Macular degeneration
Macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of significant visual loss worldwide.  There are more than 200,000 new cases per year in the United States and this disease can be helped, however, it cannot be cured.  There are two types of macular degeneration:  wet and dry.  Dry macular degeneration occurs as the retina continues to degenerate without any evidence of new blood vessel growth.  In contrast, wet macular degeneration occurs when new blood vessel growth occurs in addition to the degeneration of the retina.  Patients with macular degeneration need to be seen at least every 6-12 months, the exact frequency of the follow up care will be determined by your eye care specialist.

Diabetic retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is a major cause of blindness worldwide.  It can affect up to 80% of those patients who have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes for 20 years or more.  Early diabetic changes are known as background diabetic retinopathy, this can progress to proliferative diabetic retinopathy which is a much more serious visual problem.  Each year in the United States, diabetic retinopathy accounts for 12% of all new cases of blindness.  It is also the leading cause of blindness in people from the age of 20 to 64.  All diabetic patients need to be evaluated by an eye care professional at least once a year.  There are several different treatments for diabetic retinopathy.  

Retinal holes, tears and detachments
Retinal tears are urgent medical problems that need to be evaluated quickly in order to prevent permanent significant visual loss.  Patients will often initially notice increasing floating objects or perhaps flashes of light in the periphery of their vision.  There are fewer than 200,000 new cases annually in the United States; however, it is recommended that patients with new onset of flashes and floaters are seen by their eye care professional within the first 24 hours of the onset of symptoms.  Tears of the retina can progress to retinal detachments.  Retinal detachments have a variety of treatments including in office injections to outpatient surgical procedures.

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