Cataract Surgery Consultation & Follow Up
Our optometrists will arrange a surgical consult for cataracts when indicated, and will do post-operative checkups and refraction. Modern cataract surgery has transformed the whole affair into a 15 minute operation done on an out-patient basis. General anesthesia is not necessary; nor are bandages. In most cases you will leave the hospital the same day, under your own steam, seeing reasonably well (although the eye will be tender), and with normal appearance. In some cases, reading specs are all that’s needed after the surgery, although in some cases a small residual distance prescription remains as well.
Many diabetic people have lost their vision due to diabetic retinopathy, in which the retinal blood vessels leak, and fluid can accumulate in the macula. It is essential that diabetics have a Dilated Fundus Examination at least once a year. Dr. Ginter and Dr. Koria can monitor the retina for any sign of problems, keep a photographic record of the retinal appearance with our Fundus Camera, and if necessary, arrange for ophthalmological care with a retinal surgeon.
Glaucoma Screening & Monitoring
Dr. Koria is licensed for the use of therapeutic drugs, and therefore can manage glaucoma. She will monitor the appearance of the optic nerve head for glaucomatous changes, prescribe medication for controlling the intra-ocular pressure (IOP), and check for glaucoma related retinal damage by doing a visual field test on our in-house Humphrey Field Analyzer.
The macula is the central part of the retina; the part you use when you look right at something. It is the only part of the retina that gives fine detailed vision; fine enough to read, for example, or to recognize facial features. Its structure is highly specialized, and therefore relatively fragile. The vast majority of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) is caused by diminution of the blood circulation in the macula, which causes slow deterioration in the retinal cells in the area. The result is seen as a “smudge” or “haze” in the central vision.
There is no known way to repair the retinal sensors or restore the vision once lost, but nutritional supplements have been shown to delay or even stop the progression for a while. The main thing to look for are anti-oxidants (Vitamin A, C, E, and Selenium), and especially the so-called “minor” carotenes like lutein and zeaxanthin.
In some cases, the degeneration progresses to a more severe form known as “wet” ARMD. In this case, the blood vessels begin to leak, and fluid can collect under the retina, killing the overlying retinal cells. This can develop more rapidly and have a much more devastating effect on the vision. Treatments for wet ARMD are being developed, but you need to know that they are aimed at just slowing the progression, not reversing damage. The retina is composed of brain tissue, and we still have no way of repairing or replacing it.
Dr. Ginter and Dr. Koria would also caution people to be careful when considering treatment claims. There are companies who are not above playing on your fears of blindness, and charging big fees for treatments that may have questionable efficacy and little or no scientific basis. Ask plenty of questions, expect understandable answers, and don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion.