Macular Degeneration Treatments
There are 2 types of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (or "AMD"):
- Dry Macular Degeneration (Dry AMD): causes a degeneration of the retina with aging that affects the center of your vision. Retina specialists currently recommend healthy eating habits with foods high in antioxidant, increased physical activity and no smoking. Depending on your stage of Macular Degeneration, your specialist may start you on a multivitamin called the AREDS formula (Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, Copper, Lutein, Zeaxanthin) that can slow the progression of your disease.
- Wet Macular Degeneration (Wet AMD): causes a growth of abnormal blood vessels underneath your retina which can leak and bleed into the retina and cause loss of central visual loss. The last decade has seen the creation of new drugs that can be used for the treatment of wet macular degeneration. Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor drugs have revolutionized the treatment of AMD.
Retina San Diego provides treatment of wet AMD with:
- Eylea (aflibercept)
- Avastin (bevacizumab)
- Lucentis (ranibizumab)
Diabetes of the Eye
Diabetes affects the vessels of your body by causing breakdown of the wall of your vessels which can then significantly affect your vision.
Retina San Diego has a wide range of treatments for diabetic retinopathy to provide an individualized treatment algorithm that is best suited for you.
- State-of-the-art Yellow Micropulse LASER is the first of its kind in San Diego and allows us to safely treat diabetic macular edema that affects the center of your vision. Our advanced LASER is also more comfortable for patients as its higher efficiency uses less laser energy.
- Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor drugs: Eylea (aflibercept), Avastin (bevacizumab), Lucentis (ranibizumab)
- Steroid drugs can also be used in cases where diabetic macular edema does not respond to Anti-VEGF drugs.
- Advanced cases of diabetes can cause bleeding into the eye that is called vitreous hemorrhage. If the body is not able to clear the blood on its own, our retina specialists can surgically remove the blood with a surgery call vitrectomy.
Read more on diabetic retinopathy and its treatments
The retina is an extension of the brain into the eye, and is the tissue that catches the light from outside and transforms that light energy into electrical and chemical energy that the brain can understand. This critical tissue can also be very fragile and get a tear in it, which can allow the fluid within the eye to go through the tear and cause what is known as a retinal detachment.
A retinal detachment is an emergency and should be treated promptly as delayed treatment can lead to blindness if not treated in a timely manner.
What are the most common signs of a detachment?
- floaters (spots or strings floating in your vision)
- flashes (more obvious at a dark environment)
- shadow or curtain covering part of your visual field
What are the treatments for a retinal detachment?
- LASER: the goal with any treatments in medicine is prevention of serious diseases that can have irreversible damages. Thus, the best treatment is catching a retinal tear before it has caused a retinal detachment. A retinal tear can be treated with an in-office procedure with a LASER done at our location in Encinitas.
- Pneumatic retinopexy: once there is a retinal detachment, depending on the location of the detachment, a gas bubble can be injected into the eye to plug the tear, which can be either treated with LASER or a freezing technique.
- Scleral buckle: surgery during which a silicone band is placed surrounding the eyeball to indent the eye wall towards the detachment and support the retina.
- Vitrectomy: the most modern surgery for retinal detachment. The vitreous gel within the eye that in most cases has caused the tear in the retina is removed, and the eye is filled with a gas or silicone oil to reattach the retina. LASER is also used during this surgery to strengthen the adhesion of the retina to the wall of the eye.