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 – Virginia – Fredericksburg, 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 – Virginia – Fredericksburg, 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.

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 – Virginia – Fredericksburg, 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 – Virginia – Fredericksburg, 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.

CentraSight® Offers Hope for People with End-stage AMD

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.

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Fredericksburg our team of skilled professionals is trained in the diagnosis and treatment of end-stage AMD and, using advanced technologies, we can help improve your eye vision and quality of life.

AMD occurs when there is damage 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. The disease is progressive and in its end stages, the macula reaches a point where central vision is lost in both eyes, making it difficult to perform everyday tasks. The CentraSight® treatment program could help improve your vision and reconnect you to the things in life you love to see and do.

CentraSight® is an FDA-approved medical telescope, about the size of a pea, which is implanted inside the eye to reduce the effects of the central vision blind spot caused by the disease. The telescope implant projects the objects that you’re trying to see onto the healthy area of the light-sensing retina that has not degenerated.

After a thorough examination and testing, we will discuss with you if you’re likely to benefit from the CentraSight treatment program. If so, our tests will indicate which eye should be treated and what your vision may be like after the telescope is inserted.

Optimal vision is our top priority

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

Laser Therapy Effectively Treats Some Eye Conditions

It literally allows you to see the light! The portion of the eye known as the retina plays a critical role in your ability to see, as it converts light into nerve signals that are then sent to the brain, giving you vision. Like all parts of the body, the retina is subject to disease. At the offices of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Fredericksburg, our team of highly-skilled eye specialists is well equipped to diagnose and treat conditions of the retina, helping to restore healthy vision for our patients.

Retinal diseases vary widely, but most of them cause symptoms and can affect any part of the eye. They share some common signs and symptoms, such as seeing “floaters,” “cobwebs” or flashes of light in your field of vision, or having blurry, distorted or even or reduced vision. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to see prompt medical attention.

A non-invasive procedure known as laser photocoagulation is usually the first line of treatment for common retinal conditions, such as retinal tears, retinal detachments, and age-related macular degeneration (where the center of the retina begins to deteriorate). During this relatively painless procedure, we focus a laser over the affected area that emits a beam of light that travels through the eye. The heat works to seal the tear or destroy any abnormal blood cells.

Good eye health is our vision for you

The main goals of retinal treatment are to stop or slow disease progression and preserve, improve or restore your vision. At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Fredericksburg, 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.

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 – Virginia – Fredericksburg, 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 – Virginia – Fredericksburg, 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.

Lasers Prove Effective in Treating some Retinal Conditions

Retinal diseases vary widely, but most of them cause visual symptoms and can affect any part of the eye. At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Fredericksburg, our team of highly-skilled eye specialists are well equipped to diagnose and treat conditions of the retina, helping to restore or maintain healthy vision for our patients.

Many retinal diseases share some common signs and symptoms, such as seeing “floaters,” “cobwebs” or flashes of light in your field of vision, or having blurry, distorted or even or reduced vision. All of these are warning signs that need prompt medical attention.

We can treat some common retinal conditions with a non-invasive procedure known as laser photocoagulation — where the heat of the laser works to seal the tear or destroy actively growing abnormal blood cells. The procedure can be successfully used on patients suffering from age-related macular degeneration (where the center of the retina begins to deteriorate); diabetic retinopathy (retinal damage as a result of diabetes); retinal vein occlusion (blockage of the small veins that carry blood away from the retina); retinal detachments (at the back of the eye pulls away from the layer of blood vessels that provides it with oxygen and nutrients) and certain other conditions.

After this relatively painless procedure, the surgeon may administer a topical steroid to prevent inflammation. Bed rest is usually recommended for the first few days, giving time for the eye to fully heal.

Good vision is our top priority

The main goals of retinal treatment are to stop or slow disease progression and preserve, improve or restore your vision. At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Fredericksburg, 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.

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 – Virginia – Fredericksburg 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 – Virginia – Fredericksburg, 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.

Retina doctor in Stafford

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 – Virginia – Fredericksburg, 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 – Virginia – Fredericksburg, 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 Stafford

Dealing with the Effects of Diabetic Retinopathy

People with diabetes are well aware of the effects the condition can have on the body. Uncontrolled diabetes can wreak havoc on almost all systems in the body – including the eyes.

One of the most common conditions that can develop is called diabetic retinopathy – damage to the blood vessels in the eye’s retina due to high blood sugar levels. At the offices of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Fredericksburg our team of skilled professionals is trained in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy, helping patients to preserve good eyesight and effectively manage the condition.

The retina, a small patch of tissue that lines the back of the eye, is responsible for turning light into signals for the brain. In short, the retina is an essential part of vision. As diabetic retinopathy progresses, the tiny blood vessels on the retina begin to swell and leak fluid and blood. This fluid leaks into the eye cavity, obscuring vision. Eventually, new abnormal blood vessels begin to grow on the retina. These new blood vessels are fragile and leak easily, compounding the issue.

Diabetic retinopathy: possible warning signs
• Spots or dark strings floating in your vision (floaters)
• Blurred vision.
• Fluctuating vision.
• Impaired color vision.
• Dark or empty areas in your vision.
• Vision loss.

Treatments for diabetic retinopathy vary from patient to patient depending on the severity of the condition, but usually include a combination of medications, injectable medicines and laser surgery. In addition to these treatments, diabetic patients are encouraged to get their blood sugar under control. Treatments can only go so far if the root problem is not being addressed.

Your healthy vision is our top priority

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Fredericksburg, our diabetic eye disease experts are here to help you maintain the best vision possible. For more information on our office and the many services that we provide, give us a call today.

Retina exam Fredericksburg

Know the Risk Factors for Retinal Detachment

The retina serves as the crucial translator for your sight. It converts light from the outside world into nerve signals in the brain. Unless this transformation happens, the light focused on the eyes would be useless for navigating our environment.

Retinal detachment occurs when the retina is lifted or pulled from its normal position — a serious condition that can cause permanent vision loss if left untreated. At the offices of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Fredericksburg our team of skilled professionals is trained in the diagnosis and treatment of retinal detachment.

Sometimes, small areas of the retina are torn. Called retinal tears or retinal breaks, they can ultimately lead to retinal detachment. Knowing the symptoms can be a warning of this occurrence, and include a sudden or gradual increase in either the number of floaters (little “cobwebs” or specks that float about in your field of vision), light flashes in the eye, and a darkening of peripheral vision.

Are you at risk?

A retinal detachment can occur at any age, but commonly in people over age 40, affecting more men than women. The condition is more likely to occur in people who:
• are extremely nearsighted
• have had a retinal detachment in the other eye
• have a family history of retinal detachment
• have had cataract surgery
• have other eye diseases or disorders
• have had eye injury

Small holes and tears of retinal detachment are treated with laser surgery or a freeze treatment called cryopexy, both of which can be performed in the doctor’s office. It is crucial to heed these warning signs, for delaying treatment can cause permanent blindness in the affected eye, when the retina cannot be re-attached.

Your healthy vision is our top priority

Retinal detachment is a medical emergency. If you are experiencing symptoms, see an eye care professional 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 – Virginia – Fredericksburg, 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.