Protecting Your Vision at Retina Specialists Northwest

The best treatment for diabetic retinopathy is Prevention

All diabetics should check their blood sugar daily, visit their medical doctor routinely, follow a diabetic diet and have a dilated eye exam at least yearly. If prevention of diabetic retinopathy has failed, your retina specialist can direct your treatment to stabilize leaky blood vessels or close abnormal blood vessels to preserve and often improve vision.

Since there is no cure for Age-related Macular Degeneration, prevention is critical.

Some research shows that sunlight exposure may increase the risk of AMD, so routine use of sunglasses with UV filters is recommended outdoors. Other research shows that daily supplementation with antioxidant vitamins may prevent vision loss in certain individuals who have moderately advanced AMD. Among people at high risk for advanced macular degeneration, a dietary supplement of zinc, vitamins C, E and lutein lowered the risk of the disease progression by about 25 to 30 percent. The supplements did not appear to benefit people with mild AMD or those without macular degeneration.

Light may affect the eye by stimulating oxygen, leading to the production of highly reactive and damaging compounds called free radicals. Antioxidant vitamins (vitamins C and E and beta carotene) may protect against this and help slow worsening of macular degeneration.

Zinc, one of the most common minerals in our body, is very concentrated in the eye, particularly in the macula. Studies show some older people have low levels of zinc in their blood. Because zinc is important for the health of the macula, supplements of zinc in the diet may slow down the process of macular degeneration (15% reduction of disease worsening), by improving biological functions.

It’s important to remember that vitamin supplements are not a cure for AMD, nor will they restore vision you may have already lost from the disease. However, specific amounts of certain supplements do play a key role in helping some with high risk AMD maintain their vision. Promising AMD research is being done. In the meantime, high-intensity (LED, Halogen) reading lamps, magnifiers, other low-vision aids, and polarized amber tint sunglasses help people with AMD make the most of their remaining vision.

Any person with significant impairment of vision in one eye should wear shatter-proof protective lenses to minimize the risk of traumatic injury to the second eye.

This is a simple way of insuring oneself against accidental blindness in both eyes. Most insurance companies will pay for this protective eyewear if one eye is legally blind.

Retina Specialists Northwest will work with your eye care physician and, using state-of-the-art diagnostics, determine the best course of treatment for your specific problem. We use fluorescein and indocyanine green angiography tests to look at blood circulation in the retina and the layer beneath it, photographs and laser imaging (OCT), as well as other testing to accurately assess your condition.

Our skilled surgeons and staff are experienced in treating all types of retina problems using a variety of laser and surgical methods, both outpatient and inpatient. Most retinal care can be delivered promptly and inexpensively right in the office. For more complex inpatient procedures, we work closely with local hospitals and anesthesiologists, equipped and experienced in retinal surgery to ensure your procedure is safe and successful.

Retinal vascular disease is a common result of poorly controlled high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and high eye pressures (glaucoma).

A heart-healthy lifestyle is one best suited for vision protection. The blood vessels of the eye, which your eye doctor views directly, are a reflection of what’s happening throughout the body. Thus retinal vascular disease can be a sign of blood vessel disease elsewhere that can cause a stroke, heart attack, blood clot... Your eye doctor can help protect your overall well-being just as a healthy lifestyle can protect your vision.