Seeing things that aren’t there? It could be a Retinal Tear

Your once unobstructed vision has suddenly been interrupted – by black spots in your field of vision, blurriness, or odd flashes of light. These are all vision disturbances that may be signs that you have a condition known as a retinal tear. At the offices of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Rockville, our team of retina specialists is trained to diagnose and treat retinal tears, helping to restore healthy vision to our patients.

The retina is located in the back of the eye and plays a critical role in our ability to see. A retinal tear can happen for a host of reasons, including trauma to the eye – such as from a blow to the eye from a blunt object, like a ball or a hand — or from other eye-related conditions. Left untreated, retinal tears may result in a more serious condition known as retinal detachment, where the retina is lifted or pulled from its normal position, putting vision at risk. Because your eyes are the windows to the world around you, it’s important to seek treatment at the first sign of symptoms.

After a full evaluation at our offices and a diagnosis of retinal tear, we may treat your condition with laser therapy (which creates tiny burns), or sometimes with cryotherapy (using a cold probe to the outside of the eye) to seal the retinal tear. In more serious cases, surgery may sometimes be necessary.

Committed to your vision health

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Rockville, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate care for retinal tears and a wide range of eye conditions. For more information on our office and the many services we provide, give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

The Dilated Eye Exam: a Key to Good Eye Health

Eye exams should be treated just like your physical exam — both of which should be done on a yearly basis and sometimes more often, depending on your particular condition.

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Rockville, our skilled professionals provide the highest quality eye care in a relaxed, comfortable setting. Regular eye exams play a key role in determining such things as common eye diseases, whether you need glasses or contacts, and the general health of your eyes.

In general, two procedures are used to check the eyes — undilated and the dilated eye exam. This first part (undilated) is a test of your vision, and perhaps a measurement to determine whether you need glasses or if your prescription needs to be changed. But in order to for us to see the eye’s optic nerve and retina located at the back of the eye, the pupils must be dilated. This is achieved through the use of eye drops, which takes about 15-30 minutes for the pupils to fully dilate.

Dilation helps us to detect a host of potentially serious eye diseases including age-related macular degeneration (when the eye’s macula begins to break down causing blind spots in your central vision), diabetic retinopathy (when uncontrolled blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels of the retina); and retinal vein occlusion (a blockage of blood flow in one of the retinal veins) to name a few. Regular dilated eye exams play a key role in early detection of disease, making treatment more effective.

Committed to healthy vision

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Rockville, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled retinal eye care. For more information on our office and the many services we provide, give us a call today.

Visual Distortions May Signal A Macular Pucker

The macula is responsible for central vision, which is the sharp, straight-ahead vision we need for reading, driving, and seeing fine detail. As we age, a thin layer of scar tissue may form over the macula, a condition known as a macular pucker.

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Rockville, we are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of a host of retinal conditions including macular pucker, helping to restore or maintain healthy vision and a high quality of life for all our patients.

While aging is the most common cause of macular pucker, other factors can contribute to it including some medical conditions (like diabetes), eye surgery and eye injury. Macular puckers are not a serious condition that affect vision or cause blindness, but they can be troublesome –things can look wavy, or you may have trouble seeing details. You might notice a gray or cloudy area in your central vision, or may even have a blank spot in your central vision.

Macular puckers usually heal with time and do not cause serious problems with vision. Nevertheless, we recommend regular eye examinations so we can monitor your condition to ensure the condition hasn’t gotten worse. If you have mild symptoms, we may change your glasses or contact lens prescription improve your vision. Serious cases of macular pucker often involve medical intervention with an outpatient procedure to remove the scar tissue.

Our commitment is to your healthy vision

The main goals of retinal treatment are to stop or slow disease progression and preserve your vision. At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Rockville, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate eye care. For more information on our office and the many services we provide, give us a call today.

Retina specialist in Gaithersburg

A Shot in the Eye that’s Actually Good for You

There are many conditions that can affect the retina, the part of the eye that allows us to take in the world around us. When the retina is compromised, so is vision. The good news is that some retinal disorders can be successfully treated with a procedure called an intravitreal injection.

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Rockville our team of skilled professionals will carefully evaluate your eye condition, listen to your concerns and treat you with the utmost care. After testing, we will be able to determine if you have a condition that can be treated with an intravitreal injection — a shot of medicine into the eye.

The inside of the eye is filled with a jelly-like fluid (vitreous). During the procedure, we will inject medicines such as steroids, antibiotics or antifungals into the vitreous, near the retina at the back of the eye. The injections are used to deliver a higher level of medicine to the retina and are commonly used to treat such eye conditions as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinal vein occlusion.

Intravitreal injections are performed in our office setting, where we’ll do our utmost to keep you comfortable and informed throughout the process. We’ll anesthetize the eye so the needle doesn’t hurt, and during the injection itself, you may feel some pressure but little or no pain. The entire process takes just a few minutes.

