546456.jpegAs we age, our eyes undergo changes that can lead to a variety of conditions, including those affecting the retina. The retina is the thin layer of tissue located at the back of the eye that receives and processes visual information before sending it to the brain. Conditions affecting the retina can significantly impact our vision and, in some cases, lead to permanent vision loss.

At Everett & Hurite, we understand the importance of early detection and treatment for retina conditions. That’s why our Butler office, led by Dr. Srinivas Sai Kondapalli, a board-certified ophthalmologist with extensive experience in diagnosing and managing a wide range of retinal disorders, is committed to going above and beyond to ensure the visual well-being of our patients.

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In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common retinal diseases, their symptoms, and the treatment options offered at our Butler office.

1.Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration is a disease that affects the central part of the retina, called the macula. The macula is responsible for our ability to see fine details and perceive colors. As we age, the cells in the macula may start to break down, leading to blurred vision and, eventually, vision loss.

AMD is a leading cause of vision loss among adults over age 50. There are two types of AMD: dry and wet.

  1. Dry AMD: The most common type, dry AMD occurs when small yellow deposits called drusen form on the macula, leading to thinning and drying out of the macular tissue.
  2. Wet AMD: A less common but more severe form, wet AMD is characterized by abnormal blood vessel growth beneath the retina that can leak and cause scarring and distorted vision.

Symptoms of AMD

  • Blurred vision
  • Distorted or wavy lines in your central vision
  • Difficulty seeing in low-light conditions
  • Decreased color perception

Treatment Options

While AMD isconsidered incurable once it begins to develop, Dr. Kondapalli can help manage the symptoms and slow down the progression through various treatment options, including:

  • Anti-VEGF drugs to reduce the growth of abnormal blood vessels in wet AMD.
  • Laser therapy to seal off leaking blood vessels in wet AMD.
  • Nutritional supplements, such as vitamins C, E, zinc, lutein, and zeaxanthin for dry AMD.
  • Lifestyle modifications, like smoking cessation, maintaining a healthy diet, staying active, and protecting eyes from ultraviolet light, can prevent AMD from worsening.

2.Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that can develop in people with diabetes. High blood sugar levels can damage the tiny blood vessels in the retina, causing them to leak or bleed, leading to vision loss.

Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes and has four stages, each with different symptoms and severity:

  1. Mild Non-proliferative Retinopathy: This is the initial stage of diabetic retinopathy, characterized by microaneurysms or balloon-like swellings in the retina's blood vessels. This stage usually does not impact vision or require treatment, but early intervention can prevent the condition from progressing.
  2. Moderate Non-proliferative Retinopathy: As the disease progresses, the blood vessels that nourish the retina can become damaged, allowing blood and other fluid to leak into the retina.
  3. Severe Non-proliferative Retinopathy: If diabetes remains poorly controlled, further damage to the blood vessels occurs. This leads to blockages and increased leakage of blood and fluid into the retina, significantly impacting vision.
  4. Proliferative Retinopathy: This is the most severe stage, where extensive damage to the eye’s blood vessels leads to worsening circulation inside the eye. As a result, new blood vessels grow inside the retina, which can cause severe vision loss or even blindness.

Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

  • Blurred or distorted vision
  • Floaters or spots in your field of vision
  • Difficulty seeing colors
  • Vision changes that come and go

Treatment Options

If you have diabetes, annual eye exams are crucial to detect diabetic retinopathy in its early stages. Dr. Kondapalli may also recommend:

  • Blood sugar control through a healthy diet, regular exercise, and medication.
  • Focal/grid macular laser surgery to seal off leaking blood vessels or to shrink abnormal blood vessels.
  • Anti-VEGF drugs to prevent the growth of new abnormal blood vessels.
  • Corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation in the retina.
  • Vitrectomy to remove scar tissue or blood from the eye in advanced cases.

3. Retinal Vein Occlusions

Retinal vein occlusions occur when a blockage or obstruction in the veins that carry blood away from the retina causes reduced blood flow and leads to swelling and bleeding in the retina. This condition can cause sudden vision loss and is often associated with other underlying health issues, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.

