The retina is delicate nerve tissue that lines the back of the eye. As we age, and sometimes due to medical conditions such as Diabetes, the retina can develop complications that severely affect our sight.

Diabetic Retinopathy

The disease can be detected by viewing the retina with instruments that illuminate and magnify the structures of the eye. If Diabetic Retinopathy is found, a series of photographs are taken as a dye travels through the retinal vessels.

Treatment of the disease depends on the location and degree of damage to the retina. If retinopathy occurs in the peripheral retina, careful monitoring of the disease may be all that is necessary. When retinopathy affects the macula and central vision, laser treatments may be necessary.

Early detection and management of the disease are key. Getting a comprehensive eye exam annually is the best protection against the progression of Diabetic Retinopathy. Even when no symptoms are noticed, a diabetic patient should have frequent eye examinations, as recommended by their doctor.

Retinal Tears

A Retinal Tear is a serious condition and requires immediate attention. It occurs when the retina partially detaches from the back wall of the eye.

Typically found in people age 40 and over, Retinal Tears are exhibited by unusual flashes of light and black spots (or lines) in the field of vision. Surgery is required to treat tears and is typically performed by special lasers.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration, also known as Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), is typically a natural result of the aging process. It often causes blurriness and reduces our ability to perform detailed tasks.

Fortunately, there are a number of therapies and medications that we can administer to manage and slow this type of vision loss and, in some cases, even improve sight. Quite often, low-vision aids are used by patients to magnify areas for easier reading and to complete other detailed tasks. While most patients suffer from Dry AMD, a few can develop leakage of blood vessels around the retina, known as Wet AMD, and that requires its own unique treatment.

For Wet AMD patients, we’ve found Lucentis or Avastin treatments work well. Working with you to determine which treatment is best for you, we’ll inject medication into the eye to stabilize or even improve your vision in some instances—so you can keep up with your daily activities.

Harman Eye Center is fortunate to have the expertise of A’sha Brown, M.D. on staff, an ophthalmologist specializing in Medical Retina and Uveitis. Dr. Brown is also the only full-time retina specialist in the Southside/Danville, Virginia region.

Dr. Landon J. Colling, M.D. is another one of our physicians that cares for our patients with retinal complications including diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration. Dr. Colling’s background includes extensive research on keratoconus and the deterioration of the cornea.

David M. Harman

M.D.

David M. Harman, M.D. is the founder of Harman Eye Center and Medical Director of Harman Eye Surgery Center.

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