Macular Degeneration Treatment | Encino CA | West Hills CAThe retina is a thin sheet of nerve tissue in the back of the eye where light rays are focused and transmitted to the brain through the optic nerve. Within the center of the retina is the macula, which is responsible for clear central vision. Retinal damage is one of the leading causes of blindness, as this sensitive tissue is often susceptible to trauma, disease and other damaging effects that can impair a person's vision and quality of life.

A healthy retina is essential to maintaining clear vision and overall eye functioning. At Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley, we provide comprehensive treatment and prevention services for a wide range of retinal conditions such as macular degeneration, diabetic complications, retinal detachment and others.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that weakens the blood vessels that supply nourishment to the retina (the light-sensitive lining in the back of the eye where vision is focused). These weak vessels can leak, swell or develop new branches, causing a loss of vision. Changes to your vision may not be noticeable at first. But in its advanced stages, the disease can cause blurred or cloudy vision, floaters and blind spots - and, eventually, blindness. This damage can be irreversible. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye complication and a leading cause of blindness in American adults. Macular edema, which is leaking fluid that causes blurred vision, often occurs with diabetic retinopathy.

The risk of diabetic retinopathy and its complications are reduced by following your prescribed diet and medications, exercising regularly, controlling your blood pressure, and avoiding alcohol and cigarettes. Regular eye exams are an integral part of making sure your eyes are healthy. Diabetic retinopathy can be detected through a dilated eye exam.

Although all damage caused by diabetic retinopathy cannot be corrected, patients diagnosed with the condition can be treated to slow its progression and prevent further vision loss and reverse some changes. Treatment modalities include laser and surgical procedures.

Dr. Stanley Kopelow has been in practice for over thirty years, specializing in diseases and surgery of the retina and vitreous. He has a special interest in diabetic retinopathy.

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For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call 818.990.3623.

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Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common condition in older adults and the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in people over the age of 65. Macular degeneration affects the macula, the part of the retina responsible for the crisp, detailed vision needed for reading or driving. As we age, the tissue in the eye responsible for central vision slowly begins to deteriorate, which can significantly affect a patient's quality of life.

Macular degeneration can be classified as either wet (neovascular) or dry (non-neovascular). Dry macular degeneration is the more common diagnosis, and is considered to be an early stage of the disease. This type of the disease usually develops as a result of aging and thinning of macular tissues and the depositing of pigment within the macula, while wet macular degeneration is the more serious form of the disease and involves new blood vessels developing beneath the retina.

Patients with macular degeneration may notice gradual changes to their vision, including shadowy areas in the central vision, or fuzzy and distorted vision. Although there is no cure for this condition, there are several treatment options available to help patients manage symptoms and preserve vision, including intraocular injections, photodynamic therapy, vitamin and mineral supplements and more.

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Macular Degeneration Treatment | Encino CA | West Hills CALucentis is an intraocular injection commonly used at our practice to treat macular degeneration and other retinal conditions. Approved by the FDA, this medication is injected directly into the eye to help patients maintain their baseline vision and keep vision loss at a minimum. Many patients often see an improvement in their vision from these injections as well.

Macular Degeneration Treatment | Encino CA | West Hills CABefore the medication is injected, the eye is numbed with an anesthetic eye drop. Lucentis injections are usually administered once a month to maintain eye health in patients with macular degeneration. The injections are very effective in treating wet age-related macular degeneration.

Eye Vitamins

The National Eye Institute (a federally funded and scientific organization not influenced by Big Pharma) studied over 5,000 patients with macular degeneration over a 10 year period and found that AREDS1 reduced the advancement of ARMD. AREDS1 was replaced with AREDS2 because the high dose of vitamin A as beta-carotene was felt to be too high, beta-carotene is not safe for smokers, and lutein and zeaxanthin were superior carotenoids. Omega 3's are also now felt to be beneficial in preventing macular degeneration.

We are constantly asked for recommendations regarding the brand of vitamins that can be taken to prevent ARMD. We strongly recommend EVOA Supplements or call EVOA Supplements at 1-877-390-9452. Their formulation is less expensive than what is comparably purchased in retail stores, they can be shipped directly to your house on a monthly basis, and EVOA is a quality manufacturer. Regardless of your source of AREDS2 vitamins, here is the recommended formula:

Vitamin C
Vitamin E
452 mg
400 I.U.
69.6 mg
1.6 mg
Omega-3 EPA
Omega-3 DHA
10 mg
3.3 mg
270 mg
180 mg

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Laser Surgery

Laser retina surgery can be used to treat a wide range of retina conditions through minimally invasive techniques that produce precise, long-lasting results. It can be used to treat diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusions, age-related macular degeneration, retinal detachments and more. Depending on the patient's condition, the laser may be used to seal leaking blood vessels, repair tears, remove newly formed blood vessels or destroy tumors. These procedures are performed in the doctor's office and usually require only anesthetic eye drops to numb the area prior to treatment.

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Macular Degeneration Treatment | Encino CA | West Hills CAEylea injection, also known as aflibercept, is a medication that is used to treat the wet form of age-related macular degeneration, also known as AMD or ARMD. Age-related macular degeneration affects the macula, the part of the eye that provides sharp, central vision.

Eylea also slows the development of vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF, a protein that causes abnormal blood vessels to grow and leak, damaging the macula. By slowing the development of VEGF, Eylea aids in the prevention and reversal of vision loss experienced by those patients with macular degeneration. Unlike Avastin or Lucentis, Eylea binds with VEGF and has the potential to last longer than Avastin or Lucentis.

Approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2011, Eylea was evaluated in two clinical trials with over 2,000 patients. Side effects that are most commonly reported for patients receiving Eylea include pain at the injection site, vitreous floaters, clouding of the lens of the eye, retinal detachment and an increase in intraocular pressure.

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What is CentraSight® and the Telescope Implant?

Macular Degeneration Treatment | Encino CA | West Hills CAThe CentraSight treatment program uses a tiny telescope, an FDA-approved medical device, which is implanted inside the eye to improve vision and quality of life for individuals affected by End-Stage AMD.

The telescope implant, about the size of a pea, is intended to improve distance and near vision in people who have lost central vision in both eyes because of End-Stage AMD. The telescope implant is surgically placed inside one eye. The implanted eye provides central vision; the other eye provides peripheral vision.

The telescope implant is not a cure for End-Stage AMD. It will not restore your vision to the level it was before you had AMD, and it will not completely correct your vision loss. Patients with this level of AMD have had to cease driving due to their vision; after the telescope procedure, although near and distance vision may improve, driving will not be possible because the implant does not restore normal vision.

For more on the CentraSight® Telescope Impant click here

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