Central Plains Eye MDs
Center for Glaucoma, Retina & Diabetic Eye Care
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

At Central Plains Eye MDs, we believe in giving each patient and caregiver the knowledge they need to comfortably proceed with treatment. Below you'll find a list of common questions.

 

What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a general term for deterioration of the eye's macula due to aging.
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What Causes Macular Degeneration?

Deterioration of normal body mechanisms due to aging allows for formation of deposits called drusen under the retina and, in some cases, growth of abnormal blood vessels that can leak and/or bleed.
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What Are the Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?

  • Distorted reading vision
  • Need for increasingly bright light to see up close
  • Colors appear less vivid or bright and may differ between eyes
  • Blank, blurry, or grey spots in central vision
  • Lines that should be straight appear bent, crooked or irregular
  • Object sizes appear different for each eye
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Who is at Risk for Macular Degeneration?

Recently, much new information on macular degeneration has been discovered. Genetic changes (predisposition) and age, both unavoidable, remain key risk factors.
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How is Macular Degeneration Diagnosed?

Because macular disease is painless, most people do not realize they have a problem until they notice significantly blurred or distorted vision. Regular eye exams by an optometrist (O.D.) or ophthalmologist (M.D.) help to detect problems or early stages of macular degeneration before you are even aware of them.
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How is Macular Degeneration Treated?

"Dry" (Non-Exudative) AMD
While there is no proven treatment for the "dry" form of AMD, a large scientific study has shown that antioxidant vitamins may reduce the impact of macular degeneration by slowing its progression towards more advanced stages.

"Wet" (Exudative) AMD
Anti-VEGF Medication Injection
A common treatment strategy for wet macular degeneration targets a specific chemical in your body that causes abnormal blood vessels to grow and leak.

"Wet" (Exudative) AMD
Laser Treatment
A significantly older form of treatment for select cases of wet AMD is thermal laser therapy. Laser treatment is performed as an office procedure.

"Wet" (Exudative) AMD
Photodynamic therapy (PDT)
A photosensitive drug is injected into a vein in your hand or arm and travels throughout the body.
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What Happen When Macular Degeneration Cannot Be Treated?

It is important to remember that only about 10 percent of all macular degeneration cases are exudative ("wet"). The great majority of these can be managed with office-based treatment.
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Central Retinal Vein Occlusion (CRVO)

What is Central Retinal Vein Occlusion?

The primary vein draining blood from all four quadrants of the retina can become blocked or occluded.
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What Are the Types of Central Retinal Vein Occlusion?

CRVOs are staged as either perfused (P-CRVO) or non-perfused (NP-CRVO). Eyes in the perfused (P) subset sustain minimal damage to the retinal capillaries. Vision is usually better than 20/200 and there is no pupil defect.
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What Are the Symptoms Central Retinal Vein Occlusion?

The main symptom is painless blurred vision. This occurs most commonly due to the excess fluid that leaks from damaged capillaries and collects in the macula.
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How is Central Retinal Vein Occlusion Treated?

The primary therapy for CRVO is now special medication administrated by intravitreal injection.
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Diabetic Retinopathy

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Retinopathy literally means "disease of the retina". Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the retina caused by diabetes, specifically diabetes mellitus.
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How Do I Know if I Have Diabetic Retinopathy?

Regular dilated eye examinations are the only certain way to know if you have retinopathy. Timely diagnosis of retinopathy is also the best way to insure effective treatment to minimize vision loss.
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How is Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnosed?

Diabetic retinopathy is best diagnosed with a dilated eye exam and, when indicated, special testing. Your eye doctor will place drops in your eyes that make your pupils relax.

Ancillary Testing
Fluorescein Angiography (FA)
A safe dye called sodium fluorescein is injected into a hand or arm vein.

Ancillary Testing
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
This imaging test provides cross-sectional views of the retina that show thickness variations and any fluid features.
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How is Diabetic Retinopathy Diagnosed?

Diabetic retinopathy is best diagnosed with a dilated eye exam and, when indicated, special testing. Your eye doctor will place drops in your eyes that make your pupils relax.
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How is Diabetic Retinopathy Treated?

Treatment for diabetic retinopathy is often very effective in preventing, delaying, or reducing vision loss.
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Glaucoma

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is actually a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve usually due to increased pressure in the eye. The optic nerve, located at the back of the eye, carries information from the eye to the brain, and when the nerve is damaged, vision is lost.
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Who is at risk for Glaucoma?

Everyone is at risk for glaucoma, but certain groups are at higher risk.

Age: People Over 40
Glaucoma is much more common among older people, the risk rises after 40. You are six times more likely to get glaucoma if you are over 60 years old.
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What causes Glaucoma?

The cause of glaucoma generally is a failure of the eye to maintain an appropriate balance between the amount of internal (intraocular) fluid produced and the amount that drains away. The buildup of fluid causes high eye pressure that pushes against the optic nerve until nerve fibers are permanently damaged and vision is lost.
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What are the types of Glaucoma?

There are several types of glaucoma, but the mechanisms causing high intraocular pressure fall into two categories.
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What are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?

Symptoms of Open-angle Glaucoma
There are typically no early warning signs or symptoms in open-angle glaucoma. It develops slowly and sometimes without noticeable loss of sight for many years.

