Our practice provides comprehensive treatment for many retina and ocular conditions. We invite you to learn more about the conditions we offer care for below.
When the eye’s lens becomes cloudy or opaque, it is due to the presence of cataracts, which is when the proteins of the eye break down and form a cloudy film over the eye’s lens. Cataracts can be caused by advanced age, severe sun exposure, and/or diabetes. If left untreated, the condition can lead to a partial loss of vision or even full blindness. There are different types of cataracts, but symptoms generally include blurred/cloudy vision, light sensitivity, loss of night vision, frequent eyeglasses prescriptions changes, and dulled color perception. For mild cases, a higher quality prescription of glasses can help mitigate the symptoms. However, the only way to fully remove cataracts is through surgery. Your doctor can help determine if surgery is appropriate at this time.
You can learn more about cataracts and cataract surgery here.
Central Serous Retinopathy (CSR)
Central serous retinopathy (CSR), sometimes referred to as central serous choroidopathy, is an inner eye condition where fluid accumulates underneath the retina. In most cases, CSR is not a long-term condition and does not lead to any additional complications. CSR may even improve on its own without any medical intervention. However, in severe cases, photodynamic laser therapy may be needed.
You can learn more about central serous retinopathy from the ASRS here.
Cystoid Macular Edema (CME)
Cystoid macular edema (CME) is a condition characterized by the presence of accumulated fluid and swelling in the macula. These fluids typically form together to create a cyst-like pattern. CME can be caused by a wide range of factors, including cataract surgery. Treatment options may include medicated eye drops, anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injections, or laser therapy. Treatment will ultimately be determined by whatever is causing CME to occur.
You can learn more about cystoid macular edema from the AAO here.
Endophthalmitis is a severe infection caused by bacteria that is introduced into the eye, typically after eye surgery, other surgical procedures, or injury. It can also be caused by blood infections. Symptoms include decreased vision and pain, which can come on suddenly or gradually over the course of weeks or months. Endophthalmitis is considered to be a medical emergency, so patients are advised to contact their doctor immediately once symptoms appear so treatment can begin right away. The most common form of treatment for endophthalmitis is an intraocular injection of antibiotics. In some cases, vitrectomy surgery may be required. When caused by a systemic infection, patients with endophthalmitis may need to be hospitalized so that the underlying issue can be addressed.
You can learn more about endophthalmitis here.
HIV Infection and the Eye
Patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV) are at risk for developing an eye infection known as cytomegalovirus (CMV). It’s estimated that this vision-threatening condition affects approximately 20% of individuals with HIV. In many cases, the symptoms of CMV are subtle and can include trouble focusing while reading as well as red, itchy, and/or dry eyes. If left undiagnosed and untreated, CMV can lead to permanent vision loss and other eye conditions. Patients with HIV should be aware of the above symptoms and seek retina care early on to prevent the infection from worsening. Our medical team will coordinate with your doctor to ensure the best possible care.
You can learn more about HIV and eye health from the AAO here.
The most common type of intraocular tumor in adults is a type of eye cancer known as choroidal melanoma. It affects the choroid, which is the layer of tissue that lies between the retina and the sclera. Choroidal melanoma can lead to retinal detachment or even spread to other parts of the body, especially if left untreated. Tumors are typically diagnosed and observed through a dilated eye examination. Various treatment options are available for intraocular tumors and will largely depend on the size and location of the tumor itself.
You can learn more about intraocular tumors from the ASRS here.
Low vision is a condition in which visual impairments make it difficult to perform everyday activities, such as driving, reading, or watching television. This can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. Unfortunately, low vision is impossible to correct through eyeglasses, contact lenses, or even surgery. However, through visual rehabilitation, patients can learn new techniques and use specialized low vision aids to help them adjust to life with low vision. Some examples of low vision aids include telescopes, magnifiers, large print books, and talking watches.
You can learn more about low vision and vision rehabilitation here.
