When to See a Retina Specialist

The retina is one of the most important parts of the human eye. This layer tiny blood vessels at the back inner wall of the eye is responsible for making vision possible. Because of its importance, the field of retina care has changed greatly over the past two decades and continues to evolve very rapidly to better serve patients.

Optometrists do not typically provide treatment for retinal diseases. General ophthalmologists may choose to provide treatment for some conditions, but more complex retinal cases need the expertise of dedicated specialists, such as the professionals at Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Bowie. We are experts in treating conditions of the retina, helping to maintain the best possible vision for each of our patients.

Retinal specialists treat a wide range of serious, vision-threatening conditions such as:
 Diabetic retinopathy
 Macular degeneration
 Retinal tears/detachments
 Vascular diseases of the retina
 Serious eye injuries
 Eye tumors
 Problems/complications following surgery performed by general ophthalmologists (most commonly cataract surgery)

Depending on the condition, retinal specialists will treat patients with one or a combination of therapies — such as laser treatment, injection medications into the eye, and/or surgical procedures. While treatments will vary based on each patient’s unique characteristics, the large majority of procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis, either in the office or a hospital setting.

Most patients who are seen by retinal specialists are referred by an optometrist or a general ophthalmologist. In some cases where patients have a pre-existing retinal condition, they may seek out retina specialists directly. Typically, retinal treatments are coordinated with the patient’s primary eye care provider and primary care physician.

Your healthy vision is our top priority

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

Blurry Vision in One Eye can Signal Trouble with Your Retina

Many things can affect your vision – compromising your ability to see clearly. Central serous retinopathy is a medical condition where fluid builds up behind the retina in the eye. It can cause sudden or gradual vision loss as the central retina (macula) detaches.

At the offices of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Bowie, our team of highly-skilled eye professionals is well equipped to diagnose and treat CSC, helping to manage the condition and to restore healthy vision for our patients.

CSC most often occurs in young and middle-aged adults and men tend to develop the condition more commonly than women. Vision loss is usually temporary but sometimes can become chronic or recur.

While blurry central vision in one eye is the most common symptom, others include reduced night vision, reduced ability to distinguish between colors and an impaired ability to discern fine detail – like reading and recognizing faces.

CSC typically resolves on its own within a few weeks to months. For chronic sufferers, the condition can lead to long-term vision difficulties, which is why medical intervention is recommended. There are several treatments used for the condition, including thermal or cold laser treatments, oral medications, and eye injections. Early detection of CSC is very helpful, and most eyes with CSC can be treated successfully to avoid permanent vision loss.

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 – Bowie, 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.

Retinal specialist in Bowie

What is Central Serous Chorioretinopathy?

There are many things that can go wrong with the eye – affecting your ability to see clearly. One of those conditions is called central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC), which results in the sudden onset of blurred or distorted vision — usually in only one eye — that is accompanied by a blind spot in the center of the visual field.

At the offices of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Bowie, our team of highly-skilled eye professionals is well equipped to diagnose and treat CSC, helping to manage the condition and to recover healthy vision for our patients.

Central serous retinopathy is a medical condition where fluid builds up behind the retina in the eye. It can cause sudden or gradual vision loss as the central retina detaches. This central area is called the macula.

CSC most often occurs in young and middle-aged adults and men tend to develop the condition more commonly than women. Vision loss is usually temporary but sometimes can become chronic or recur.

While blurry central vision in one eye is the most common symptom, others include reduced night vision, reduced ability to distinguish between colors and an impaired ability to discern fine detail – like reading and recognizing faces.

Without treatment, CSC typically resolves on its own within a few weeks to months. For chronic sufferers, the condition can lead to long-term vision difficulties, which is why medical intervention is recommended. There are several treatments used for the condition, including thermal or cold laser treatments, oral medications, and eye injections. Early detection of CSC is very helpful, and most eyes with CSC can be treated successfully to avoid permanent vision loss.

Committed to your vision health

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Bowie, 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 doctor in Bowie

Risk Factors for Floaters

Do you ever see spots in your line of vision? If so you may be experiencing floaters. At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Bowie, we can help!

Sometimes described as dark shapes or spots, flecks, lines, or strings, floaters are small shadows that are often caused by age-related changes to the eye. These are a normal part of some people’s vision and may just be annoying, but not require treatment. However, if you don’t normally have floaters or if you start to see an increasing amount in your line of sight, it’s important to have your eyes checked.

Floaters can appear like small, dark shapes. They may move when you move your eyes, and dart around. Usually you’ll see these when it is bright out or while looking into the light. They are not commonly associated with any pain. But just because you don’t feel pain, doesn’t mean you should ignore these symptoms. While floaters can be harmless, they can also indicate a more serious problem. The only way to tell is to schedule an eye exam as soon as you notice anything unusual.

