Eye Conditions & Treatments
At Ophthalmology Associates, we have vast experience treating a variety of eye conditions. Early diagnosis and treatment of retinal conditions are crucial to preventing permanent damage or vision loss. Routine eye exams are critical as people age, especially if there are other potential risk factors involved, such as diabetes. Please contact Ophthalmology Associates today to schedule a personal consultation with one of our expert physicians to be evaluated for potential retinal conditions.
Types and Symptoms of Retinal Conditions
Many eye conditions show common symptoms that include seeing floating specks or cobwebs, blurred or distorted vision, defects in the side vision or loss of vision. There are several common retinal diseases and common eye disorders.
A retinal tear is a condition that occurs when the clear, gel-like substance in the center of your eye shrinks and tugs on the thin layer of tissue lining the back of your eye with enough traction to cause a break in the tissue. It’s often accompanied by the sudden onset of symptoms such as floaters and flashing lights.
A retinal detachment is defined by the presence of fluid under the retina. This usually occurs when fluid passes through a retinal tear, causing the retina to lift away from the underlying tissue layers.
If you have diabetes, the tiny blood vessels in the back of your eye can deteriorate and leak fluid into and under the retina, defined as diabetic retinopathy. This causes the retina to swell, which may blur or distort your vision, or you may develop new, abnormal capillaries that break and bleed. This also worsens your vision.
Epiretinal membrane is a delicate tissue-like scar or membrane that looks like crinkled cellophane lying on top of the retina. This membrane pulls up on the retina, which distorts your vision, which may make objects appear blurred or crooked.
A macular hole is a small defect in the center of the retina at the back of your eye. The hole may develop from abnormal traction between the retina and the vitreous, or it may follow an injury to the eye.
Macular degeneration involves the center of your retina deteriorating. This causes symptoms such as blurred central vision or a blind spot in the center of the visual field. There are two types—wet macular degeneration and dry macular degeneration. Many people will first have the dry form, which can progress to the wet form in one or both eyes.
Retinitis pigmentosa is a degenerative disease that affects the retina. This eye condition changes how the retina responds to light, making it hard to see. People with retinitis pigmentosa lose their vision slowly over time, although they usually will not have complete loss of vision.
Treatments for Retinal Conditions
Treatment for Retinal Tears and Detachment
When the retina is torn or peeled away from the supporting tissues, it can become detached without rapid treatment. Several treatment options are available, including laser surgery.
Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy
Excess glucose in the bloodstream causes the capillaries in the back of the eye to swell and leak fluid, eventually causing vision loss and blindness. Laser surgery has been shown to slow the progression of the disease as well as anti-VEGF injections to control swelling.
Treatment of Dry Macular Degeneration
Atrophy of the epithelial layer below the retina causes vision loss in the central part of the eye. Injections and vitamin supplements have been shown to slow the degeneration.
Treatment of Wet Macular Degeneration
Abnormal blood vessel growth causes leakage in the eye, leading to rapid vision loss if left untreated. Injections as well as PDT can help treat the degeneration.
We proudly utilize Lucentis®,Avastin® and Eylea® for our patients with retinal conditions.
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Meet Dr. Emily Birkholz
Dr. Birkholz specializes in cataract surgery, LASIK eye surgery, medical retina, glaucoma management and more.
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Ophthalmology Associates has been serving the greater Mankato area for over 50 years and our goal has been to provide our patients with the utmost in personal attention and the very best in eye care services. Contact us to set up your appointment today!