Understanding Retinal Detachment

retinal detachment | minnesotaA retinal detachment happens to one in 10,000 people in the U.S. every year. If not properly treated, this serious eye problem can lead to loss of sight. As we age, the eye’s vitreous gel contracts and liquefies, making it more likely to cause a tear in your retina. The fluid inside the eye can then leak through the tear, and the retina may separate from the back of the eye.

Risk factors that could lead to retinal detachment

  • Nearsightedness
  • History of cataract surgery
  • Family history of retinal detachment
  • Retinal detachment in the other eye
  • Weak areas in the retina

Symptoms that could indicate a retinal detachment

Since retinal detachment causes no pain, contact your eye doctor if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Floaters
  • Flashing lights
  • Area of darkness that may enter your vision from the side

Can a retinal detachment be repaired?

The condition can typically be treated with surgery, performed under local anesthesia in about an hour. It can be accomplished by:

  • Bringing the retina back into position
  • Sealing the torn area

One of the most common surgical repair techniques is the scleral buckle, performed by placing a silicone band around the eye.

In some cases, if the detachment is minor, it can be treated with:

  • Laser therapy
  • Cryotherapy (freezing)
  • Pneumatic retinopexy (the injection of air or gas into the eye, along with laser or cryo)

This procedure is only for certain detachments and requires that the patient maintains a specific head position so that the air or gas bubble can float up against the retina to keep it in position as it heals.

After retinal reattachment

Your outcome will usually depend on:

  • The length of time your retina has been detached
  • How much of your retina is detached
  • Whether or not the center of your vision is affected

If the center of vision isn’t involved, close to full recovery of vision is possible. If the center of vision is affected, it’s likely you will experience some permanent vision loss.

Schedule a Consultation

If you are interested in learning more about Retinal Detachment, please call 800-VRS-2500 to schedule a consultation at one of our locations in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Blaine, Edina, Oakdale, Plymouth, St. Cloud and Duluth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helping to block the effects of CRVO

Central retinal vein occlusionCentral retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) is a serious condition that occurs when the vein becomes blocked and vision is lost. In most cases, the severity of the blockage determines the severity and permanence of the vision loss.

You may experience partial or complete CRVO

The retina needs a healthy flow of blood in order to do its job. When the retinal vein becomes partially blocked, blood builds up and causes retinal swelling and vision problems. If the vein becomes completely blocked, your eye is starved of the oxygen and nutrients that the blood normally supplies.

Understanding a CRVO diagnosis

Most patients who develop CRVO either maintain the initial vision loss caused by the condition or it eventually gets worse. If your loss is mild due to partial blockage, it may improve without treatment.

The Central Retinal Vein Occlusion Study

This clinical study showed that in patients with partial CRVO:

  • 10% improved
  • 50% stayed the same
  • 33% worsened

With complete CRVO, spontaneous improvement is rare and vision loss is often permanent.

Severe CRVO

Abnormal blood vessels can grow into the drainage system of the eye, causing a severe form of glaucoma that can lead to pain and complete vision loss. Your eye will need to be monitored closely, especially in the six months after development.

Risk factors for CRVO

We can identify and treat your risk factors in order to decrease the possibility of progression or recurrence. Risk factors for CRVO may include:

  • Glaucoma
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Diabetes
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Stroke
  • Blood clotting issues
  • Blood vessel inflammation
  • Increased blood thickness
  • Oral contraceptive use

Treatment is available

Aspirin therapy may be recommended to help prevent further vascular damage. In addition, several medication therapies have been shown to be effective for managing CRVO. If abnormal blood vessels are detected, laser treatment combined with other therapies or surgery may be recommended.

Learn more about CRVO

Find out if you have signs of CRVO or risk factors that may lead to its development. Call for an appointment today: (800) VRS-2500.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Treating your retina to help preserve sight

retinal conditionsAs we age, our vision can be affected by various problems with the retina. The retina is thin tissue in the back of the eye consisting of the nerve cells that capture the images we see.

The center portion of the retina does an important job that can be disrupted
This area is called the macula and is where our “best” vision emanates, allowing us to perform important functions, such as:

  • Driving
  • Reading

Branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO)
BRVO is blockage of one of the venous branches of your retina and can cause vision loss and other complications. To help determine if you’ve experienced a BRVO, there are specialized tests we can perform in the office.

Risk factors for BRVO
People over 50 are mostly likely to experience BRVOs, but younger patients can also suffer from the disorder. Other risk factors include:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • History of stroke
  • Coronary artery disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Elevated blood lipids
  • Glaucoma
  • Smoking

Symptoms of BRVO
This can depend on which venous branch is involved, but can include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Changes in area of visual field, such as peripheral vision
  • Significant amount of blood within the retina
  • May not cause any symptoms

Vision-threatening results of BRVO

  • Swelling from leaking blood vessels
  • Loss of blood flow
  • Growth of new abnormal blood vessels

Treatment is available
The Branch Vein Occlusion Study found that these treatments could improve vision prognosis:

  • Laser treatment
  • Medication injections
  • Aspirin therapy

Retinal neovascularization
This condition can cause abnormal, extremely fragile blood vessels to grow from the retina into the eye’s vitreous gel. This can lead to bleeding and formation of scar tissue, as well as floaters and loss of vision.

Treatment for the condition
Treatment can be effective for stabilizing and even reversing blood vessel growth. Bleeding will sometimes clear on its own, but surgery to remove the blood and the vitreous gel may be necessary. In severe cases, the retina may be pulled away from the wall of the eye, requiring surgical repair.

Call us for a consultation: (800) VRS-2500.
If you have any risk factors or signs of retinal conditions, make an appointment today.

VitreoRetinal Surgery, PA | Understanding Macular Degeneration Minneapolis MN

Understanding macular degeneration

VitreoRetinal Surgery, PA | Understanding Macular Degeneration Minneapolis MNAge related macular degeneration (AMD) is a primary reason for vision loss in people over 50 years of age. It causes damage to the macula, or central portion of the retina, that controls the eye’s ability to see everything that is straight ahead in our line of vision.

The early and middle stages of AMD usually occur without causing any signs or symptoms. For some people, it advances slowly and actual vision loss doesn’t occur for a long time. For others, the disease progresses more quickly and may lead to vision loss in one or both eyes. Only a comprehensive dilated eye exam can detect the disease.

Macular degeneration doesn’t cause total blindness
The loss of central vision, however, typically interferes with the vision necessary to complete everyday tasks, such as the ability to see faces, drive, read, write or do close-up tasks.

Symptoms of AMD

  • Blurry area near center of vision that may increase
  • Blank spots in center of vision
  • Objects not appearing as bright as they used to

Age is a major risk factor for AMD, but there are others
The disease is most likely to occur after age 60, but can strike at an earlier age. In addition:

  • Smoking doubles your risk
  • The disease is more common for Caucasians
  • People with a family history of the disease are also at higher risk

Lifestyle choices matter, too
Research has discovered links between AMD and some lifestyle choices, indicating you may be able to reduce your risk or slow progression.

  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain normal blood pressure
  • Maintain normal cholesterol level
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Eat a nutritious diet (lots of green, leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts and fish)
  • Wear sunglasses with UV & Blue Light protection
  • Don’t smoke

Do everything you can to prevent Macular Degeneration
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that everyone have a dilated eye exam at least every two to three years between the ages of 45 and 60, and every year after 60. Call for your appointment today: (800) VRS-2500.