Coping with the Challenges of Low Vision

Eyesight is something most of us take for granted – until something happens to compromise it. When low vision sets in, everyday tasks like reading, shopping, cooking, writing, and watching TV suddenly become harder to do. Low vision is a common affliction, primarily for those over the age of 65.

As providers of experienced and compassionate care, the team of professionals at Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Woodbridge understand how frustrating your condition can be. We’ll work to diagnose any underlying eye disease that may be contributing to your condition, and help you meet the challenges that low vision presents — such as recognizing the faces of family and friends, doing housework, reading traffic signs, or seeing clearly even with the lights on.

Low vision is usually caused by such eye conditions as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataract, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, eye injuries and birth defects. Regardless of the cause, lost vision cannot be restored, but it can be managed with proper treatment and vision rehabilitation.

The sooner vision loss or eye disease is detected, the greater your chances of keeping your remaining vision. If conventional methods such as glasses, contact lenses, medications or surgery have not worked, we will often recommend vision rehabilitation. These services may include eye examinations, a low vision evaluation, training on how to use visual and adaptive devices, support groups, and training on how to perform everyday activities in new ways. Our goal is to help you maintain as independent and as good a quality of life as possible.

A trusted partner in care

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Woodbridge, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled care for a wide spectrum of eye disorders and conditions. For more information on our office and the many services we provide, give us a call today.

A Shot in the Eye that’s Actually Good for You

There are many conditions that can affect the retina, the part of the eye that allows us to take in the world around us. When the retina is compromised, so is vision. The good news is that some retinal disorders can be successfully treated with a procedure called an intravitreal injection.

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Woodbridge 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 shot of medicine into the eye.

The inside of the eye is filled with a jelly-like fluid (vitreous). During the procedure, we will inject medicines such as steroids, antibiotics or antifungals into the vitreous, near the retina at the back of the eye. The injections are used to deliver a higher level of medicine to the retina and are commonly used to treat such eye conditions as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinal vein occlusion.

Intravitreal injections are performed in our office setting, where we’ll do our utmost to keep you comfortable and informed throughout the process. We’ll anesthetize the eye so the needle 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.

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 – Virginia – Woodbridge, 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 Dilated Eye Exam: A Key to Good Eye Health

Eye exams should be treated just like your physical exam — both of which should be done on a yearly basis and sometimes more often, depending on your particular condition.

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Woodbridge, our skilled professionals provide the highest quality eye care in a relaxed, comfortable setting. Regular eye exams play a key role in determining such things as common eye diseases, whether you need glasses or contacts, and the general health of your eyes.

In general, two procedures are used to check the eyes — undilated and the dilated eye exam. This first part (undilated) is a test of your vision, and perhaps a measurement to determine whether you need glasses or if your prescription needs to be changed. But in order to for us to see the eye’s optic nerve and retina located at the back of the eye, the pupils must be dilated. This is achieved through the use of eye drops, which takes about 15-30 minutes for the pupils to fully dilate.

Dilation helps us to detect a host of potentially serious eye diseases including 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) to name a few. Regular dilated eye exams play a key role in early detection of disease, making treatment more effective.

Committed to healthy vision

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Woodbridge, 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.

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 – Virginia – Woodbridge, 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 – Virginia – Woodbridge, 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.

Shedding Light on the Power of CentraSight®

If you have been suffering from the effects of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), you know how troubling the condition can be. In addition to compromising your central vision, the condition is incurable and destined to get worse over time. At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Woodbridge 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.

One of those technologies is CentraSight,® 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.

Are you a candidate?

In most cases, to be considered a potential candidate for the CentraSight telescope implant, you must:
• have irreversible, end-stage AMD
• are no longer a candidate for drug treatment of your AMD
• have not had cataract surgery in the eye in which the telescope will be implanted
• meet certain vision and cornea health requirements
• are at least 65 years of age

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. Once the CentraSight device is implanted, we will usually recommend a visual training/rehabilitation program to help you acclimate yourself to the devise and your new vision abilities.

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Woodbridge, 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.

Eye Trauma Can Pose a Risk to Your Vision

Accidents are a part of life and when they happen, they can cause all manner of bodily harm. When the eye is suddenly hit, the trauma from the impact and damage that ensues can pose a risk to your vision. At the offices of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Woodbridge, our highly skilled and compassionate staff will work to ease your pain, evaluate the condition of your eye, and effectively treat the damage caused to it.

