Specialty Eye Conditions and Treatments
Many common eye conditions can cause serious damage to your vision, even blindness, if left untreated. Our experienced Ophthalmologist at Riverside EyeCare Professionals offers treatment for a range of eye conditions and diseases that can help you prevent significant vision loss. In addition, Dr. Michael Sumsion offers procedures designed to rejuvenate the areas around your eyes for a more youthful and refreshed appearance.
For more information on eye conditions, treatment options, and cosmetic enhancement procedures for the eyes available at our practice, please contact us today.
Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition which affects a large majority of people who have diabetes. Caused by the effect of diabetes on blood vessels in the eyes, diabetic retinopathy ultimately causes scar tissue to grow on blood vessels in the front part of the retina. As the condition advances, new blood vessels grow in the retina and may begin to bleed. This can ultimately affect your vision and potentially lead to glaucoma, cataracts, retinal detachment, and blindness.
The beginning stages of diabetic retinopathy often display no symptoms; however, there are signals to watch out for. These include:
- Floaters (small spots or clouds in your vision)
- Double vision
- Problems reading or seeing things clearly when they are close to the eyes
It is very important to have your vision checked on a regular basis in order to detect diabetic retinopathy at its earliest stage. The risk of developing the condition can be reduced by keeping good control over your blood sugar levels, maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen, and monitoring your blood pressure.
If you are experiencing itching, burning, or excessive tearing in the eye, you may have Dry Eye Syndrome. This condition is very common, and is typically caused by a problem with how the eye is producing tears. The production and drainage of tears is crucial to maintaining healthy eyes, helping to keep them moisturized and protected against eye infection, as well as facilitating the healing process if the eye has been wounded. Dry Eye Syndrome can often be brought on by pollutants in the air such as cigarette smoke; overuse of contact lenses; being exposed to a dusty or windy environment; the natural aging process; and even certain medications.
There are treatments that can relieve the symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome, and what’s best for your needs will depend on the type of the condition you are experiencing: water-deficient Dry Eye Syndrome or oil-deficient Dry Eye Syndrome. Medicinal eye drops can often be very effective. If that is not an option, a procedure known as punctual occlusion can be performed to help the eyes produce a more regulated flow of tears.
Flashes & Floaters
Flashes or streaks of light in your vision can occur when the vitreous gel in your eye pulls or rubs the retina. They can also be symptomatic of migraine headaches or a spasm of blood vessels. Floaters are typically characterized by small clouds or dots moving across your field of vision. They can also look like lines, specks, or cobwebs, and they usually become very noticeable when looking at a blank background, such as the sky, wall, or ceiling. Floaters appear to be in front of your eye; however, they are actually inside the vitreous gel that’s present on the inside of the eye. When light hits the eye and ultimately makes contact with the floaters, you are seeing the shadow that is cast on the retina.
Flashes and floaters can sometimes be the process of natural aging as the vitreous gel in our eyes changes consistency. While they don’t always cause serious vision problems, flashes and floaters may be a symptom of a small tear in the retina, which can ultimately result in retinal detachment. This is one of many reasons why you should have your vision checked immediately if you are experiencing flashes and floaters to ensure that the problem is not being caused by retinal damage.
Corneal Transplants and DSAEK
Corneal disease can sometimes require a corneal transplant in order to save one from experiencing significant vision loss or total loss of vision. Trauma or injury to the cornea, swelling due to another eye disease or eye surgery, corneal scarring, and infection due to contact lenses can all be factors that lead to corneal disease. Dr. Sumsion performs a number of corneal transplant procedures to prevent the disease from causing serious damage to your vision. Penetrating Keratoplasty (PK) involves the replacement of the cornea with a graft from a human donor.
DSAEK, or Descemet’s Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty, is what’s called a partial-thickness corneal transplant. In this procedure, Dr. Sumsion replaces only the thin endothelial layer of the cornea with donor endothelial tissue. This procedure typically allows for faster healing when compared to a full corneal transplant, resulting in a faster return of vision. Since the majority of the original cornea is kept in place, DSAEK involves less risk of tissue rejection.
Full corneal transplantation is typically performed as a last resort when less invasive options have not improved vision.
Cosmetic eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is a procedure that can help you enhance the appearance of areas around the eyes. For the lower eyelids, this treatment can reduce undereye bags and puffiness to create a more youthful and rested look. For the upper lids, eyelid surgery can be very beneficial for rejuvenating a tired or aged appearance, as well as for reducing excess, overhanging skin that may be obstructing your vision.
Eyelid surgery is performed using very small incisions that are hidden in the natural creases of the eyelids. Excess skin is removed and the remaining skin is tightened for a smoother appearance. Since this is a surgical procedure, eyelid surgery does require a brief recovery period. However, most patients are able to resume normal daily routines after a few days.
Contact Riverside EyeCare Professionals
If you have questions about any of the conditions and treatment options listed above, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with our experienced Ophthalmologist, please contact Riverside EyeCare Professionals.