Our retina specialists are pioneering medical breakthroughs for patients in the Austin area with diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and other retinal conditions. We welcome you to experience compassionate, expert care with the access and personal attention you deserve. Together, we strive to achieve life-changing improvements for your eyesight, quality of life, and peace of mind.
Our retina specialists are pioneering medical breakthroughs for patients in the Austin area with Diabetic Retinopathy, Macular Degeneration, and other retina conditions. We welcome you to experience compassionate, expert care with the access and personal attention you deserve. Together, we strive to achieve life-changing improvements for your eyesight, quality of life, and peace of mind.
ABOUT YOUR APPOINTMENT
Our office is capable of performing all necessary diagnostic tests and treatments in a single visit. Please allow between 1 to 2 hours for your appointment to complete all necessary examinations.
What to Bring
Remember to bring your insurance card, photo ID, list of medications, contact info of your primary care and referring physician, and any records or diagnostic tests that have been performed related to your condition. If your insurance requires a physician referral, please obtain the referral prior to your appointment.
Your eyes will be dilated during your visit, making your vision blurry and your eyes more sensitive to light for several hours. If you are not using public transportation, consider arranging for someone to drive you home.
Below You Will Find Detailed Information About Common Retina Conditions
Diabetic retinopathy is a group of disorders and the most common ocular complication from diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in American adults. Diabetic retinopathy can cause numerous complications including leaky blood vessels, abnormal blood vessel growth, bleeding, and swelling in the retina all of which can affect vision.
Age Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that causes a change or decrease in central vision. Blurry central vision can affect the ability to read, drive, or even watch television.
PVD, Retinal Holes or Tears, or Retinal Detachment
Flashes and floaters are symptoms which can indicate the beginning of a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). A PVD can lead to retinal tears, holes or even a retinal detachment which can cause blindness. Therefore for new flashes and floaters we request patients call us for an appointment to evaluate the retina.
A macular hole is a small defect in the portion of the retina (macula) which causes a decrease in central visual acuity. Surgery is typically required to repair a macular hole and restore central vision.
Uveal melanomas are the most common primary eye cancer in adults, although they are very rare compared to other forms of cancer. In general, approximately 6 cases per 1 million people occur per year. If they are not treated, they can lead to vision loss, spread to other parts of the body and loss of life.
An epiretinal membrane (also sometimes known as a macular pucker, preretinal fibrosis, or cellophane maculopathy) is a thin sheet of scar tissue which has formed over the central portion of the retina, the macula. When the scar tissue causes wrinkling or swelling of the underlying retina, this can result in blurred or distorted central vision.
Retinal Vein Occlusion
Retinal vein occlusion is a blockage of the blood vessels (veins) that carry blood away from the retina, which is the layer of neural tissue which lines the back of the eye and sends light signals to the brain. There are two types of vein occlusions, central retinal vein occlusions (CRVO) and branch retinal vein occlusions (BRVO). CRVO is a blockage of the main retinal vein, and BRVO is a blockage of one of the smaller branch veins. Both types of vein occlusions can result retinal hemorrhages and the leakage of fluid from blocked blood vessel resulting in swelling of the retina.
Other Retinal Diseases
Optical Coherence Tomography
Optical Coherence Tomography, or OCT, is a non-invasive, fast-imaging, scanning technology that utilizes coherent light beams to document retinal structures or pathology. As it scans the macula, a detailed and magnified cross sectional image is produced which is used to document retinal structures and pathology. The retinal thickness is also measured which can aid in the diagnosis and monitoring of many retinal diseases. OCT usually takes only a few minutes.
The physicians at Austin Retina Associates are vitreoretinal surgeons who have extensive training and experience in advanced retinal surgical techniques. Each of our retina specialists maintains surgical privileges at multiple hospitals and surgery centers in Austin. Patients requiring surgery will discuss with their surgeon which location best suits their specific needs. Often a patient’s overall health dictates which facility is best suited. Also a patient’s insurance may determine which facilities are considered. Our surgical coordinators can provide information about and directions to each surgical facility.
Research & Clinical Trials
The physicians at Austin Retina Associates are proud to take part in clinical research and trials for many common retinal conditions. Click the following link to learn more about our current clinical trials.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any early warning signs of Diabetic Retinopathy?
No symptoms may be present in the beginning stages of diabetic retinopathy. An annual retinal screening is vital for early detection, diagnosis and treatment to prevent permanent vision impairments. In more advanced stages, a patient may experience blurred vision that comes and goes, red vision, and red or black spots in vision..
Are there any methods of preventing Diabetic Retinopathy?
Proactive methods of prevention include, following a prescribed diet and medication plan, exercising regularly, maintaining an A1c less than seven and cholesterol and avoiding alcohol and cigarettes. While not a method of prevention, annual eye exams can help detect early warning signs and ensure proper treatment is given to prevent long-term, severe damage.
What are the risk factors for a retinal detachment?
A retinal detachment can happen to anyone at any age; however, it is more common in men over the age of 40 and in patients who are severely nearsighted and diabetic. A retinal detachment is more likely to occur in people who have previously had a retinal detachment in the other eye, a family history of retinal detachment, cataract surgery, an eye injury, or trauma.
Since Age-related macular degeneration is a product of aging, is there a cure or method of prevention?
There is no cure for AMD, however, a nutritious diet of fresh vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, nuts and seeds can slow down the progression of dry AMD. Studies reveal that vitamins A, C, E and minerals zinc and selenium are key contributors to good eye health.
How do you treat wet AMD?
Injections and laser treatment is often most effective for preventing further deterioration and restoring vision.
What is an intraocular injection and will it hurt?
Why do appointments take so long?
We see a range of severity of diseases that can unforeseeably length appointment times. For example, patients with melanomas or retinal detachments tend to be involved. Furthermore, our physicians are on call at all the major hospitals so working in patient emergencies can also add additional unexpected time. For more information about your appointment, please visit About Your Appointment.
Will I have to be dilated at every visit? What happens after dilation?
Yes, we will almost always dilate your eyes when you visit our office. By opening up your pupils we are able to look at the intraocular structures like the lens, the vitreous and retina to detect any abnormalities. After dilation, your up close/reading vision will be blurry for 4-6 hours. Most patients are able to drive home after an appointment, however, if you do not feel comfortable driving after dilation, please plan to arrange transportation.Learn more about the importance of a dilated eye exam.
Have questions? We have answers.
If you have questions regarding appointments, billing, or need additional information for any location, please call our main number.