Your healthy vision is our top priority

You should always report any changes in your vision to your eye doctor especially if you experience any loss of vision or sudden changes. At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Rockville, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled retinal eye care. For more information on our office and the many services we provide, give us a call today.

See the Light: Early Treatment of AMD Helps Save Eyesight

There are many health conditions that can compromise vision, most notably macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of vision loss. At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Rockville our team of skilled professionals is trained in the diagnosis and treatment of macular degeneration — a condition seen most frequently in older adults, where damage occurs to the light sensing cells of the macula, the small area at the center of the eye’s retina responsible for most of our central vision.

People of all ages — particularly those age 60 and older — should have an annual eye exam that includes dilation of pupils to detect for signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Although it’s considered an incurable eye disease, certain treatments for AMD may delay its progression and help prevent severe vision loss.

Genetic factors play a large role in AMD, with heredity being a factor in 50-70 percent of all cases. Early detection is key, and one of the most effective diagnostic tools we offer is Macula Risk® PGx, which is essentially a DNA test that helps us identify people who are at high risk for AMD progression. These high risk patients are then monitored more regularly and given the appropriate eye therapy for maximum vision preservation based on the their specific genetic profile. Macula Risk® PGx offers the benefits of earlier detection, earlier treatment and better visual outcomes.

Optimal vision is our top priority

If you are experiencing symptoms of AMD, contact us immediately. At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Rockville, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate eye care. For more information on our office and the many services that we provide, give us a call today.

Know the Symptoms of Retinal Detachment

Do you see the light? You can thank your eyes’ retina for it. The retina is responsible for converting light from the outside world allowing us to see the world around us. Should the retina be lifted or pulled from its normal position, a retinal detachment will occur that can cause permanent vision loss if left untreated. At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Rockville our team of skilled professionals is trained in the diagnosis and treatment of retinal detachment.

There’s no pain associated with retinal detachment, but there are usually symptoms before your retina becomes detached. Primary symptoms include:
• blurred vision
• partial vision loss, which makes it seem as if a curtain has been pulled across your field of vision, with a dark shadowing effect
• flashes of light that appear when looking to the side
• suddenly seeing many floaters, which are small bits of debris that appear as black flecks or strings floating before your eye

Although retinal detachment can occur at any age, it is more common in people over age 40, affecting more men than women. The condition is more likely to occur in people who are very nearsighted, have had a retinal detachment in the past, have had eye injuries or other eye diseases or disorders.

In most cases, surgery is necessary to repair a detached retina. We may use laser therapy or a freezing technique, both of which are designed to scar the tear site to restore proper retinal placement and hold it in place. For minor detachments or tears of the retina, a simple procedure may be done in our office.

Optimal vision is our top priority

If you are experiencing symptoms, contact us immediately. Regular eye exams can also flag early changes in your eyes that can prevent future problems. At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Rockville, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate eye care. For more information on our office and the many services that we provide, give us a call today.

ForeseeHome™ Empowers You to Monitor Your AMD

As people age, many people start having trouble with their eyesight. One of the most common conditions that affects them is AMD – age-related macular degeneration – the leading cause of severe, irreversible vision loss in people over age 60.

Fortunately, advanced technologies are allowing for greater monitoring and enhanced vision capabilities for people with a certain kinds of AMD. At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Rockville, our team of highly-skilled eye professionals will explain all of the options available to you. Among them: ForeseeHome,™ home monitoring device clinically proven to identify even the smallest changes in your vision.

AMD has two types: wet and dry. Wet macular degeneration is a chronic eye disorder that causes blurred vision or a blind spot in your visual field. It’s generally caused by abnormal blood vessels that leak fluid or blood into the macula, the part of the eye’s retina responsible for central vision. Dry macular degeneration, which often progresses to the wet form, is due to the thinning of the macula, is more common but less severe. Early detection is the best way to catch the progression from dry AMD to wet AMD.

ForeseeHome® allows us to detect signs of AMD progression earlier, and help preserve vision in patients at risk by beginning prompt treatment. When used daily, the ForeseeHome Monitor can identify vision changes even before the patient notices them, giving us the ability to review test results consistently and address any problems quickly.

Your vision is our top priority

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Rockville, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate eye care. For more information on our office and the many services that we provide, give us a call today.

Reasons to Make Eye Care a Priority

Did you know that a visit to the eye doctor each year is just as important as your annual physical and dental exams? The eyes are complex organs, with many parts that must work together to produce clear vision. Regular eye exams can help identify eye diseases in the early stages, when the condition is most treatable.

At the offices of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Rockville, our team of highly-skilled professionals is well equipped to diagnose and treat a wide range of eye conditions, helping to maintain the best possible vision for each of our patients.

