Common Conditions

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic Retinopathy | Blepharitis Treatment | Dry Eye Treatment | Los Angeles CA | Beverly Hills CA | Santa Monica CA Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes. The length of time a patient has diabetes will determine the likelihood of developing diabetic retinopathy. Over 40 percent of patients in the United States, diagnosed with diabetes, have a form of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye complication and a leading cause of blindness in American adults.

Diabetic retinopathy causes the blood vessels that supply nourishment to the retina, the light-sensitive lining in the back of the eye where vision is focused, to weaken. These weakened vessels can leak, swell or develop thin branches, causing a loss of vision.

There are four distinct stages of diabetic retinopathy. They are:

  • Mild nonproliferative retinopathy - microaneurysms develop in the tiny blood vessels of the retina.
  • Moderate nonproliferative retinopathy - blood vessels to the retina become blocked.
  • Severe nonproliferative retinopathy - the blood supply to the retina is blocked.
  • Proliferative retinopathy - New blood vessels, to replace the blocked blood vessels, grow alongside the retina.

During any stage of diabetic retinopathy a condition known as macular edema can develop. Macular edema is the buildup of fluid in the macula, the light-sensitive part of the retina that allows us to see objects with great detail. As the macula swells vision becomes blurred. About half of the people with proliferative retinopathy are diagnosed with macular edema.

What is Blepharitis?

Diabetic Retinopathy | Blepharitis Treatment | Dry Eye Treatment | Los Angeles CA | Beverly Hills CA | Santa Monica CA Blepharitis is a chronic inflammation - a long-term swelling - of the eyelids and eyelash follicles. It may be caused by seborrheic dermatitis, acne, bacterial infection, allergic reaction or poor eyelid hygiene. They eyes may become red, blurry or tear frequently. The eyelids crust, flake, scale or redden, and the smooth inside lining of the lids may become rough. In more serious cases, sores can form when the crusting skin is removed, the eyelashes may fall out, the eyelids can deform, the infection can spread to the cornea, and patients often suffer from excessive tearing. Blepharitis can also cause styes, chalazions and problems with the tear film.

Treatment and preventative care for blepharitis involves thorough but gentle cleaning of the eyelids, face and scalp. Warm compresses can be applied to loosen crust and dandruff shampoo can help keep the eyelids clear. This may be combined with antibiotics if a bacterial infection is causing or contributing to the problems.

What is Presbyopia?

Diabetic Retinopathy | Blepharitis Treatment | Dry Eye Treatment | Los Angeles CA | Beverly Hills CA | Santa Monica CA Presbyopia is a natural change in our eyes' ability to focus. It occurs when the soft crystalline lens of the eye starts to harden. This loss of flexibility affects the lens' ability to focus light in the eye, causing nearby objects to look blurry. Presbyopia happens to everyone starting in about our 40s or 50s -- even in patients who have had laser vision correction.

The effects of presbyopia can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses, including bifocals and multifocals; multifocal lens implantation, including CrystalensTM, ReZoom® and ReSTOR®; conventional surgery; and monovision LASIK. Laser surgeries such as conventional LASIK and PRK cannot correct presbyopia because they reshape the cornea rather than treat the lens

What are Floaters?

Floaters are small specks or clouds moving in your field of vision. You often see them when looking at a plain background. Floaters are actually tiny clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous, the clear jelly-like fluid that fills the inside of your eye. Even though they are actually floating inside, what you see are the shadows they cast on the retina.

A common cause of floaters is posterior vitreous detachment. The retina can tear if the shrinking vitreous gel pulls away from the wall of the eye. A torn retina is serious since it can lead to a retinal detachment which can lead to blindness if untreated.

When the vitreous pulls hard enough to tear the retina, fluid may pass through the retinal tear, lifting the retina off the back of the eye.

Most retinal tears need to treated with laser surgery or cryotherapy which seals the retina to the back wall of the eye. Almost all retinal detachments require surgery to put the retina back in its proper place.

Age Related Macular Degeneration - AMD

Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common condition in older adults and the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 50. Macular degeneration affects the macula, the part of the retina responsible for the crisp, detailed central vision needed for reading or driving. As we age, the tissue in the eye responsible for vision slowly begins to deteriorate which can significantly affect a patient's quality of life.

Types of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Diabetic Retinopathy | Blepharitis Treatment | Dry Eye Treatment | Los Angeles CA | Beverly Hills CA | Santa Monica CA

Dry AMD

Macular degeneration can be classified as either dry (non-neovascular) or wet (neovascular). Dry macular degeneration is the more common diagnosis, and is considered to be an early stage of the disease. This form of the disease usually develops as a result of aging and thinning of macular tissues and the depositing of pigment within the macula.

 

Only about 10 percent of patients see their condition progress to the more advanced and damaging wet macular degeneration. In wet macular degeneration, new blood vessels develop beneath the macula and cause a leakage of blood and fluid. This leakage can lead to permanent damages in the central vision and the creation of blind spots.

Macular degeneration can be classified as either dry (non-neovascular) or wet (neovascular). Dry macular degeneration is the more common diagnosis, and is considered to be an early stage of the disease. This form of the disease usually develops as a result of aging and thinning of macular tissues and the depositing of pigment within the macula.

Pterygium Removal Surgery: Sutureless

Diabetic Retinopathy | Blepharitis Treatment | Dry Eye Treatment | Los Angeles CA | Beverly Hills CA | Santa Monica CA A pterygium is an eye condition that results in the growth of abnormal tissue on the surface of the cornea (the transparent window on the front surface of the eye). This is not a malignant condition. Pterygia typically occur on the inner part of the eye and commonly affect patients that live in sunny climates or work outdoors. It is believed that long-term exposure to UV rays contribute to the growth of pterygia. Therefore, we advise patients to use UV protected sunglasses outdoors.

Patients may experience chronic eye irritation, redness, or decreased vision as a result of this condition. If the pterygium enlarges and interferes with central vision or causes chronic irritation, a surgery can be performed to remove this abnormal tissue. The traditional method of surgery is to remove this tissue and suture a membrane (conjunctival autograft or amniotic membrane graft) to the bed of the defect on the white part of the eye. However, newer techniques using a fibrin adhesive rather than sutures can accomplish the same result with greater comfort for the patient. Pterygium  surgery is performed in an out-patient setting.

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