What to Expect During an Eye Exam

The eyes are arguably the most important of our five senses, enabling us to take in the world around us. It stands to reason, then, that regular visits to the eye doctor are just as important as your annual physical and dental exams. 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 – Chevy Chase, 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.

During the exam, the eye doctor will test for visual acuity (sharpness), depth perception, eye alignment, and eye movement. Eye drops are used to dilate the eyes’ pupils to make them larger, in order to see inside and check for signs of health problems. The doctor may even spot other conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes, sometimes before your primary care doctor does.

Guidelines for eye exams

In general, these are the recommended eye exam guidelines for people without symptoms or special risk factors:
• Ages 20-39: A complete eye exam is recommended every 2-3 years, but individuals should consult with their doctor about the exam frequency that’s right for them.
• Ages 40-59: Every 2 years
• Age 60 and older: Every year
• Children: Vision screening for all children is recommended at least once between ages 3 and 5 years to check for “lazy eye” or risk factors for the disease.

People with special risks, such as diabetes, a previous eye trauma, surgery or a family history of glaucoma, may need an eye exam more frequently. Those with symptoms of eye trouble should see an eye doctor right away. With some simple precautions and regular care, good eye health can be maintained and enjoyed throughout life.

Committed to your vision health

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Chevy Chase, 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.

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 – Maryland – Chevy Chase 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 – Maryland – Chevy Chase, 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 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 – Maryland – Chevy Chase, 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 – Maryland – Chevy Chase, 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.

Eye Inflammation Can Affect Your Vision

When an area of the body becomes inflamed, it’s usually a sign that something is wrong. Inflammation that affects different parts of the eye is known a uveitis, a potentially serious condition that can affect vision and even lead to blindness.

At the offices of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Chevy Chase, our skilled and compassionate eye specialists understand the distress eye conditions can cause and are well equipped to diagnose and treat ocular conditions such as uveitis, helping to restore healthy vision for our patients.

While uveitis typically affects the part of the eye called the uvea (the pigmented layer of the eye), it can also affect other parts including the lens, retina, optic nerve. The condition can affect people of all ages but usually, it affects adults between the ages of 20 and 60.

Uveitis is a condition that can vary in duration, affecting one or both eyes. Some people can suffer for days or weeks, others for months or even years. Symptoms include blurred vision, floating spots in the vision, eye pain, redness of the eye and sensitivity to light.

Treatment aims is to reduce the ocular inflammation with the use of eyedrops that contain a corticosteroid. If the eyedrops don’t help, a corticosteroid pill or injection may be the next step, and if the uveitis is caused by an infection, we may prescribe antibiotics, antiviral medications or other medicines to bring the infection under control.

We take pride in keeping an “eye” on you

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Chevy Chase, our focus is on you and we are committed to providing the highest quality treatments for a wide range of eye conditions. 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 – Maryland – Chevy Chase, 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 – Chevy Chase, 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.

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 – Chevy Chase, 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 – Chevy Chase, 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.

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 – Maryland – Chevy Chase 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 – Maryland – Chevy Chase, 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.

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 – Maryland – Chevy Chase 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 – Maryland – Chevy Chase, 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.

The Importance of Retina Specialists in Treating Children’s Eye Diseases

Children experience a variety of eye problems that often require unique treatment, as a child’s eye and general vision are still developing up until age nine. At the offices of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Chevy Chase, our skilled professionals are trained in diagnosing and treating ocular disorders in children of all ages, from newborn babies to teenagers.

One of the most serious of conditions is retinal disorder, which occurs when the retina malfunctions. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue on the inside and back of the eye. Vision originates in the retina, which contains photoreceptor cells that convert light into electrical impulses. These impulses are the visual information or “pictures” that travel to the brain via the optic nerve. Most retinal disorders involve a disruption in the transmission of these impulses.

Signs your child may have a retinal disorder:
• a white pupil
• a loss or partial loss of vision
• night blindness
• black “floaters” in vision
• sudden, persistent flashing lights
• an intolerance of light

Accurate diagnosis is made through a full ophthalmologic examination that may involve an ultrasound of the eye, visual field tests, CT cans and other imaging techniques. Treatment of retinal disorders varies widely, depending on the type. Some of the most common include: retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) a disorder that occurs in premature infants resulting in blood vessels that grow out of control along the retina; uveitis, a form of eye inflammation; congenital malformations of the optic nerve and retina; juvenile retinal detachment; and juvenile retinoschisis, a degenerative retinal disorder.

Committed to maintaining good eye health

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

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 – Chevy Chase, 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 – Chevy Chase, 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.