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 – Tysons Corner 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 – Tysons Corner, 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.

Intravitreal Injections: A Simple yet Powerful Way to Treat some Retinal Conditions

The retina is one of the most essential parts of the eye – the part of the eye that allows us to actually see — and take in the world around us. There are many conditions that can affect the retina, which can compromise vision. Fortunately, some can be successfully treated with a procedure called an intravitreal injection.

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Tysons Corner 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 procedure to place a medication directly into the space in the back of the eye.

Intravitreal injections are used to administer medications such as steroids, antibiotics, and antifungals to treat a variety of retinal conditions that share a common characteristic: fluid leakage. They include 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.)

We perform intravitreal injections in our office setting, doing our utmost to keep you comfortable and informed throughout the procedure. We anesthetize the eye so the procedure 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.

Committed to healthy vision

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Tysons Corner, 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.

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 – Tysons Corner, 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 – Tysons Corner, 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.

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 – Virginia – Tysons Corner, 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 – Virginia – Tysons Corner, 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 exam in McLean

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 – Tysons Corner 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 – Tysons Corner, 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.

Regular Eye Checkups for Glaucoma Can Save Your Vision

It is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over 60: glaucoma. The condition works to damage the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain and is vital for good vision. Glaucoma poses a threat to your vision, resulting from prolonged high eye pressure that can ultimately lead to permanent vision loss.

It’s important to get regular eye checkups for early detection and treatment of glaucoma before long-term vision loss happens. At the offices of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Tysons Corner, our team of highly-skilled eye specialists will handle your case with care, with regular testing and treatments designed to maintain or restore your healthy vision.

Most patients with glaucoma do not notice any symptoms at first, until they have lost some of their peripheral (side) vision. Often, this is not recognized by the patient until the disease has progressed, and can be accompanied by:
• Eye pain
• Blind spots in your side or central vision
• Redness in the eye
• The vision in one or both eyes appearing hazy
• Seeing halos around lights
• Narrowing of vision (tunnel vision)

Because vision loss due to glaucoma can’t be recovered, the importance of regular eye exams can’t be stressed enough. Treatment for glaucoma aims to lower eye pressure using prescription eyedrops, oral medications, laser treatment, surgery or a combination of any of these.

Committed to your vision health

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Tysons Corner, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate eye care for a wide range of conditions, including glaucoma. For more information on our office and the many services 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 – Virginia – Tysons Corner, 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 – Virginia – Tysons Corner, 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.

“Cold” Laser Treatment for Retinal Tears

The word “cryo,” derived from the Greek word for “frost,” has many derivatives. Cryotherapy involves exposing a body part to extremely cold temperatures for a short time with the goal of healing and restoring function. Proven effective for a host of physical maladies, cryotherapy is used extensively for the treatment of certain eye conditions.

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Tysons Corner, our team of professionals is skilled in the use of cryotherapy, also known as cryopexy, to repair tears or detachments of the retina and restore good vision for our patients.

Cryotherapy: a closer look

The process involves placing a very cold metal probe against the wall of the eye so that the eye’s layers are frozen — including the retina that lines the inside of the eye. Cryopexy creates an adhesive scar that seals the retina against the wall of the eye. The effect is similar to laser surgery, which is alternative form of treatment — but it uses cold instead of heat. Unlike laser, cryopexy can be used to form an adhesion that will hold the detached retina to the eye wall once the retina attaches. In this way, cryopexy is like glue where laser is more like a stapler.

Following the treatment, it takes cryopexy about a week to form a strong adhesion, so during the first week after cryopexy for a retinal tear, it is best to avoid jarring activity. After the procedure, vision may be blurred briefly, and the operated eye is usually red and swollen for some time. Cold compresses applied to the eyelid can help relieve some of the discomfort. Full healing usually takes about 14 days.

Committed to maintaining good eye health

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Tysons Corner, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate eye care. We we will perform a comprehensive eye examination to determine if cryopexy is the best treatment plan for you. For more information, give us a call today.

Retina surgeon McLean

Signs of a Retinal Tear

Your optimal eye health is our mission at the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Tysons Corner. 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 – Tysons Corner, 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.

Retina exam in McLean

Sudden Accidents May Put Your Vision At Risk

Let’s say you were hit in the eye playing softball and now you’re having trouble seeing. Maybe you fell down a flight of stairs and things look blurry. In life, accidents happen and when it comes to injury, your eyes are just at risk as any other part of your body. If you had an accident and are having trouble with your eyesight, it may be time to see a retina specialist. At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Tysons Corner, our skilled team of professionals is highly trained in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of retinal disorders.

The retina is one of the most important structures of the eye, the thin tissue that lines the inside back wall of the eye, collecting all the light that enters it and turns it into electrical signals that are returned to the brain, creating visual images. Sudden impacts can affect this process and certain conditions may arise including ocular trauma, traumatic retinal detachment, and choroidal rupture.

A closer look:

Eye trauma: Damage caused by a direct blow to the eye. The trauma may affect not only the eye, but the surrounding area including adjacent tissue and bone structure. There are many different forms of trauma, varying in severity from minor injury to medical emergencies.

Traumatic retinal detachment: The retina be lifted or pulled from its normal position, a retinal detachment will occur that can cause permanent vision loss if left untreated.

Choroidal ruptures: A splitting or break in the choroid in the back of the eye, caused by trauma or injury.

The good news is that there are effective treatments available to treat these retinal conditions and others. The specialists at Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Tysons Corner ensure the health of the retina for people of all ages. We offer a complete retinal evaluation using the latest imaging equipment and are able to treat many conditions in the office. When surgery is needed, we use the most advanced retinal surgical technology.