Oregon Retina Center

By Oregon Retina Center
March 09, 2015
Category: Eye care

Floaters and FlashesIf you notice new floaters or flashes in your vision it might just be time to see your Medford, OR eye doctor.

What are floaters and flashes?

A floater is often characterized as a spot or speck that appears along your field of vision; however, they can take on other kinds of shapes including circles or webs. These specks are actually floating inside the eye, casting a shadow on the retina. What you see these floaters in your field of view you are actually seeing their shadows.

You may also experience flashes lights in your vision. These flashes often look like lightning, as they flash quickly and then go away. Flashes may come and go for many weeks or even months.

What causes floaters and flashes to occur?

Floaters are often a common occurrence in people who’ve reached middle age. This is because the vitreous gel that surrounds the eyes will either become thicker or start to shrink, causing clumps or strand-like floaters in the eyes. Flashes also become more common as we age and occur when the vitreous gels rubs against or pulls on the retina.

When should I see my Medford, OR eye doctor about these problems?

While experiencing flashes or floaters now and again can be normal, if you experience an increase in either of these issues then it’s time to see your Medford, OR eye doctor right away. An increase in flashes could mean that you have a torn or detached retina, which requires immediate medical attention.

See your Medford, OR ophthalmologist right away if you experience any of these symptoms:

  • One large floater or a sudden increase in the amount of floaters
  • If you experience multiple and persistent flashes of light
  • If you notice vision loss or problems with your vision

How are floaters and flashes treated?

How your Medford, OR eye doctor treats this problem will depend entirely on the condition that is causing it. Even though flashes and floaters aren’t always serious, an eye exam will help us determine if there is any damage to your retina.

If there is a tear in the retina, laser surgery or freezing therapy can be recommended for repairing the damage.

If you are noticing changes in your vision or experiencing new or more prevalent floaters or flashes then you need to schedule an appointment right away with your Medford, OR eye doctor at Oregon Retina Center. 

By Oregon Retina Center
January 29, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged
To better understand macular degeneration, it helps to know a little eye anatomy. The retina is a structure located in the back of the eye, behind the lens. This structure contains millions of cells called rods and cones, which are sensitive to light. When an image from the lens is projected onto the retina, the rods and cones are activate to distinguish different light intensities and colors.
The macula is the center of the retina and contains cones, which allow us to see small details and color. If your eye doctor has diagnosed you with macular degeneration, this means that those cells in the macula are damaged and are no longer working properly.

Who can get macular degeneration?

While this condition can affect anyone, it is most often found in those over the age of 55 with strong family history. This is known as Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).

What are the symptoms of macular degeneration?

If you have AMD then you will begin to lose your central vision gradually over time. It is very rare to lose vision suddenly. You may first notice shadowy areas in your field of vision or you may experience distorted vision.

What are the different types of age-related macular degeneration?

There are two types of AMD: dry and wet.
Dry, or atrophic macular degeneration occurs when the cells in the macula begin to breakdown over time, resulting in blurry of vision. Most people are diagnosed with this form of macular degeneration.
Wet, or exudative macular degeneration occurs when new blood vessels grow under the retina and begin to leak or bleed. These unstable blood vessels will lead to macular scarring and result in severe loss in vision.

How is macular degeneration diagnosed?

A visit to a retina specialist can properly diagnose macular degeneration. This is an ophthalmologist with two addition years of fellowship or specialized training in the management of retinal diseases. If you chose to have your eye/retina care performed at our office, you can be sure that you are being evaluated and treated with state-of-the-art technology. We will look for signs of dry AMD, including deposits on the macula known as drusen, and any signs of wet AMD as seen by the presence of abnormal blood vessels and leakage. If we find any signs that we believe to be symptoms of macular degeneration, we will take pictures of the retina for further evaluation.

How is macular degeneration treated?

Wet and dry macular degeneration (AMD) cannot be cured, but treatments can help slow the progress, reduce vision loss, and even cause remission of the disease in some patients.
Three common medications used to treat wet macular degeneration include Avastin, Lucentis and Eylea. These anti-VEGF medications are directly injected into the eye and inhibit a factor that makes unwanted blood vessels grow in the retina. Avastin, a cancer medication that has not yet been FDA approved to treat wet maculardegeneration was the first anti-VEGF medication used to treat AMD. Lucentis received FDA approval in 2006 and clinically works very similarly to Avastin. Eylea was approved by the FDA in 2011.
According to the National Eye Institute, taking a high-dose formulation of antioxidant vitamins and zinc may help lower the risk of vision loss for those with dry macular degeneration.
The best way to prevent vision loss from AMD is early detection and intervention. For a complete retina evaluation, feel free to make an appointment with Dr. Yujen Wang at any of our three Oregon Retina Center locations in Medford, Grant Pass or Roseburg.
This August it’s time to put your child’s eye health first! We can’t believe August is already here! In only a few weeks your child will be starting school again. Perhaps you’re already shopping for back-to-school clothes and classroom goodies; however, during all this hustle and bustle have you thought about their eye health? If not, this month is a great time to do so, as August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month!

Protect Your Child’s Eyes

While children are often lucky enough to have healthy eyes, there are still conditions and problems that could affect their vision. Here are some things you can do to make sure your children’s eyes stay healthy and strong:
  •  Make sure your pediatrician is checking your child’s eyes during regular visits. Vision testing is pretty standard after the age of three. Look for these warning signs of vision problems in your child: Squinting when watching TV, Crossed or wandering eyes, Inattentiveness to objects that are far away
  • Tell your pediatrician if there is any family history of vision problems or eye disorders
  • If you’re concerned about lazy eye, color blindness, crossed eyes, nearsightedness or farsightedness, then talk to your child’s doctor.

The Role Eye Safety in Your Life

Now that your doing everything you can to ensure that their eye health is in good hands, it’s time to consider how eye safety can play into your child’s life. Whether they are little athletes in the making or just enjoying playing outside with friends, there are a host of injuries that can happen. In fact, more than 12 million children suffer from some kind of vision impairment, and eye injuries are often the leading cause of vision loss in children. About 42,000 sports-related eye injuries occur each year, and most of these injuries happen to children. So what can you do to ensure that your child’s safety?
  • Make sure your child always wears the appropriate eyewear and protective gear while playing sports. Sure, your child might not always like putting on a helmet or facemask to play a game, but this is a surefire way to keep eye injuries at bay.
  • Choose age-appropriate toys for your child. Also, avoid toys that are sharp or having protruding pieces.
Above all, the most important thing you can do this month (and for every month after) is set a good example for your children. If you’re an athlete, make sure you’re always wearing the proper gear, and get your vision checked annually. Show your kids that eye health is just as important to you and they will be more likely attribute the same importance to their vision.
If you have any questions about you or your child’s eyes, we are always here to answer any questions or concerns you have. Pick up the phone and give us a call!

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