DANIEL OWENS, M.D.
Diseases and Surgery of the Retina
Dr. Daniel Owens is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist who specializes in surgical and medical treatments for diseases affecting the retina, macula and vitreous.
Retinal diseases vary widely. Some are common and easily remedied, while others are rare, more difficult to diagnose and require more complex treatment. Larson Eye Center ophthalmologists are skilled in differentiating the diseases, and then designing a treatment plan that slows or stops the disease and preserves as much vision as possible.
Retinal diseases specifically affect the retina — a layer of tissue at the back of the eye that is responsible for vision. These diseases can affect the retina, the macula (area of central vision), or the fovea at the center of the macula. Many retinal diseases share common symptoms and treatments, but each has unique characteristics.
Information on a few common retinal diseases and conditions are listed below.
The retina is the transparent, light-sensitive membrane that lines the inside of the eye. It is the "film in the camera" that allows us to see. Normally, the retina lies closely against a layer of cells known as the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE).If fluid collects between the retina and the RPE the retina will separate from the back of the eyewall, a condition known as a retinal detachment.
Retinal detachments are most commonly caused by retinal tears which allow fluid from the inside of the eyeball to pass under the retina causing it to detach. Once the retina begins to detach from a retinal tear, it usually progresses until the entire retina is out of place. Once the central retina (the macula) becomes detached, vision is usually severely affected.
Individuals with retinal detachments may experience a number of symptoms. Those with retinal tears frequently notice flashes and floaters in their vision followed by a shadow or curtain obscuring a portion of the peripheral vision as the retina detaches. Once the central retina detaches, the vision usually becomes significantly blurred. Because the retina has no pain fibers, most patients with retinal detachments experience no pain. Individuals with symptoms suggestive of a retinal detachment should be seen as soon as possible. The earlier a retinal detachment is diagnosed and treated, the better the visual prognosis. Numerous different treatments are available to treat retinal detachments and with modern surgical techniques, nearly all retinal detachments can be repaired.
A medical term for damage to the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina, and the complications diabetes causes. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among working age Americans. If you are diabetic, it is extremely important to have regular eye exams and to monitor and manage your blood sugar levels.
Also known as macular pucker, epiretinal membrane is scar tissue-like membrane that grows on the macula and causes vision problems. The macula is located in the center of the eye's light-sensitive tissue called the retina.
A macular hole is a small round defect occurring in the central retina, an area known as the macula. The macula is that portion of the retina responsible for central vision and is the principal area of the retina used for seeing fine detail during reading, watching television, and recognizing faces. A macular hole causes a bothersome blind spot or blurred area to be present directly in the center of an affected person’s vision.
Macular holes affect women twice as frequently as men, and usually occur between the ages of 60 and 80.
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of legal blindness among older Americans. As the name implies, this condition is characterized by degeneration of the macula (the central retina) associated with aging. Individuals with AMD may notice blurring, blind spots, and/or distortion affecting the central vision. Alternatively, they may be completely symptom-free.
People with retinal diseases experience an array of symptoms, from specks floating in their vision (called “floaters”) to blurred or lost vision. Many retinal diseases can cause these symptoms, which can be associated with diabetes, trauma to the eye, or family history. To make a diagnosis, an ophthalmologist conducts a thorough eye examination, followed by other tests to confirm the diagnosis or determine the extent of existing damage.
The goal of most retinal disease treatments is to preserve eyesight and slow disease progression. Our ophthalmologists have extensive experience and treat hundreds of patients with retinal diseases each year. If you or a someone you know has a macular hole or other retinal problem, please call us to arrange a comprehensive evaluation at either of our convenient locations.
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