What Causes Floaters?
According to the Mayo Clinic, common causes include:
• Aging (those 50 and over are at an increased risk)
• Inflammation of the eye
• Bleeding in the eye
• Retinal tear
• Eye surgeries
• Eye medications

Be sure to tell your doctor if you are nearsighted, have had any previous eye trauma or eye surgery complications, have diabetes, or any eye inflammation. These are all risk factors for floaters. Remember, it’s important to report any changes in vision or eye-related concerns as soon as you notice them and to always have regular, annual eye exams.

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Bowie, 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.

Wet Macular Degeneration: A Less Common Form of Age-related Macular Degeneration

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.

At the offices of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Bowie, our team of highly-skilled eye specialists is well equipped to diagnose and treat AMD, helping to manage the condition, minimizing or even recovering vision loss for our patients.

AMD has two types: wet and dry. Wet macular degeneration is a chronic eye disorder that causes blurred vision or a blind spot in the 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 is due to the thinning of the macula, is more common but less severe.
Wet macular degeneration symptoms usually appear suddenly and worsen rapidly. Patients may experience visual distortions, reduced central vision, decreased color intensity, general haziness in overall vision and blind spots in their field of vision. Because macular degeneration doesn’t affect peripheral vision, it rarely causes total blindness.

No one knows the exact cause of wet macular degeneration, but the vision loss can develop as a result of the abnormal growth of new blood vessels that leak fluid or blood, interfering with the retina’s function; or it could be caused by fluid buildup in the back of the eye.

Factors that may increase your risk of macular degeneration include advancing age, a family history of the disease, smoking, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Committed to your vision health

Treatments for wet macular degeneration involve medications and therapies designed to slow disease progression, preserve existing vision and, if started early enough, recover some lost vision. At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Bowie, 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.

Understanding Common Conditions of the Retina

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Bowie, we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of a range of disorders affecting the health and quality of your vision. One of the most important parts of the eye is the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye that allows us to see. Being aware of conditions that can affect it might just save your vision in the future.

  • Macular Degeneration: Occurs when the macula begins to break down causing blind spots in your central vision.
    • Symptoms include blurred or “fuzzy” vision central vision, difficulty reading or seeing details, straight lines that appear distorted to you.
  • Retinal Detachment: Occurs when the retina lifts off the back wall of the eye, stopping the flow of blood and oxygen to the retina, resulting in cells dying off. A retinal detachment should be treated as a medical emergency.
    • Symptoms include a sudden increase in floaters (spots in your field of vision), flashes of light, as well as a darkening of peripheral (side) vision.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy: Occurs when uncontrolled blood sugar levels damage the tiny blood vessels in the retina.
    • Symptoms include floaters, blurred vision, impaired color vision, and vision loss.
  • Glaucoma: Occurs from damage to optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, most often caused by abnormally high eye pressure
    • Symptoms include eye pain, blind spots in the peripheral or central vision, blurred vision, and eye redness.

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 – Bowie, our top priority is your good vision health and 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.

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 – Bowie, 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 – Bowie, 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.

Annoying Eye Floaters Can Signal Something More Serious

You reach a certain age, and your eyesight may not be what it once was. You may start seeing a black dot in your field of vision that moves around when you move your eyes. It could also look like a cobweb. You try blinking but it just won’t go away. While the effect may be odd, floaters can sometimes be symptoms of an eye condition that requires prompt medical attention.

At the offices of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Bowie, our team of highly-skilled eye professionals is well equipped to diagnose the cause of your floaters and address the underlying causes, helping to restore healthy vision for our patients.

Eye floaters can sometimes be accompanied by other symptoms, such as flashes of light, and diminished peripheral vision. They most often occur as part of the normal aging process, but other eye conditions can cause them as well, including inflammation in the back of the eye, bleeding in the eye, a torn retina, complications from eye surgeries, and trauma to the eye.

Most eye floaters are an annoyance, but they are harmless and don’t require treatment; it’s simply a matter of getting used to them or ignoring them. Warning signs that you should seek an immediate evaluation at our office: if you see a new floater(s), the floaters are accompanied by flashing lights, part of your vision becomes dark, or if floaters appear red, which could indicate bleeding inside the eye.

Depending on the cause and severity of the floaters, laser therapy may be used to break up the floaters and make them less noticeable, or surgery may be used to remove them.

Committed to your vision health

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Bowie, 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.

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 – Bowie 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 – Bowie, 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 Healing Power of Laser Therapy

Retinal diseases vary but they often 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 your eyesight may be in danger and medical attention is necessary.

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Maryland – Bowie, our team of highly-skilled eye specialists is well equipped to diagnose and treat conditions of the retina, helping to restore or maintain healthy vision for our patients.

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 the following conditions and others:
— age-related macular degeneration: where the center of the retina begins to deteriorate
— macular edema: a build-up of fluid in the macula, an area in the center of the retina
— diabetic retinopathy: retinal damage as a result of poorly-controlled diabetes
— retinal vein occlusion: a blockage of the small veins that carry blood away from the retina
— retinal detachments: the back of the eye pulls away from the layer of blood vessels that provides it with oxygen and nutrients

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.

We’re committed to keeping an “eye” on you

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