Eye Conditions

Cystoid Macular Edema Treatment

The macula is the central part of the retina that houses the retinal cone cells, which are responsible for color and acuity. This can become compressed for various reasons due to the production of cyst-like inflammations inside or behind the macula, leading to blurry or "wavy" vision at the center of the visual field. There are many possible causes for this disorder, but those most likely to be responsible are:

  • Recent cataract surgery
  • Uveitis
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Medication side effect
  • Age-related macular degeneration

These sources can allow excessive fluid and protein to accumulate by the macula, thus compressing the cones and distorting vision. There is no pain associated with this disorder.

The treatment for cystoid macular edema varies depending upon its cause. If it is a side effect of an eye medication, the prescription might be changed to a different agent that can accomplish the same purposes. Diabetics are advised to manage closer control of their blood glucose levels, and cataract surgery patients may be directed to take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Severe and rare cases, such as the vitreous pulling the macula, may require ocular surgery to correct. In most cases, however, steroidal eye drops or injections will be effective.

Flashes and Floaters

Although most flashes and floaters occur in people with healthy or merely nearsighted eyes, they can be symptoms of serious problems, including injury and retinal and posterior vitreous detachments. Flashes in vision are caused by pressure on the retina, the bundle of nerves in the back of the eye where images are detected and transmitted to the brain. Patients complain of flashing lights or lightning streaks.

Floaters are often seen when fibers move within the vitreous humor, the gelatinous substance made of water and protein fibers that fills the eye. Patients complain of small specks or dots that can be seen against clear backgrounds. Serious vision loss can occur if the retina or vitreous detach from the eye wall. Patients experiencing flashes and floaters should contact their doctor immediately so an examination can be performed.

Retinal Tear Treatment

Located at the back of the eye, the retina is attached to the vitreous, the gel-like substance that makes up for most of the eye's volume. Although the vitreous begins as a thick substance with a firm shape, the consistency of the gel changes and becomes thinner and more watery as we age. A change in the shape of the vitreous can cause it to pull away from the retina and leave a tear. A retinal tear leaves the retina unprotected and can allow fluid to travel between the retina and the wall, which may lead to retinal detachment.

Retinal tears may occur in patients with myopia (nearsightedness), as the condition may cause the vitreous to pull away from the retina. Although a retinal tear does not cause pain, patients may experience flashes or floaters in their field of vision, a reduction of vision, a shadow or curtain forming in the peripheral vision, or other vision changes. It is important to see your doctor at the first sign of a retinal tear.

Early detection of a retinal tear can often prevent the retina from detaching through prompt treatment. A retinal tear is usually treated with a laser to burn the area around the tear, causing it to scar and seal the retina to the tissue underneath it. This prevents fluid from flowing through the tear and leading to retinal detachment. Treatment for a retinal tear is usually effective in relieving symptoms and preventing retinal detachment from occurring.

Retinal Detachment Treatment

Retinal detachment is a serious eye condition that occurs when the retina becomes separated from the wall of the eye and its supportive underlying tissue. The retina cannot function when these two layers are detached, and without prompt treatment, permanent vision loss may occur. Retinal detachment can occur from injury to the eye or face, or from very high levels of nearsightedness.

Patients with retinal detachment may experience a blind spot, blurred vision or shadows forming in their peripheral vision. Other symptoms may include an increase in flashes and floaters. It is important to see your doctor at the first sign of symptoms in order to minimize the damage caused by this condition.

To prevent permanent vision loss, the retina must be quickly reattached. Treatment for retinal detachment can be done through surgery or laser photocoagulation. Photocoagulation seals off leaking blood vessels and destroys new blood vessel growth, allowing the retina to reattach. Pneumatic retinopexy, a procedure that creates a gas bubble within the vitreous gel and then expands to place pressure against the retina, can also help with reattachment.

These procedures can preserve vision and may also allow lost vision to return in some patients. The sooner the retina is attached, the more effective treatment tends to be. If you are experiencing signs of retinal detachment, please call us immediately.

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