Eye Diseases

Learn about Flashes & Floaters, Dry & Wet AMD, Diabetic Retinopathy, Vitreomacular Traction, Vein Occlusion, Retinal Detachment, and more!

Below is a picture of a Fundus

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How the Eye Works

The eye has several fundamental parts that when brought together allow the eye to see. If one or more of these components are compromised, then your vision may alter. Watch the video below to get a brief synopsis of how we see.

The Retina

Dr. Parlin needs to see the back or retina of your eye. This is why we must dilate your eyes at every visit. The video below explains the dilation process.

 

Flashes & Floaters

Some people may experience “flashes” and/ or “floaters” in their vision. As we age, so does the vitreous in our eye.  Vitreous is a gel like substance in our eye that changes in viscosity over time.  Because of this change, people may experience floaters.  Floaters can be of concern if there is a sudden onset, increase of number, or if flashes accompany it.


Flashes are described as bright bursts of light. It can occur for a variety of reasons. One reason why flashes appear is from the vitreous pulling on the retina. It is important that we address any new signs or symptoms with your eyes. If a problem is left for too long, significant or complete vision lost may take place. Please call our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment should any of the above pertain to you.



 

Dry AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration)

Dry AMD is the most common form of macular degeneration. When there are yellow deposits in the macula, called drusen, it can indicate that you may have dry AMD.  Small deposits on the macula may not indicate anything; however it is when they are larger in size that it can become a problem. In addition, pigmentation changes can also indicate a problem. One sign that may suggest you have dry AMD is a decrease in vision. The video below shares a brief synopsis of what happens to patients who have dry AMD.

 

Wet AMD

When there is abnormal growth in blood vessels under the macula, it can indicate that you have wet AMD. These vessels can leak blood into retina causing blurred or distorted vision. Treatment for this condition includes injections. The video below shares a brief synopsis of what happens to patients who have wet AMD.

 
 

Diabetic Retinopathy

According to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2014), diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness. When blood vessels in your eye leak or swell, you may notice a change in your vision.


 Diabetic retinopathy can impair your vision in two ways:


Firstly, the macula is the part of your eye that is responsible for fine detail in your vision. When fluid leaks into the macula it causes swelling. If this happens, it is called macular edema. To help treat your condition, Dr. Drouilhet may recommend injections or laser (or a combination of the two). The videos below give you a brief explanation of what can be expected for either or both treatments.

The second way diabetes can impair your vision is by the leaking of retinal blood vessels into the vitreous. This condition is called Nonproliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (NPDR). NPDR can be treated with focal or grid laser at our office. Your eyes are dilated prior to the laser and most patients have minimal discomfort.


When retinal blood vessels are obstructed and begin to grow and reproduce, this is called neovascularization. If neovacularization occurs, this condition is called Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy(PDR). Neovascularization occurs because your retina is trying to compensate for its blockage. One complication with neovascularization is vitreous hemorrhage. Vitreous hemorrhage is when blood leaks into the vitreous of your eye. The second complication that can occur is retinal traction detachment. This is when scar tissue on the retina pulls the retina off the back wall of the eye. Whatever the case may be, Dr. Drouilhet may recommend either laser or vitrectomy surgery. The videos below show how these two procedures are performed.

Vitreomacular Traction

The vitreous that is within our eye, can liquidfy as we age and separate from the back of our eye. However, if the vitreous doesn’t completely separate from the retina, it can cause complications in our vision. The pulling or “traction” of the vitreous can cause swelling, holes, or puckers on the macula.  Some of the symptoms that you will notice include blurred central vision, distortion, difficult reading, or cloudy central vision. If this occurs, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible so we can examine you.  Dr. Drouilhet may recommend you to get injections or surgery. Every situation is different, so we will go over the changes for your case on your appointment day. The video below explains how injections or surgery is performed.

 

Vein Occlusion

The anatomy of the eye includes a web of veins that supply blood flow to the eye. If the veins become obstructed this is called vein occlusion. There are two types of vein occlusion.  When the main vein becomes blocked, this is called central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO). However if the smaller surrounding veins become blocked it is called branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO).  Though there isn’t a cure for vein occlusion, the condition can be treated and maintained through laser and/or injections.

The videos below describe the injection procedure for CRVO and BRVO.

 

Retinal Detachment

The retina is the layer in the back of your eye that sends light and images to your brain. If something should happen to this layer, such as it becoming detached or tearing, this could cause vision problems. The cause of a retinal detachment or tear is usually due to the vitreous in the eye pulling away from its normal position. It’s best to call us to schedule an appointment as soon as possible if you notice any symptoms including:


Flashes of lights

New floaters

A shadow or “curtain” that appears in your field of vision


Treatment for a retinal tears usually involve laser procedures. However if surgery is needed, either a sclera buckle or pneumatic retinopexy will be performed. The two videos below describe the procedure.

 

Treatment for detachments will usually require hospital surgery. The most common procedure for a detached retina is called vitrectomy. Vit=vitreous in your eye and –ectomy=removal. Therefore vitrectomy means to “take out the vitreous.” By removing the vitreous that is pulling on the retina and replacing the fluid with a gas or oil bubble, it allows the retina to heal. If a gas bubble is used, the body’s own fluid will replace the gas over time. However, if an oil bubble is used, surgery must be performed again to take the oil out. Depending on your situation, Dr. Drouilhet will advise you on the best procedure for you.


Please keep in mind that these procedures are sometimes combined. For instance, you may have a pneumatic retinopexy and vitrectomy surgery together.


The video below describes how vitrectomy surgery is performed.