Diabetic Macular Edema: Have No Fear

Diabetic Macular Edema,

      Diabetic macular edema (DME) is swelling in the retina caused by diabetic retinopathy.  More specifically, the swelling is located in the macula, the functional center of the retina. Diabetic Macular Edema Occurs In Almost Everyone DME is the most common "side effect" or complication of diabetic retinopathy.  It should not be feared, but … [Read more...]

How to Diagnose Macular Degeneration

Unlike the diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy, a patient with macular degeneration must have symptoms of the disease for the diagnosis to be made.  In most cases, the retina should have characteristic "damage," and, most importantly, the patient must be having symptoms, i.e. decreased vision and/or distortion. In Whom We Make the Diagnosis Patients afflicted with macular … [Read more...]

Retinal Detachments Can Blind

The natural history of a retinal detachment is blindness.  "Natural history" of a disease is the same as the usual outcome.  So, the usual outcome of a retinal detachment is complete blindness if eye surgery is not performed. Retinal Detachments Only Become Larger Retinal tears and holes cause a retinal detachment.  A small amount of fluid goes through the tear and gets … [Read more...]

Are You At Risk For Developing Macular Degeneration?

A family member is diagnosed with macular degeneration and you wonder if you will develop the same eye disease.  In most cases, macular degeneration is not inherited, but the risk factors probably are. "My Father Was Diagnosed, What About Me?" This is a common question and fear.  The natural assumption is that this is a disease that "runs in the family."  Far from true. … [Read more...]

Optometry Student’s First Retinal Surgery

Optometry students frequently rotate through our office.  One of our visiting students had the chance to watch me in the operating room.  I asked her to write about the experience... Hello, My name is Maggie, and I’m a fourth year student at the SUNY College of Optometry in NYC. I had the opportunity to observe retinal surgeries with Dr Wong in the OR, and it … [Read more...]

Vision Saved by Web Site

Vision saved by reading a web site?  Yes, my patient saved his own vision after reading about retinal detachments on this blog.  Learning from a credible health information source (this blog)  about his condition initiated a cascade of events leading to saving his vision. A retinal tear or retinal hole can cause a retinal detachment.  Flashes and floaters sometimes … [Read more...]

You Look All Bent Out of Shape

Distortion, also known as metamorphopsia, is a symptom of many macular diseases.   Anything that affects the macula can cause distortion; epiretinal membranes, macular holes, macular edema, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration.  The macula is a place in the retina, the functional center.  Thus, the term "macular" becomes an adjective when describing retinal … [Read more...]

Drusen Not Associated with Macular Degeneration

Drusen are associated with macular degeneration but are not diagnostic of the disease.  Too many feel that these "spots"  are indicative of ARMD, but they can, and often are, normal. What Are These White Lesions? Drusen are white spots, or lesions,  seen within the layers of the retina.  There are two types; hard and soft.  The differences between the two are somewhat … [Read more...]

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