Newport Beach Macular Edema Doctor
When you need a Newport Beach macular edema doctor, look no further than the Retina Associates of Orange County. Macular edema, also known as diabetic macular edema, is a condition that involves swelling or thickening of the eye’s macula. This is a part of the eye that is responsible for detailed, central vision. The macula is a small area in the center of the retina, a light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye. Light is focused onto the retina which then transmits the images to the brain. There the images are interpreted into the images you see. The macula allows you to read, engage in detailed activities like sewing, or recognize a face.
When blood vessels in the retina begin to leak fluids, macular edema may result. Part of this involves swelling of the macular, and when this happens, it will not function properly. Vision loss can be a big indicator, and this loss may be mild to severe. In many patients, they will have a peripheral vision but not pinpoint frontal vision.
As a Newport Beach macular edema doctor will explain to you, this condition tends to be a complication of diabetic retinopathy. It is the number one form of vision loss in people who have diabetes. This is particularly true if the symptoms are not treated in a timely manner.
In addition to diabetes, certain forms of eye surgery, including cataract surgery, can increase the risk of developing macular edema. Other causes include:
- Retinal vein occlusion
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Blockages in the retinas’ veins
- Side effects of a medication
- Some genetic disorders, like retinitis pigmentosa
Symptoms of Macular Edema
Our Newport Beach macular edema eye clinic knows of many patients who experienced a broad range of symptoms that led them to schedule an appointment. That said, in the early stages of the condition, very few symptoms may be demonstrated along with little to know pain. Once symptoms are noticed, blood vessels in the retina might already be leaking. Symptoms include:
- Blurred vision
- Wavy central vision
- A change in color
- Colors that look “washed out”
If you have any of these symptoms, please see a Newport Beach macular edema eye doctor right away. Our ophthalmologists can conduct various tests to find out what is happening and why. If left untreated, vision loss and blindness can result.
Treating Macular Edema
If you are diagnosed with macular edema, due to diabetes or retinal vein occlusion, laser surgery is often the go-to method of treatment. Sometimes, multiple sessions will be required, especially if the condition affects both eyes. Intravitreal injection therapy is also used to treat the condition, as well as steroids and VEGF agents. What is right for you will depend on the circumstances and severity of your macular edema.
How Serious is Macular Edema?
You can trust a Newport Beach macular edema specialist to give you your sight back, and the professionals at Retina Associates of Orange County will help you every step of the way.
Macular edema is a serious condition, but there are plenty of methods to protect your eyesight – and there are plenty of methods to address macular edema when it presents itself. Because of the nature of macular edema, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. The underlying causes may be serious, and the longer you wait to get treatment, the less beneficial that treatment may be.
What Causes Macular Edema?
At its most basic, macular edema is caused by the swelling of the macula. The macula is the part of your eye that’s most responsible for central and detailed vision, so when there’s swelling and an excess of fluid, it can negatively affect your vision.
Ordinarily, your retina is able to absorb fluid, but in the case of macular edema, there’s too much fluid to be properly absorbed, and it builds up to the point where your vision is obstructed. Think of it like a drop of water on a camera lens: Too much and in the wrong place, and you won’t get a good picture at all.
How is Macular Edema Treated?
It’s important to remember that macular edema isn’t necessarily the disease. Instead, it’s a symptom of a larger problem. That problem itself can vary from something as major and far-reaching as diabetes or heredity, or it can be much more localized. Vein blockage, trauma, and inflammatory conditions can all lead to macular edema, and it’s important to treat those if you want your macular edema to be resolved.
Does Macular Edema Go Away by Itself?
Sometimes macular edema can resolve itself, but it’s never a guarantee. In fact, it’s better to seek medical treatment from a professional as soon as possible. The longer you wait to treat your macular edema, the less effective the treatment will be. Don’t bet on your macular edema to fix itself when your vision is at stake.
How Does a Specialist Fix Macular Edema?
There are methods to address the macular edema itself. There are several strategies involving eyedrops, lasers, and surgeries, but the most often-used is an intravitreal injection. Intravitreal injections involve an injection that goes directly into your eye, and while it sounds intensely painful you don’t have to worry about a thing.
When you receive an intravitreal injection, you’ll be given a local anesthetic. An intravitreal injection for a macular edema will involve specialized drugs such as steroids or Anti-VEGF (Anti–vascular endothelial growth factor) medication. In most cases, you’ll be able to walk right out of the office after you receive your intravitreal injection. It’s simple, quick, and effective.
Get in Touch with an Eye Specialist Today
If you’re experiencing problems with your vision, you should get in touch with an eye specialist as soon as possible. While some cases of macular edema resolve themselves, it’s important to get a medical professional to treat the root cause so your vision won’t be permanently impaired.
The staff at Retina Associates of Orange County are ready to help. Get in touch with an eye specialist today to get started.
Importance of Protecting Eyes from the Sun
A Newport Beach macular edema doctor knows that one of the most dangerous risks to our eyes – yet one of the easiest to protect from – is the ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. Without that protection, our eyes are at high risk for macular edema and other retinal conditions. While other factors may be out of our control – such as genetics or aging – UV ray damage is preventable. This is why everyone should wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays whenever they go outside.
Multiple studies have shown that long-term exposure to UV rays is one of the most common risk factors in developing macular edema, degeneration, and other retinal issues. Because there is no cure for these conditions, it is crucial for people to take the steps to protect their eyes and help prevent the damage from occurring.
What Type of Sunglasses Should You Wear?
Walk into any retail establishment that sells sunglasses and you will likely see display case after display case of all different styles, colors, shapes, and sizes. However, not all sunglasses will provide the adequate protection our eyes need from the sun.
A Newport Beach macular edema doctor recommends sunglasses that will block 99 to 100 percent of all UV rays. This includes both UVA and UVB. When sunglasses do provide that level of protection, they will be labeled as such, protection of up to 400 nanometers (nm) from UV radiation.
Wearing sunglasses that are oversized or have a wraparound style will offer even more protection than smaller sunglasses by protecting your eyes from the sides. It is also a good idea to wear an oversized hat with a wide brim for protection.
Other Ways to Protect Your Eyes from the Sun
Staying out of the sun is one of the best ways to protect your eyes from its harmful rays. Many people do not realize it but even on cloudy or overcast days, those harmful rays can still get through and cause damage, especially during the hours when the sun is at its strongest, from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m.
Other ways to protect from harmful UV rays include:
- Wear your sunglasses even during those overcast or cloudy days.
- If you are going to be outside for an extended period of time, don’t forget that wide-brimmed hat.
- Try staying in the shade when outside, but especially during those peak hours mentioned above.
- Harmful UV rays don’t only come from the sun – they also come from tanning booths and beds. This form of “tanning” should be avoided.
Unfortunately, there are no signs that a person may be starting to develop retina issues. The only way to determine macular degeneration in its early stages is through an eye exam. This is why it is critical for everyone to schedule an annual eye exam with a Newport Beach macular edema doctor, especially if they are over 50 years of age. Although there are no cures for these conditions, their development can be slowed by taking certain precautions if it is diagnosed early enough.
Treat Your Macular Edema: Call the Retina Associates of Orange County
If you are ready to meet with our Newport Beach macular edema eye doctors, please call the Retina Associates of Orange County today.