David K. Chow, MD, MPH, FACS
Ophthalmologist located in Reston, VA
Retinal issues like diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachments can cause symptoms like floaters and flashing lights. If you’re facing retinal issues, it’s essential that you get help from an experienced ophthalmologist like David K. Chow, MD, MPH, FACS, at his office in Reston, Virginia. Dr. Chow treats many retina issues in-house and also works with a number of local retina specialists who can help if you need surgery. For help with retina issues of all kinds, schedule an appointment online or by phone today.
Retinal Issues Q & A
What is diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy is eye blood vessel damage caused by high blood sugar from uncontrolled diabetes. In its early stages, symptoms are rare. But as diabetic retinopathy progresses, you may experience symptoms including:
- Floaters (spots, specks, lines, or other shapes that float in your visual field)
- Blurry vision
- Dark or blank spots in your visual field
- Bad night vision
- Colors appear faded
Diabetic retinopathy treatment typically starts with making sure your diabetes is properly controlled with the help of your primary care doctor or endocrinologist. Good diabetes management may help you recover your vision, at least to some degree.
Dr. Chow may treat diabetic retinopathy with injectable anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) medication like Avastin® or Lucentis® or steroid injections.
If nonsurgical treatment doesn’t work, Dr. Chow may refer you to a local surgeon for a procedure such as a vitrectomy to correct the damage. If you need surgery, Dr. Chow helps you prepare for the procedure and takes care of all your postoperative care, too.
What is retinal tear and retinal detachment?
A retinal tear happens when the vitreous gel, the transparent gel inside your middle eye, starts to shrink sharply enough to tear the retina partially away from the back of your eye.
When you have a retinal tear, you can then suffer a retina detachment when the intraocular fluid moves through the tear.
A retinal detachment is a very serious problem that can lead to blindness if it’s not addressed promptly. After a retinal tear and just before a detachment, you’ll likely have warning signs like:
- Many floaters suddenly appearing in your visual field
- Flashing lights
- Blurry vision
- Decrease in peripheral vision
- A shadow that covers your whole visual field
Dr. Chow may treat retinal tear or retinal detachment on-site, depending on the severity of the situation. Nonsurgical treatment like cryopexy can freeze the retina to generate a tiny scar that helps anchor your retina to prevent further damage.
If you need surgery retina issues, Dr. Chow can refer you to a local surgeon. He continues to take care of all your need before and after surgery.
Do retina issues go away on their own?
Even if your symptoms appear to go away, it’s best to get checked out promptly. A torn or detached retina is very vulnerable to further damage and could cause permanent vision loss if it worsens.
For older adults, macular degeneration is the most prevalent cause of irreversible vision loss. Macular degeneration describes when the central portion of your retina at the back of your eye known as your macula begins to deteriorate.
Don’t take a chance if you’re having symptoms of a retina problem, call Dr. Chow right away for help preserving your vision.
Dr. Chow can often see patients same-day for emergencies, so don’t hesitate to reach out for help with retina issues by scheduling an appointment online or by phone today.