The retina’s function is very important, as it relays images captured by the eye and sends them to the brain. A retina examination is a detailed and thorough process, and is done by evaluating the dilated eye with advanced imaging techniques. Correctional methods for retina-related issues are advanced, requiring an experienced and expert doctor. At Atlantis Eyecare, we are proud to offer the full spectrum of retina procedures to promote healthy eyes and clear eyesight. Visit one of our Long Beach ophthalmologists today for a retina examination.
Diabetic retinopathy is a condition in which the retina is damaged from complications arising from diabetes. Left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can eventually lead to blindness. It may develop in patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but the likelihood is increased for patients with longer cases of diabetes.
Diabetic retinopathy is caused by abnormal blood vessels in the eyes, causing irregular distribution of fluid in the eyes.
Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include:
- Floaters that obstruct vision
- Blurred vision
- Blind spots
- Changing vision
- Color blindness
- Vision loss
- The condition usually affects both eyes
Treatment and Drugs
Treatment for diabetic retinopathy depends upon the severity and nature of the condition, as well as how the patient may have responded to earlier treatments.
Treatment options for diabetic retinopathy include:
- Focused laser treatment, which can slow or stop leakage of blood and fluid in the retina.
- Scatter laser treatment, which generally shrinks the abnormal blood vessels.
- Vitrectomy, which removes blood from within the eye to ease the symptoms of diabetic retinopathy.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
This condition, also known as AMD, is the degeneration of the macula, a part of the eye responsible for central vision. AMD generally occurs in patients who are 50 years and older. It is the primary cause for vision loss in adults.
How is AMD detected?
The early stages of AMD may produce no symptoms, creating the need for regular eye exams to detect its onset. Such exams include:
- Visual acuity test
- Dilated eye exam to examine the back of the eye
- Amsler grid
- Fluorescein angiogram, allowing your eye care specialist to detect abnormal blood vessels
Dry AMD is the most common type of AMD, occurring in about 90% of patients with AMD. This condition is caused by light-sensitive cells in the macula breaking down, which results in blurring of central vision. As the condition progresses, patients may begin to see a blurry spot in the center of their vision.
Wet AMD, a more severe condition than dry AMD, affects approximately 10% of patients suffering from AMD. Wet AMD is the result of abnormal blood vessels growing underneath the macula. Due to the delicate nature of these vessels, they frequently leak blood and other fluid, causing the macula to swell. This damages the eye.
In wet AMD, the loss of central vision can occur quickly. However, the experts at Atlantis Eyecare can halt or slow progression if detected early. To schedule an eye exam, please call our office today.
Symptoms of wet AMD
During early stages, wet AMD can cause straight lines to appear wavy. Additionally, patients may develop a blind spot that results in loss of vision.
If you notice these symptoms or other changes in your vision, it is important to contact your doctor immediately. Eye conditions must be caught early to prevent severe vision loss.
Treatment options for wet AMD
While wet AMD can result in significant vision loss or blindness, early detection and swift, decisive treatment can slow or stop its progress. While the following treatments are not a cure for wet AMD, they can still be used to manage the symptoms.
- Photodynamic therapy destroys abnormal blood vessels contributing to wet AMD. If done properly and early, this treatment can actually restore partial or total vision.
- Injected medication in the eye can slow the progression of wet AMD.
- Laser surgery is a less common option, although it may be used. It uses laser light to destroy abnormal blood vessels. However, it carries the risk of destroying surrounding healthy tissue.