Metamorphopsia is a symptom that occurs in many macular and retinal conditions, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), macular puckers, macular edema, and retinal detachment. With metamorphopsia, straight lines and linear objects appear wavy, distorted, or rounded. In some cases, faces can even appear distorted. Metamorphopsia can also include micropsia and macropsia, which is when objects appear smaller or larger, respectively. Metamorphopsia is commonly diagnosed using an Amsler grid. Amsler grids can also be used at home to help patients monitor their vision health, detect any visual disruptions, and report their symptoms to their ophthalmologist.
Ocular migraines, also known as visual or ophthalmic migraines, are a subtype of migraine headaches. They typically occur before or alongside a migraine headache and can cause vision loss for a short period of time, usually up to 20 minutes or so. Initially, patients may experience changes in their peripheral vision, distorted shapes, warped lines, blurriness, altered color perception, or flashes of light. Although the exact cause of ocular migraines is not fully understood, many doctors agree that they are likely caused by spasms in the retinal blood vessels. Treatment for ocular migraine typically involves migraine management and adjusting lifestyle factors to avoid triggers. Your doctor can help diagnose this condition and connect you with the right specialist.
Learn more about ocular migraines from the AOA here.
Ocular toxoplasmosis is a type of inner eye infection that is caused by toxoplasma gondii, a single-celled parasite that can be transmitted through food contamination or exposure to infected cat litter. It can also be passed from mother to fetus during pregnancy through the placenta. Patients most vulnerable to this type of infection are those with immunodeficiencies. Symptoms include eye pain and blurriness. In severe cases, ocular toxoplasmosis can cause permanent vision loss. The most common treatment options are anti-parasitic medications, antibiotics, and corticosteroids. In some cases, surgery may be recommended
Ocular toxoplasmosis is also one of the most common infectious causes of posterior uveitis in the U.S. Posterior uveitis is characterized by inflammation of the choroid tissue between the retina and the sclera and can have a significant impact on the retina and optic nerve’s ability to function properly.
You can learn more about ocular toxoplasmosis from the AAO here.
Retinal Vascular Disease
Retinal vascular disease is an umbrella term for conditions that affect the arteries, veins, and branches located in the retina. These conditions occur when blood clots block some part of the retinal vasculature, also known as thrombosis. Retinal vascular diseases include retinal vein occlusion and retinal artery occlusion. Plaque buildup, diabetes, smoking, and/or high blood pressure are all known risk factors of retinal vascular disease. Symptoms of retinal vascular diseases can include a sudden, painless loss of vision, which can range from mild to severe.
Retinal vascular diseases can increase a patient’s risk for developing other complications, such as vitreous hemorrhage, glaucoma, and macular edema. Even in cases where symptoms are minimal, patients with retinal vascular diseases should plan to regularly consult with their retina specialist to prevent further vision loss. If there is an underlying condition present, such as diabetes, patients should also consult with their primary care physician about managing the condition.
Managing underlying conditions play a large role in the treatment of retinal vascular diseases. Other treatment options include anti-VEGF medications and photocoagulation.
You can learn about retinal and vein occlusions here.
The vitreous is a gel-like substance that fills the inner eye. When bleeding occurs in the vitreous, it is known as a vitreous hemorrhage. This is often caused by retinal neovascularization, which is when abnormal blood vessels grow in the retina. Neovascularization typically occurs in conditions such as wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, retinal vascular diseases, and/or retinal tears. Treatment options can include photocoagulation, cryotherapy, anti-VEGF injections, and vitrectomy.
You can learn more about vitreous hemorrhage from the AAO here.
Our retina specialists are highly experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of the full range of retinal, macular, and vitreoretinal conditions. In many cases, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment can greatly improve your chances of preserving your vision and protecting yourself against permanent vision loss. If you experience symptoms such as blurred vision, flashes, floaters, or other visual distortions, we encourage you to connect with Retina Associates of Sarasota as soon as possible.