top of page

6 items found for ""

  • Exploring Fluorescein Angiogram: A Window Into Retinal Health

    At Retina Health Institute, we understand the importance of diagnostic tools in preserving and enhancing vision. Among the many techniques we utilize, fluorescein angiogram (FA) stands out as a powerful tool in our arsenal. In this blog post, we'll delve into what a fluorescein angiogram is, how it works, and why it's crucial in diagnosing and managing retinal conditions. What is Fluorescein Angiogram (FA)? Fluorescein angiogram (FA) is a diagnostic procedure used to evaluate the blood circulation in the retina and choroid, the vascular layers of the eye. It involves the injection of a fluorescent dye, fluorescein, into a vein in the arm. As the dye circulates through the bloodstream, a specialized camera captures images of the dye as it flows through the blood vessels in the eye. How Does It Work? Once the dye reaches the blood vessels in the eye, the camera takes a series of rapid-fire images, creating a detailed map of the retinal and choroidal circulation. The dye fluoresces under a specific wavelength of light, allowing for clear visualization of blood flow patterns and any abnormalities in the vessels. Angiogram: Why Is it So Important? FA: Key Benefits for your Eyes? Angiogram: Why Is this Test So Important? Fluorescein angiography plays a crucial role in the diagnosis and management of various retinal conditions, including diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), retinal vascular occlusions, and macular edema. By providing detailed information about blood flow and the integrity of retinal vessels, FA helps our specialists identify and monitor these conditions accurately. Key Benefits of Fluorescein Angiogram: Early Detection: FA enables early detection of retinal disorders, allowing for prompt intervention and better outcomes. Treatment Guidance: The information obtained from FA guides treatment decisions, such as laser therapy or intravitreal injections, tailored to each patient's specific condition. Monitoring Progress: By comparing FA images over time, we can assess the response to treatment and make adjustments as necessary to optimize outcomes. Patient Education: FA helps patients understand their condition better and empowers them to actively participate in their treatment journey. Fluorescein angiogram is a valuable tool in our efforts to preserve and enhance vision at Retina Health Institute. By providing detailed insights into retinal circulation, FA aids in the accurate diagnosis and management of various retinal conditions. If you have concerns about your eye health or would like to learn more about fluorescein angiography, don't hesitate to schedule a consultation with our expert team. Your vision is our priority, and we're here to support you every step of the way.

  • What Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)?

    As you age you will begin to notice a lot of your body doesn’t seem to work the same. This isn’t limited to just your bones. Age plays a big role in your day to day vision. One of the leading causes of blindness among Americans over 50 are diagnosed with Macular Degeneration, better known as AMD. Age-related macular degeneration is a progressive loss of central vision This diagnosis is something that can cause blurry vision when doing tasks like reading or driving. The term “age-related” means that it is more common in people 50 and over. Although it does cause difficulty seeing, AMD does not cause complete blindness. Day-to-day activities will be more strenuous on the eyes due to the blurriness of your central vision. The macula is the primary part of t he eye that is affected by AMD. It sits at the back of your eye and is made up of millions of light-sensing cells. When it gets injured or begins to deteriorate, you are at risk of losing your central vision. Two forms of age-related macular degeneration AMD is divided into two general categories, dry AMD (DAMD) and wet AMD (WAMD): Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration (DAMD) Approximately 90 percent of people diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration have DAMD. This occurs due to an increase in size and number of small yellow deposits called drusen form under the retina. Eventually the increased amount of drusen will break down the light-sensitive cells in the macula. Many people with DAMD experience no symptoms or vision loss. The only way to detect DAMD is through a dilated eye exam. Some symptoms of DAMD are as follows: Needing more light when reading Trouble recognizing faces Blurriness of printed words Trouble adjusting to dim lighting Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (WAMD) In some cases DAMD can progress. This happens when abnormal blood vessels begin growing under or near the retina (toward the macula), which may leak blood and fluid. This is then diagnosed as wet age-related macular degeneration. WAMD typically causes a fast-pace and more severe loss of vision and can be treated with intravitreal injections of medication. While there is no known cure, there are techniques and tools available to treat and maintain the disease. Some are as follows: Intravitreal injections Photodynamic therapy (PDT) A combination of these treatments If you’re in need of age-related macular degeneration diagnosis or treatment for other eye conditions, feel free to call Retina Health Institute, located in Rockford and Algonquin, Illinois.

