow up in his face. Dr. Morgan inserted the scleral lens and within two hours the boy felt no pain. In a few days the child could see. Without the lens, Dr. Morgan said the child would have been blind for a year and then with a cornea transplant maybe he would have been able to see only light.

Dr. Morgan who was born in Minnesota, is not new to Torrington. He spent eight years as a general practitioner of medicine and surgery here before he went back to the University of Minnesota for three more years of training in Ophthalmology. Since 1960 he has had his private practice of Ophthalmology and Ophthalmic surgery in Torrington.

The Goshen County Memorial Hospital and the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Hot Springs, S.D. are set up with his surgical and magnification equipment. Even though the operating room is not new to Dr. Morgan, the minute organ he works on is more delicate and takes more precision and time than much of his previous surgery.

For the past three years, Dr. Morgan has volunteered 60 days of his busy time to do eye surgery in South Vietnam. Most of his patients are treated for eye disease and injury rather than glasses and contact lenses as his practice here. In 1970 he returned for a one month tour. The Vietnamese Government has given Dr. Morgan the Ministry of Health Medal and the Civic Action Medal as their thanks, but the people have given him memories that are even more wonderful.

When asked if he would return again to Vietnam he said probably not. He must stop operating six weeks before he leaves and when he comes back it is so physically exhausting for him to catch up on all his work that it is too hard and tiring for him. However the University of Saigon has invited him to come and teach a class on contact lenses and he may do that.

Another of Dr. Morgan’s recent happenings is a textbook that is used at Baylor University. The author of the book used many of Dr. Morgan’s lectures as basis for part of the material on contact lenses. Dr. Morgan will use this book when he gives his lectures on contact fitting at Baylor.

Dr. Morgan lives in Torrington with his wife Beth. They have two children Beth Ann, who is married and lives in Denver, and Dan who will be living in Honolulu. Dan will be learning how to make contact lenses there.