There are two types of retinal vein occlusions:

  • Central Retinal Vein Occlusion (CRVO): A blockage in the main vein that carries blood away from the retina.
  • Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion (BRVO): A blockage in one of the smaller veins branching off the main vein. This is the most common type of retinal vein occlusion.

Symptoms of Retinal Vein Occlusions

  • Blurred vision
  • Decreased or distorted vision in one eye
  • Sudden loss of vision in one eye
  • Vision changes that come and go

Treatment Options

Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for preventing permanent vision loss from retinal vein occlusions. Dr. Kondapalli may recommend:

  • Anti-VEGF drugs to reduce swelling and prevent the growth of abnormal blood vessels.
  • Laser therapy to seal off leaking blood vessels.
  • Corticosteroid injections directly into the eye to reduce inflammation.
  • Vitrectomy to remove blood or scar tissue from the retina.

4. Retinal Tears

A retinal tear occurs when the thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye, known as the retina, is damaged. This damage can result in vision loss and, if untreated, may progress to a more serious condition known as retinal detachment.

Retinal tears are usually caused by:

  • Aging and natural changes in the eye, such as vitreous detachment
  • Eye trauma or injury
  • High levels of nearsightedness (myopia)

Symptoms of Retinal Tears

  • A sudden increase in floaters in your field of vision
  • Flashes of light in your vision (photopsia)
  • Blurred vision
  • Decreased peripheral vision

Treatment Options 

If you have a retinal tear,Dr. Kondapalli may recommend one of the following treatments:

  • Laser therapy to seal the tear and prevent fluid from leaking under the retina.
  • Cryopexy to freeze and seal the torn retina.
  • Vitrectomy to repair the torn retina and reattach it to the back of the eye.

5.Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachment is a serious and sight-threatening condition where the retina detaches or pulls away from the back of the eye. This can happen due to various reasons, such as trauma, aging, or eye disease. Without prompt treatment, retinal detachment can lead to permanent vision loss.

There are three types of retinal detachments: rhegmatogenous, tractional, and exudative.

  • Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment: This is the most common type. It occurs when a tear or hole in the retina allows fluid to accumulate and detach it from the back of the eye.
  • Tractional retinal detachment: This happens when scar tissue on the surface of the retina pulls it away from its normal position.
  • Exudative retinal detachment: This occurs when fluid builds up behind the retina due to inflammation, injury, or other eye conditions.

Symptoms of Retinal Detachment

If a minor portion of your retina is detached, symptoms might not be noticeable. However, as the detachment progresses, you may experience:

  • Floaters (spots or strings) in your vision
  • Flashes of light
  • A curtain-like shadow over your visual field
  • Sudden onset of blurred vision

Treatment Options

Retinal detachment is a medical emergency, and prompt treatment is necessary to prevent permanent vision loss.Dr. Kondapalli may recommend:

  • Laser therapy to seal the retinal tear and reattach the retina to the back of the eye.
  • Cryotherapy (freezing therapy) to seal small tears in the retina.
  • Vitrectomy to remove the vitreous gel, scar tissue, or blood from behind the retina and allow it to reattach properly.

Other Conditions Treated & Services Offered

In addition to our retinal care services, our Butler office can also address common concerns like dry eye and refractive errors. We also offerroutine eye exams, where we not only check your vision but also screen for any potential eye diseases or conditions. 

Early detection and treatment of retinal disorders can help prevent permanent vision loss. If you notice any vision changes or have a family history of retinal conditions, schedule regular eye exams and seek prompt medical attention for concerning symptoms.

Visit Everett & Hurite Eye Doctors in Butler, PA

Our eyes are complex organs that require proper care and attention to maintain good vision. Regular eye exams, a healthy lifestyle, and prompt treatment of any eye conditions can help prevent vision loss and ensure good overall eye health.

At Everett & Hurite's Butler office, we offer comprehensive eye care services, including routine eye exams and treatment for various retinal diseases. Dr. Kondapalli, a medical retina specialist, is committed to providing comprehensive eye care services and helping patients maintain good vision for a lifetime.

Located at 102 Technology Drive,Everett & Hurite'sButler office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Call us at (724) 766-1233 or schedule an appointment withDr. Kondapalli today.

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