Trauma can take many forms, varying in severity from minor injury to medical emergencies. It’s important to note that even in cases where trauma seems minor, every eye injury should be given medical attention, especially if you develop any of the following symptoms:
• eye pain
• blurred vision
• cuts to the eyelid
• diminished eye movement
• eye protrusion
• blood in the clear part of the eye
• abnormal pupil size or shape
• a foreign object embedded in the eye

The best way to avoid eye trauma is to take simple precautions. We suggest using protective eyewear while doing things that may put them at risk – such as home repair, yard work, cleaning, cooking, and playing sports. In most cases of injury, people report not properly protecting their eyes – which is an indication of just how important taking the necessary precautions can be.

A trusted partner in care

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

Laser Therapy Effectively Treats Some Eye Conditions

It literally allows you to see the light! The portion of the eye known as the retina plays a critical role in your ability to see, as it converts light into nerve signals that are then sent to the brain, giving you vision. Like all parts of the body, the retina is subject to disease. At the offices of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Woodbridge, our team of highly-skilled eye specialists is well equipped to diagnose and treat conditions of the retina, helping to restore healthy vision for our patients.

Retinal diseases vary widely, but most of them cause symptoms and can affect any part of the eye. They 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. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to see prompt medical attention.

A non-invasive procedure known as laser photocoagulation is usually the first line of treatment for common retinal conditions, such as retinal tears, retinal detachments, and age-related macular degeneration (where the center of the retina begins to deteriorate). During this relatively painless procedure, we focus a laser over the affected area that emits a beam of light that travels through the eye. The heat works to seal the tear or destroy any abnormal blood cells.

Good eye health is our vision for you

The main goals of retinal treatment are to stop or slow disease progression and preserve, improve or restore your vision. At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Woodbridge, 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 Surgery in Woodbridge

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 – Virginia – Woodbridge, 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 – Virginia – Woodbridge, 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.

Retina testing in Woodbridge

Dry Macular Degeneration: The Most Common Form of Age-related Macular Degeneration

Advancing years bring changes to many people’s 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 – Virginia – Woodbridge, our team of highly-skilled eye specialists is well equipped to diagnose and treat AMD, helping to manage the condition and maintaining the best possible vision for each of our patients.

AMD has two types: dry and wet. Dry macular degeneration, which is due to the thinning of the macula, (the part of the retina responsible for clear vision in your direct line of sight) is more common but less severe. Wet macular degeneration, which can develop as a progression of the dry condition, is a chronic eye disorder that causes blurred vision or a blind spot in the visual field caused by abnormal blood vessels that leak fluid or blood into the macula.

Dry macular degeneration usually affects both eyes and symptoms usually develop gradually and without pain. Patients may experience visual distortions, reduced central vision, the need for brighter light while reading or doing close work, increased blurriness of printed words, difficulty recognizing faces and decreased color intensity. Because macular degeneration doesn’t affect peripheral vision, it rarely causes total blindness.

While the exact cause of dry macular degeneration is unknown, research indicates it may be related to a combination of heredity and environmental factors, including smoking and diet.

Committed to your vision health

While there is no interventional treatment for dry macular degeneration, if your condition is diagnosed early, you can take steps to help slow its progression such as making sure you have regular eye exams, making healthy lifestyle choices and, if necessary, working with a low vision rehabilitation specialist to help you find ways to adapt to your changing vision. At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Woodbridge, 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.

22191 eye specialists

Reasons to Make Eye Care a Priority

Did you know that a visit to the eye doctor each year is just as important as your annual physical and dental exams? The eyes are complex organs, with many parts that must work together to produce clear vision. 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 – Woodbridge, 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.

Some eye diseases can go unnoticed for a long time because they have no symptoms at first, but they can eventually lead to vision loss or even blindness if left untreated.

Common vision threats:
• Cataracts: A clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which lies behind the iris and the pupil. Cataracts are the most common cause of vision impairment in people over age 40, and are usually easily treatable with an outpatient procedure.
• Glaucoma: This condition happens when fluid builds up in the front part of the eye, which increases eye pressure and damages the optic nerve. It’s a leading cause of blindness for people over 60.
• Diabetic retinopathy: Occurs in people who have diabetes. It is characterized by too much sugar in the blood, which can cause damage throughout the body, including the blood vessels in the eye’s retina.
• Age-related macular degeneration: A condition where damage occurs to the light sensing cells of the macula, the small area at the center of the eye’s retina responsible for central vision. It blurs the sharp, central vision needed for “straight-ahead” activities such as reading, sewing, and driving. While there is no cure, treatments including drug and laser therapies may slow progression of the disease prevent severe loss of vision.

Committed to good vision health

At the office of Retina Group of Washington – Virginia – Woodbridge, 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.