Most people who have open-angle glaucoma feel fine and do not notice a change in their vision because the initial loss of vision is only side or peripheral vision, and their central visual acuity and sharpness of vision is maintained until late in the disease.
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How is Glaucoma Treated?

Glaucoma can be treated with eye drops, laser surgery, traditional surgery or a combination of these methods. The goal of all glaucoma treatment is to prevent loss of vision. Vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible, but glaucoma can be managed if detected early. With medical and/or surgical treatment, most people with glaucoma will not lose their sight.
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Lattice Degeneration Of The Retina

What is Lattice Degeneration?

Lattice degeneration is a relatively common condition causing areas of peripheral retinal thinning
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What Causes Lattice Degeneration?

Although multiple theories have been suggested about the cause of this disease, the factors which lead to lattice eye degeneration remain largely unknown.
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What Are the Symptoms of Lattice Degeneration?

Lattice degeneration does not generally present any easily recognizable symptoms. When symptoms are noticed they are usually indicative of a complication (e.g. retinal tear) rather than the lattice condition itself.
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Macular Hole

What is Macular Hole?

A macular hole is a full-thickness defect in the fovea, the center most part of the macula responsible for detailed vision.
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What Are the Symptoms of Macular Hole?

In the early stages of macular hole formation, central vision becomes slightly blurred and distorted. If the hole progresses, a blind spot develops in your central vision.
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What Causes Macular Hole?

Your eye is filled with a gel-like substance called vitreous, which fills the large cavity in front of the retina.
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How is Macular Hole Diagnosed?

Your optometrist or ophthalmologist will dilate your pupils and examine your retina.
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What is the Treatment For Macular Hole?

Vitrectomy surgery is the standard of care to attempt repair of a macular hole.
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Macular Pucker

What is Macular Pucker?

Macular pucker (more correctly termed epimacular fibrosis) is a common but highly variable eye condition.
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What Causes Macular Fibrosis (Pucker)?

Growth and contracture of cells on the retinal surface may generate puckering of the macula.
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What Are the Symptoms of Macular Fibrosis (Pucker)?

Symptoms from macular pucker can vary from imperceptible to severe vision loss. People with macular pucker may notice that their vision is blurry or mildly distorted with straight lines appearing wavy.
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What is the Treatment For Macular Fibrosis (Pucker)?

Macular pucker usually requires no treatment. In many cases, the symptoms of vision distortion and blurriness are mild, but if it's more severe, surgery could be recommended.
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Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD)

What is Vitreous?

Vitreous is a jelly-like substance that occupies most of the volume of the eye. It is primarily a mixture of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and water.
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What Are the Symptoms of Vitreous Detachment?

Spontaneous separation and shift of the vitreous from the retinal surface is a normal event that will happen to essentially everyone. PVD often happens slowly and is hardly noticed.
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Is PVD Dangerous? is it Related to Retinal Detachment?

Vitreous detachment in itself is not a threat to vision. Sometimes, however, the retina is torn when the vitreous gel shifts.
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How Do I Know if I Have A Vitreous or Retinal Detachment?

Both symptoms of vitreous detachment (flashes and floaters) may also be seen with retinal detachment.
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What Can Be Done About Floaters?

Currently, no eye drops or medications can dissolve floaters.
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Retinal Detachment

What is Retinal Detachment?

A retinal detachment is a separation of the retina from the inside of the eye. A good analogy is wallpaper peeling away from drywall. Most retinal detachments are a complication of a retinal hole or tear. These defects often occur when vitreous gel shifts forward with age.
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How Common is Retinal Detachment and What Are the Risks?

The incidence of retinal detachments caused by tears in the retina is fairly low, affecting approximately one in 10,000 people each year.
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What Are the Symptoms of Retinal Detachment?

Flashing lights (photopsias) and may be the initial symptoms of a retinal detachment or of a retinal tear that precedes detachment itself. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should see an eye doctor for a dilated exam.
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Can Retinal Detachment Cause Irreparable Blindness?

Yes, if not treated expeditiously.
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If One Eye Develops Retinal Detachment Will It Happen To the Other Eye?

Detachment is more likely to occur if the second (fellow) eye has the condition associated with retinal detachment in the first eye. (e.g. lattice degeneration).
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What TreatmentS Are Used For Retinal Detachment Repair?

Surgery is required to repair a retinal tear, hole or detachment. Your retinal ophthalmologist can educate you on the various risks and benefits of your treatment options. Together you can determine what treatment is best for you.
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Retinal Tear With Vitreous Hemorrhage

What Can Cause A Retinal Tear With Vitreous Hemorrhage?

The main cavity of the eye is filled with a usually clear gel called vitreous. Vitreous undergoes a natural aging process and becomes progressively liquid.
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What is the Treatment For Vitreous Hemorrhage From Retinal Tears?

Limited vitreous hemorrhage (VH) is usually managed conservatively with activity restrictions and positioning.
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Have More Questions? Contact Us

I owe my eyesight to Dr. Beck. If it weren't for him I'd be legally blind. I'm able to drive safely. I believe that is quite an achievement for a person with my condition and age. I consider him an outstanding physician, and the entire staff is very helpful and good to work with. - Gary K.