The human eye is like a camera. Light rays reflected off of images enter the eye through the clear cornea. The light is then focused through the eye's clear lens onto the retina. The retina, acting like film, develops the image.
Because of the retina's important role, any damage from injury or disease can have a debilitating effect on your vision. Diabetics are particularly susceptible to diseases of the retina and should have regular eye examinations. With early detection and intervention, many diseases that threaten the retina can be managed to prevent further damage and blindness. Kenneth R. Bonfield, M.D. and Stephen S. Scott, M.D. are pleased to offer a full range of specialty medical and surgical services related to diseases of the retina and vitreous. Services include office based laser procedures, Lucentis® , Eylea® and Avastin® injections, and out-patient/in-patient surgical services. Dr. Bonfield and Dr. Scott are fellowship-trained retinal specialists with proven skill and experience treating sight-threatening conditions of the retina including macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
Macular Degeneration is often associated with aging and starts with the appearance of spots in the center of the retina. The center of the retina, known as the macula, is responsible for sharp vision. With time, retinal tissues break down and become thin. Tiny blood vessels, which nourish the retina, begin to leak. Blood and leaking fluid destroys the macula, causing vision to become distorted and blurred. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of impaired reading and detailed vision. Laser treatment may prevent further loss of vision and can be performed as an office procedure.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration Include:
- Blurred or distorted central vision
- Blurry words on a page
- A dark or empty area in the center of vision
- Distortion of lines
- Difficulty in reading and doing close work
Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that causes abnormalities in the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina. The fragile blood vessels of the retina begin to weaken and leak fluid and blood. They may also develop brush like branches and scar tissue. As a result, they fail to provide the nutrients to maintain a healthy retina, leading to a slow or rapid loss of vision.
Unfortunately, diabetic retinopathy cannot be prevented. However, in most cases, when performed in the early stages, laser surgery can prevent further bleeding, thereby controlling visual loss. People with diabetes are said to be 25 times more at risk for blindness than the general population, and the longer a person has diabetes the higher the risk that they will develop diabetic retinopathy. All diabetics should have a baseline evaluation by an ophthalmologist. Early detection of retinopathy allows timely treatment and the greatest chance for preservation of vision.
Facts about Diabetic Retinopathy:
- There are no warning signs of diabetic retinopathy
- Gradual blurring of vision may occur
- Painless progression
- Pregnancy and high blood pressure may aggravate diabetic retinopathy
If you are diabetic, or have a family history of macular degeneration, retinopanty or other retinal condition, schedule an appointment today!