Stem Cells for Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy and Macular Degeneration

RPE Transplantation for Stargardts Disease

  Advanced Cell Technology recently announced the beginning of their landmark trial where stem cells are transplanted into patients with Stargardt's Macular Dystrophy (aka Stargardt's Disease) and dry macular degeneration. Clinical Trials for Stargardt's Begin The company announced that their phase I/II clinical trials started in mid-July with one patient each of … [Read more...]

How To Diagnose Diabetic Retinopathy

The retina is the only part of the eye affected by diabetes.  The only way to diagnose diabetic retinopathy is by direct visualization of the retina.  Your eye doctor should be able to dilate your eyes and, by simply looking at your retina, diagnose the disease.  That's all. No Symptoms of the Eye Disease Symptoms are the effects of a disease.  These are what a patient … [Read more...]

Legal Blindness and the IRS

Legally blind vision loss can result from either diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration.  Complete blindness can result diabetic retinopathy, but not ARMD.  Legally blind, or partially sighted individuals, can still "see," whereas completely blind patients see nothing. Diabetic Blindness Diabetic retinopathy can cause a spectrum of vision loss, from slightly blurry … [Read more...]

Eye Surgery Can Blind

There are risks to eye surgery, especially intraocular operations such as cataract removal or vitrectomy.  Cataracts are the most common eye surgery and vitrectomy eye surgery is usually performed by a retina specialist for various problems of the retina and vitreous.  Infection, inside the eye, called endophthalmitis, is uncommon, yet can blind. There are all sorts of … [Read more...]

Two Kinds of Blind

There are two types of blindness that I deal with;  legal and complete.  Diabetic retinopathy can cause both types while macular degeneration generally causes just legal blindness.  Other types of vision loss are actually perceived; what I call "refractive" blindness and psychological blindness. Legal blindness is defined as vision worse than 20/200, but it does not … [Read more...]

“Low Vision” Is Not “No Vision:” Part 1

I am happy and honored to introduce Dr.  Chris Renner as a contributor to!  He and I practice closely together in Northern Virginia.  I asked him to write about Low Vision. - "Randy" What is Low Vision? The great advances in treatment of eye disease have prevented many cases of blindness, however, many patients suffer partial visual loss and … [Read more...]

The Risks of Eye Injections

The risks and complications of  injections into the eye are low.  The most dreaded complication of intravitreal injections is infection inside the eye (aka endophthalmitis).  The risk of endophthalmitis is reported to be about 0.09%.  Endophthalmitis can cause blindness. As more and more intravitreal injections are delivered for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy and … [Read more...]

A “Toy Story”…………Stories that Blind

Airsoft with Safety Eyeware

Most retina specialists are also surgeons.  We operate on retinal detachments, advanced diabetic retinopathy.............and trauma.  Trauma includes careless accidents involving toys.  This holiday season, think about eye safety. Paintball - I hate this one.  A compact canister fired at a high rate of speed.  The fancier the gun, the … [Read more...]

Macular Degeneration; How Do We Cope?

I see patients that have lost vision from macular degeneration; wet macular degeneration and dry macular degeneration. Wet Macular Degeneration. The most severe form of macular degeneration is the wet form.  Abnormal blood vessels, aka choroidal neovascularization, develop within in the layers of the retina/macula.  These vessels destroy normal macular tissue and … [Read more...]

Visual Acuity – How We Measure Your Vision

Image via Wikipedia When you go to your eye doctor, we check your "vision," but there are several ways to actually monitor or evaluate your vision.  Basically, almost all vision testing is designed to measure the function of your macula.  Macular vision is your central vision.  It is our most useful vision.  When we are 20/20, we are testing central vision only. "The … [Read more...]

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