Other Eye Diseases
Macular Degeneration Treatment
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a degenerative aging process of the retina which damages the eyesight of 13 million Americans. AMD occurs most frequently in persons over age 55.
In fact, it is the most common cause of severe vision loss in this age group. Depending on the type of macular degeneration, there may be few options for treating the disease. But the good news is: numerous studies and research are being conducted that will, hopefully, offer more solutions in the future.
There are two types of macular degeneration, wet and dry. The vast majority of patients have the dry form, which means there is no bleeding and tends to be very slowly progressive over a period of years. There is no specific treatment or cure. In the wet form there is bleeding in the center of the macula, resulting in sudden decrease in vision. This may require various treatments, including laser surgery or injections of medication into the eye. Dr.s Gerstenfeld and Nejat will examine you carefully to determine which type you may have and what treatment if any is indicated.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness in the United States. Most people with glaucoma have no symptoms at all and the diagnosis is picked up on a routine eye exam. There are two forms of glaucoma, open angle and closed angle.
The vast majority of patients with glaucoma have the open angle form, in which there is a gradual rise in pressure in the eye, resulting in loss of peripheral vision and damage to the optic nerve. The treatment is generally the use of eye drops to lower the pressure. Occasionally, a laser procedure is done to lower the pressure. Closed angle glaucoma is rare and patients are usually told during a routine eye exam that their eye is at risk to develop the condition. The treatment is a one-time laser procedure to prevent an attack of angle closure glaucoma. In both types there are no symptoms, and if not treated, it can result in irreversible vision loss.
Dr.s Gerstenfeld and Nejat perform all glaucoma laser procedures in the office. We have state of the art technology to follow glaucoma patients over time with imaging of the optic nerve and computerized visual field testing.
SLT / Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty
Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is an advanced laser system that improves the flow of fluid in the eye, lowering eye pressure for patients with glaucoma.
Using a focused, narrow wavelength, SLT targets specific cells of the eye — those containing melanin, a natural pigment — leaving surrounding cells intact. The procedure is painless and has no side effects, although patients are given anti-inflammatory eye drops before and after treatment. Eye pressure may drop as quickly as a day after the procedure.
For more information on SLT, click here.
The vitreous is a clear liquid that fills our eyes and gives them shape. When we are young, the vitreous has a thick, gelatinous consistency and is firmly attached to the retina. As we age, the vitreous thins and separates from the retina. Although this usually results in nothing more than a few harmless floaters, tension from the detached vitreous can sometimes tear the retina.
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. Floaters are often seen when fibers move within the vitreous humor, the gelatinous substance made of water and protein fibers that fills the eye. 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.
Blepharitis is an inflammatory condition of the eyelash hair follicles or glands in the eyelid . Normally, these glands, microscopic and located next to each eyelash, produce a certain amount of mucus that coats the cornea of the eye and keeps it wet. In blepharitis the glands start overproducing mucus and cause symptoms of itching, burning, tearing, and a crusty material to form on the lids, often worse in the morning.
The eye can become quite red and it is often misdiagnosed as conjunctivitis, or pink eye. Blepharitis also leads to the formation of styes, which are simply plugged up mucus glands that become swollen.
The treatment depends on the severity of symptoms. Mild cases can be treated with only hot compresses to the eyelids several times a day. More severe cases require drops or ointments, either steroid or antibiotic. Remember, blepharitis is an inflammatory process, not an infection, so it cannot be spread. For more information, ask Dr. Gerstenfeld or Dr. Nejat, who both have extensive experience in treating this disease.
- Myopia (nearsightedness) – is a vision condition in which nearby objects are clear and distant objects appear blurry. This may be caused by excess corneal curvature or an oblong rather than a spherical shape to the eye, both of which affect the way light is bent upon entering the eye and whether it focuses properly on the retina.
- Hyperopia (farsightedness) – is the condition in which the eye focuses on distant objects better than on objects closer to the eye, so nearby objects appear blurry. This happens when light rays refract, or bend, incorrectly in the eye.
- Astigmatism – occurs when light does not focus properly in your eye, causing blurred vision. The clear covering on the surface of the eye, the cornea, refracts (bends) light so it focuses on the retina in the back of the eye.
- 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.