Some eye diseases can go unnoticed for a long time because they have no symptoms at first, but they can eventually lead to vision loss or even blindness if left untreated.

Common vision threats:
• Cataracts: A clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil. Cataracts are the most common cause of vision impairment in people over age 40, and are usually easily treatable with an outpatient procedure.
• Glaucoma: This condition happens when fluid builds up in the front part of the eye, which increases eye pressure and damages the optic nerve. It’s a leading cause of blindness for people over 60.
• Diabetic retinopathy: Occurs in people who have diabetes. It is characterized by too much sugar in the blood, which can cause damage throughout the body, including the blood vessels in the eye’s retina.
• Age-related macular degeneration: A condition where damage occurs to the light sensing cells of the macula, the small area at the center of the eye’s retina responsible for central vision. It blurs the sharp, central vision needed for “straight-ahead” activities such as reading, sewing, and driving. While there is no cure, treatments including drug and laser therapies may slow progression of the disease prevent severe loss of vision.

Committed to good vision health

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Rockville, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate eye care. For more information on our office and the many services we provide, give us a call today.

Retina doctor in Rockville

Conditions that Should be Treated by Retina Specialists

Gone are the days of the family doctor who diagnoses every aspect of your health. Now, there are doctors for virtually every known specialty, including, eye doctors (ophthalmologists) who perform a host of important functions — from eye exams, to prescribing medications, and doing eye surgery. But there are times when an eye problem requires further specialized care. For these situations, a retina specialist is needed.

Retina specialists are just that — experts in conditions of the retina (the layer of light-sensitive cells at the back of the eyeball that trigger nerve impulses that pass from the optic nerve to the brain) and the vitreous (the gel-like substance that helps the eye maintain its round shape). At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Rockville, our skilled team of professionals will diagnose and treat a wide range of retinal and vitreous diseases using state-of-the-art equipment.

Retina doctors specialize in these conditions:

  1. Retinal detachment: Tears that occur when the vitreous pulls away from the retina. Liquid that passes through the tear and settles under the retina can separate the retina from the back wall of the eye, resulting in a retinal detachment.
  2. Diabetic retinopathy: A potentially blinding complication of diabetes that damages the retina. It occurs when tiny retinal blood vessels become damaged from diabetes and begin to leak fluid or blood, resulting in blurred vision.
  3. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD): One of the most common eye diseases treated by retina specialists. It is a condition associated with aging, and is the leading cause of blindness among people over the age of 50 in America. AMD gradually destroys sharp, central vision.
  4. Macular hole/pucker: Scar-like tissue can damage the tiny portion of the retina responsible for seeing fine details clearly.
  5. Retinal vein occlusion: A blockage of the small veins that carry blood away from the retina.
  6. Cancers of the eye: Although uncommon, cancers can affect the outer parts of the eye, such as the eyelid or the inside the eyeball.
  7. Severe eye trauma: Accidents that involve a puncture wound or foreign body being lodged in the eye run the risk of damaging the eye and/or vision.

Committed to maintaining good eye health

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Rockville, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate eye care. For more information on our office and the many services that we provide, give us a call today.

Dry Macular Degeneration: The Most Common Form of Age-related Macular Degeneration

Advancing years bring changes to many people’s eyesight. One of the most common conditions that affects them is AMD – age-related macular degeneration – the leading cause of severe, irreversible vision loss in people over age 60.

At the offices of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Rockville, our team of highly-skilled eye specialists is well equipped to diagnose and treat AMD, helping to manage the condition and maintaining the best possible vision for each of our patients.

AMD has two types: dry and wet. Dry macular degeneration, which is due to the thinning of the macula, (the part of the retina responsible for clear vision in your direct line of sight) is more common but less severe. Wet macular degeneration, which can develop as a progression of the dry condition, is a chronic eye disorder that causes blurred vision or a blind spot in the visual field caused by abnormal blood vessels that leak fluid or blood into the macula.

Dry macular degeneration usually affects both eyes and symptoms usually develop gradually and without pain. Patients may experience visual distortions, reduced central vision, the need for brighter light while reading or doing close work, increased blurriness of printed words, difficulty recognizing faces and decreased color intensity. Because macular degeneration doesn’t affect peripheral vision, it rarely causes total blindness.

While the exact cause of dry macular degeneration is unknown, research indicates it may be related to a combination of heredity and environmental factors, including smoking and diet.

Committed to your vision health

While there is no interventional treatment for dry macular degeneration, if your condition is diagnosed early, you can take steps to help slow its progression such as making sure you have regular eye exams, making healthy lifestyle choices and, if necessary, working with a low vision rehabilitation specialist to help you find ways to adapt to your changing vision. At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Rockville, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate eye care. For more information on our office and the many services we provide, give us a call today.