How a Macular Pucker can Affect your Vision

Think of the macula as the “heart” of the eye’s retina, responsible for central vision, most color vision and the fine details of what we see. Like virtually every other body part, and macula is susceptible to disorders, such as when a thin layer of scar tissue forms over the macula, leading to a condition known as a macular pucker.

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Manassas, 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.

Macular pucker is most often the result of an injury or a medical condition, such as diabetes, that affects the eye. Some may form after eye surgery, but most develop as part of the natural aging process. While many macular puckers do not disrupt vision or cause blindness, thicker puckers can compromise vision and distort what you see, such as straight lines that appear as wavy lines, and the inability to distinguish fine detail.

Macular puckers usually heal on their own 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. Serious cases of macular pucker often involve medical intervention with an outpatient procedure to remove the scar tissue.

Your healthy vision is our top priority

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 – Manassas, 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™ Allows for Earlier Intervention and Treatment for Patients with AMD

You may have heard of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), 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. But you may not be aware that there are two types of AMD: dry, and the more serious wet form. The progression from dry to wet can occur rapidly and lead to severe vision loss if left undiagnosed and untreated.

Advanced technologies being used today allow for greater monitoring for people at risk for wet AMD. At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Manassas, our team of highly-skilled eye professionals will introduce you to the ForeseeHome™ home monitoring device — a clinically proven method to identify even the smallest changes in your vision.

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.

ForeseeHome: how it works:

  • the patient takes a daily test, about three minutes per eye
  • the patient’s daily test results are automatically set to a ForeseeHome Data Monitoring Center
  • the ForeseeHome Data Monitoring Center provides our office with timely alerts to vision changes so that a follow-up appointment can be scheduled

Earlier detection, earlier treatment, better visual outcomes

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Manassas, 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.

Shedding Light on the Power of CentraSight®

If you have been suffering from the effects of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), you know how troubling the condition can be. In addition to compromising your central vision, the condition is incurable and destined to get worse over time. At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Manassas 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.

One of those technologies is CentraSight,® 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.

Are you a candidate?

In most cases, to be considered a potential candidate for the CentraSight telescope implant, you must:
• have irreversible, end-stage AMD
• are no longer a candidate for drug treatment of your AMD
• have not had cataract surgery in the eye in which the telescope will be implanted
• meet certain vision and cornea health requirements
• are at least 65 years of age

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. Once the CentraSight device is implanted, we will usually recommend a visual training/rehabilitation program to help you acclimate yourself to the devise and your new vision abilities.

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Manassas, 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.

The Winter Sun Can Pose a Hazard to Your Eyes

Summer’s over, but that doesn’t mean the sunglasses should come off! For many people, eye protection is top of mind during the hot summer months, but not so much during the cold winter ones, where the sun’s UV radiation can be just as dangerous. Too much UV exposure — regardless of season — may increase the risk of developing a wide variety of eye conditions including cataracts, eye lesions and even cancer.

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Manassas, we treat all our patients and their eye conditions with the utmost skill and care. We are also committed to patient education, and we offer these tips for protecting your eyes throughout the year:
• Wear goggles during winter sports: Whether you’re an avid skier or snowboarder, one of the dangers of being outside when there is snow on the ground is the amount of UV rays you’re exposed to. It can be as much as double as is present during the summer months. The bright sun reflects off the white surface of the snow, which magnifies the rays and makes them even stronger.
• Wear sunglasses when there’s snow on the ground: Snow blindness occurs when your eyes are overloaded with UV rays, causing temporary loss of vision. Wear sunglasses to protect yourself from snow blindness – if you’re doing such things as walking in the snow, sledding, or just shoveling the driveway.
• Wear sunglasses on sunny and cloudy days: Even on cloudy days, the UV index can be dangerously high. All protective eyewear should have a side shield protection or wrap around the eye so light cannot enter the eye from side reflections
• Get regular eye exams. Eye deterioration from UV damage can easily be spotted during a routine exam. If caught in time, future eye damage can probably be prevented.

Committed to your vision health

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Manassas, 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 Connection between Blood Sugar and Eye Problems

Diabetes is a major public health problem that is approaching epidemic proportions in the United States and globally. It’s a disease that occurs when your blood sugar is too high. The excess blood sugar can wreak havoc on blood vessels throughout the body and cause damage to important body parts, including your eyes.

Complications from diabetes that affect the eyes is called diabetic retinopathy – a condition caused by damage to the blood vessels of the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. At the offices of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Manassas, our highly-skilled eye specialists are well equipped to diagnose and treat ocular conditions such diabetic retinopathy, helping to maintain healthy vision for all our patients.

