How to Diagnose Macular Degeneration

Making the Diagnosis of Macular Degeneration, Retina Eye Doctor

Prevent Blindness America has declared February as "Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month."  Making the diagnosis of macular degeneration is usually very straightforward and is based upon your age, your vision and the appearance of your retina. The "Age-Related" in Macular Degeneration Age related macular degeneration, or ARMD, certainly increases in … [Read more...]

Retina Laser Treatment Saves Vision

Laser is Used to Treat Microaneurysms

There are two conditions where laser treatment is needed in patients with diabetic retinopathy:  macular edema and evidence of proliferative retinopathy.  In cases where macular edema, swelling of the retina in the macular area, is present, "focal" photocoagulation is needed.  In cases of proliferative diabetic retinopathy, "pan-retinal photocoagulation," or PRP, is … [Read more...]

Looks Like….Smells Like….But it is Not Macular Degeneration

All "macular degeneration" is not macular degeneration.  There are other "macular" diseases, macular dystrophies and diseases that mimic macular degeneration. Most of the "fakes" are confused with macular degeneration due to the presence of choroidal neovascularization, aka the "wet" form of macular degeneration.  Remember that in wet macular degeneration, the sine qua … [Read more...]

Laser Treatment Still The Best

Laser treatment for diabetic macular edema is still the preferred treatment for most patients with diabetic retinopathy.  Despite all the recent news about intraocular injections of anti-VEGF and steroid medications, the laser remains the mainstay. The most common manifestation of diabetic retinopathy is the development of macular edema (also known as diabetic macular … [Read more...]

Diabetes and Retinal Detachments

Two types of retinal detachments. One group, called rhegmatogenous retinal detachment, can occur in any one and involves the formation of a tear or hole in the retina.  The second group, called traction retinal detachments, involves tissue forming on the surface of the retina and "pulling" the retina to form a detachment.  This is the case with diabetic related retinal … [Read more...]

Are Dilating Drops Always Necessary?

Well, yes.  It is always necessary to dilate the pupil for a thorough exam of the retina.  A dilated pupillary exam is part of a thorough examination of the eye.  Without dilation, it is near impossible to see any structures of the retina through the tiny, 2-3 mm, undilated pupil. All my patients need to be dilated because I am a retinal specialist.  Most of my patients … [Read more...]

Part 1: Introduction to Stem Cells and Retinal Disease

This is the first of a small series regarding stem cells and their potential benefits to retinal diseases; principally macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. As diabetic retinopathy is primarily a disease of blood vessels, i.e.poor blood flow, loss of blood flow, leaking vessels, etc., macular degeneration is actually a disease of one of the layers of the … [Read more...]

Distortion May Be the First Sign of Wet Macular Degeneration

A patient came into the office complaining of new onset distortion in the right eye.  My patient, JG, is a 64 year old male, caucasian, and has a long history of smoking.  JG started noticing changes in his central vision about 6 weeks ago.  At first, there was some distortion in the central vision.  When looking out his front window, he noticed that the telephone wires … [Read more...]

Diabetic Retinopathy: Why Is It Necessary to Dilate Your Eyes?

Every diabetic needs to get their eyes dilated once a year to look for diabetic retinopathy. Getting your eyes examined for glasses doesn't count. Why? The goal of examining the retina is to detect diabetic retinopathy. Pupillary dilation is the only proper way of examining the retina.  With the pupil properly dilated, your eye doctor can examine the entire retina … [Read more...]

Steroid Implant May Reduce Diabetic Retinal Edema

In June, the FDA approved a new intraocular device for the treatment of so-called retinal vein occlusions. In this disease, the whole or partial venous tree of the retina becomes occluded. Secondary swelling of the macula occurs thereby reducing vision. Current therapy involves only laser treatment. This new drug delivery system, marketed by Allergan Pharmaceuticals, … [Read more...]

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