  • The Need to Know About A Detached Retina

    Retinal detachment is a serious medical emergency that can result in full and permanent vision loss in the affected eye if left untreated. This happens when the retina, which is the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the back of the eye, separates from its original position. This can happen without warning, can lead to a sudden loss of vision in your eye, and is difficult to prevent. However, there are some precautions you can take and some symptoms to look out for. Types of Retinal Detachment A Retinal Detachment can be classified in 3 different categories: Rhegmatogenous: This type of retinal detachment occurs when you have a tear in your retina. This is the most common form of retinal detachment and generally is caused by the natural aging process. As we age, the gel-like fluid (vitreous) within our eye can decrease causing it to pull on your retina which can eventually cause it to tear. When the retina tears, that fluid can begin to leak through, making its way behind the retina, thus forcing the retina to detach from the inner back of the eyeball. Tractional: Tractional retinal detachment is often caused by diabetes. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, your high blood sugar can cause the blood vessels in your eye to become damaged and cause scarring of your retina. If the scar eventually becomes larger, it can gradually pull at the retina and cause it to detach from the back of the eyeball. Exudative: This type of retinal detachment occurs without any retinal tears or scars from fluid building up and becoming trapped behind the retina. As the fluid builds up, it forces the retina out of position, eventually causing it to detach. This category of detachment is often caused by swelling in the back of the eye or leaking blood vessels, which can be caused by injury, an eye tumor, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and inflammation. Risk Factors for Retinal Detachment Some people are at a higher risk to experience retinal detachment. Knowing these factors and recognizing your potential risk means you’ll be more likely to recognize the symptoms and get in touch with a retina specialist sooner rather than later. These risk factors include: Family history of retinal detachments Extreme nearsightedness History of previous retinal detachment History of severe eye injury History of eye surgery Other eye conditions, such as uveitis Being over 50 Recognizing the Signs of Retinal Detachment Although this is something that can happen very suddenly, there are also warning signs. Keep an eye out for new or worsening symptoms such as: A sudden surge in new eye floaters in your vision Flashing lights Blurry vision A veil of darkness over your vision If you begin to experience any of the symptoms listed above it is important you reach out to your ophthalmologist or get in touch with a retina specialist, especially if you have one or more risk factors for retinal detachment. The longer you wait, the more severe your situation can grow. To learn more about retinal detachments and retinal health, follow our social media or get in contact with Retina Health Institute!

  • 2020 in the Rearview

    Despite its correlation to perfect vision, 2020 was not as perfect as some of us may have envisioned. With that being said, the start of 2021 has brought time to reflect on what we want for ourselves in the upcoming year. Looking back at 2020 we can be sure of one thing, our health should be at the top of our list. Health in a broad sense encompasses all parts of our bodies and to some extent is within our control. On a normal day to day, the average person may take their eye health for granted but that is more the reason to take proactive measures to maintain proper care. As you continue or begin to set your New Year’s resolutions keep in mind the following tips that have been proven to maintain or improve eye health. Dietary Tips: Eat eye-healthy food Leafy greens Fruits and berries Fish Whole grains Nuts and seeds Legumes Exercise: The correlation between physical-exercise and eye-health may not seem obvious, but they go hand-in-hand. Increased blood flow makes its way to the core parts of the eye, like the retina, ultimately making it stronger. Regular physical activity helps regulate other conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol that contribute to common retinal diseases. Alter Your Lifestyle: Other than the two lifestyle changes we encourage above, there are more upgrades that if done effectively can also improve or maintain your vision. If you smoke we encourage you to stop smoking. Tobacco use is proven to cause problems with other illnesses, but it has direct effects on retinal health. Implement stress reducing practices like meditation, painting, yoga, reading, and more Get your eyes examined regularly: Last but certainly not least we encourage everyone to get their eyes checked regularly. If you are at risk for developing retinal diseases we recommend you pay attention to any symptoms you may experience or are experiencing. To have a full evaluation for symptoms or preventative care, feel free to schedule an appointment at either our Elgin or Rockford office!

  • Diabetes and Your Eyes

    So you’re diabetic, and you know the usual, check your sugar, watch your diet, and check in with your physician regularly. But we’re more concerned about what you may not know. When it comes to diabetes and your eyes, it can damage the small blood vessels in a part of your eye called the retina. The retina detects light that enters the eye, then sends signals to your brain about what the eye sees. The damaged blood vessels caused by diabetes can lead to vision loss and even blindness. When this happens it is called diabetic retinopathy. In order to slow the progression of this disease it is recommended to keep your blood sugar and blood pressure levels in target range. You can also practice the following care tips to slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy: Self Care: healthy eating limiting carbohydrates low salt diet being physically active may need to be approved by a physician monitoring blood sugar levels complying with medications practicing risk-reduction behaviors no smoking Eye Care: regular eye exams report vision changes to your physician If you are diabetic and do not already see an optometrist we recommend paying close attention to the following symptoms. If you experience any of the following symptoms we recommend scheduling an appointment with your optometrist or a retina specialist to diagnose, treat, or prevent diabetic retinopathy. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include: Spots or dark strings floating in your vision (floaters) Blurred vision Fluctuating vision Impaired color vision Dark or empty areas in your vision Vision loss

  • How to Use the Amsler Grid

    Have you ever had to double take when looking at something because you’re not sure if you saw it correctly the first time? You might think the door jamb is curving or the top of the table is warped at first glance. If this happens, you might need to see a retina specialist to make sure there is nothing wrong with your central vision. There was a tool developed in the 1940s called the Amsler grid for people to test their vision at home to see if there really is a problem with their vision or if the door jamb is really curving 😊 The Amsler Grid was developed by a Swiss ophthalmologist in 1945 to monitor the center of your vision. It is a grid of vertical and horizontal lines to aid in the detection of visual changes occurring in the back of the eye. You can download a PDF of the Amsler Grid here . So how do you use the Amsler Grid? See the instructions below. 1. If you wear glasses, put those on. 2. Place the Amsler Grid 14 inches away from your face. 3. Cover one eye at a time with your hand (this is to see if the problem is in one eye or both eyes). 4. Stare at the dot in the center. It’s important not to let your eye drift from the center dot. 5. Contact your eye doctor immediately if: a. Any of the straight lines appear wavy or bent b. Any of the boxes differ in size or shape from the others c. Any of the lines a blurry, discolored or missing You can also watch a demonstration here.

bottom of page