Diabetic retinopathy develops gradually, as the excess sugar levels in the blood eventually lead to a blockage of the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina, cutting off its blood supply. As a result, the eye attempts to grow new blood vessels, but they don’t develop properly and can leak easily.

In its initial stages, diabetic retinopathy may cause no symptoms or only mild vision problems, but as the condition progresses, symptoms can include blurred vision, floaters (spots), vision loss, and dark or empty areas in your vision. Left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can cause blindness.

Treatment depends largely on the condition’s type and severity but is geared toward slowing or stopping progression of the condition. Some types can be managed with good blood sugar control; in more advanced cases, surgical treatment may be necessary.

Your trusted partner in care

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Manassas, 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 Office Manassas

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 – Virginia – Manassas 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 – Virginia – Manassas, 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.

Genetic Testing Helps Identify People Who Are At High Risk For 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 – Manassas 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.

Personalized medicine has become a trend in many facets of health care, from oncology to cardiology, and genetic testing for AMD signals its foray into eye care. Personalized medicine is the tailoring of medical treatment to the individual characteristics.

One of the most effective diagnostic tools we offer is Macula Risk® PGx, a simple DNA test performed by rubbing a cotton swab on the inside of the patient’s cheek to help identify people who are at high risk for AMD progression. These high risk patients are then monitored 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.

Our commitment to your vision

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

Retina Office Manassas

Uncontrolled Diabetes Increases Risk of Certain Eye Complications

It’s no secret that diabetes opens the door to a host of serious health complications including those that affect the eye. At the offices of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Manassas, our team of highly-skilled eye specialists is well equipped to treat eye conditions associated with diabetes, helping to maintain the best possible vision for each of our patients.

In people with diabetes, too much blood sugar can damage the tiny blood vessels at the back inner wall of the eye (called the retina) or block them completely. This condition is diabetic retinopathy. Sometimes, tiny bulges protrude from the vessel walls, leaking or oozing fluid and blood into the retina. This fluid can cause swelling (edema) in the central part of the retina (macula). This is a serious eye complication called diabetic macular edema (DME) that can cause vision problems or blindness.

DME is the most common cause of vision loss in people with diabetic retinopathy. Poor blood sugar control and additional medical disorders, such as high blood pressure, increase the patient’s risk of blindness. DME can occur at any stage of diabetic retinopathy, although it is more likely to occur later as the disease progresses.

Traditional treatment for DME involves the use of a procedure called focal laser photocoagulation, which uses the heat from a laser to seal leaking blood vessels in the retina. More recent treatments involve drugs that are injected directly into the eye. These injections are usually given monthly for several months, as many injections are needed to control the leakage. Once the leakage is under control, continued monitoring is important.

Just how many injection treatments a particular patient will need will vary, but experience has shown that patients benefit most when they follow a consistent treatment regime, so starting treatment — and continuing with it — is very important to insure that your eyes and vision do as well as possible.

Committed to your vision health

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Manassas, 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.

Ophthalmology office in Manassas

7 Common Conditions Treated by Retina Specialists

You count on your eye doctor to keep you seeing clearly. In fact, eye doctors (ophthalmologists) 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 even further specialized care. For these situations, a retina specialist is needed.

Retina specialists are 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 – Virginia – Manassas, our skilled team of professionals will diagnose and treat a wide range of retinal and vitreous diseases using state-of-the-art equipment.

Conditions treated by retina specialists

  1. Retinal detachment: Tears 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. The condition is associated with aging, and it 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 – Virginia – Manassas, 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.

Eye surgeon Burke

Signs of a Retinal Tear

Your optimal eye health is our mission at the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Manassas. Whether it’s a regular eye exam, or something more urgent like eye pain, a retinal tear, or vision loss, we are here for you!

If you are experiencing any issues with your eyes, it’s important that you make an appointment for an exam. One type of eye problem we see at our practice is a retinal tear. Like it sounds, a retinal tear is a tear to the retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue in the back part of your eye.

The good news is that when caught early, a tear can be repaired safely and effectively. In fact, some tears are minor and will heal on their own without needing any intervention. However, it’s still important to seek medical attention because retinal tears can lead to serious issues if left undiagnosed and untreated.

Signs of a Retinal Tear

How do you know if you have a retinal tear? There are some risk factors to be aware of such as history of eye trauma or disease, older age, family history of retinal tears or retinal detachment, and being nearsighted.

There are also some symptoms you may experience with a retinal tear. If you notice any of these, it’s important to make an appointment with us right away. Common signs include:
• Floaters (floating spots in your line of vision)
• Light flashes
• Blurred vision
• Bleeding in the area

A retinal tear can be detected during a thorough eye exam. Preventing any worsening of symptoms is critical, so you should seek medical attention right away if you notice any pain or any of the symptoms described above. Remember, the sooner you come in, the better the outcomes.

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