Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
3:09 pm EST
Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Dr. Ruwan Silva | Florida Retina Institute

Q. What are common retina problems people should know about?

A. There are three common problems: age-related macular degeneration, floaters, and diabetic retinopathy. If these are caught early, people can do very well.

We encourage people with any visual symptoms to visit their local eye doctor. The most common symptom we ask patients to look for is any change in their vision. If they start to notice blurriness, then we encourage an immediate eye exam.

And as people get older, the typical age of onset for age-macular degeneration is 60 years or older, they may start to notice some blurriness in their vision. It is important to get it checked relatively quickly. With the onset of a certain type of macular degeneration, people often notice it as a smudge in their vision, and there is no pain associated with it. Usually there is only one eye that is affected, and many people ignore the symptom until it is too late. 

Another symptom that can be problematic is floaters. Everybody gets floaters at some point in their life, if they live long enough, and they should be evaluated at the onset of these. When you start to get floaters in your eyes, it signifies an aging change with the gel in the middle of your eye. Some people see them as dots, a snowstorm, or strings in their vision, and when it occurs it unfortunately increases your risk of getting a retinal detachment.

Regarding diabetic retinopathy, we have great treatment if it is diagnosed early. With the incidence of diabetes increasing, the population getting older and people living longer with diabetes, we want to make sure they are getting an annual eye exam once they have a diagnosis of diabetes. 

There are important things you can do for your eyes: 

No. 1: Never smoke, and if you have started smoking, it is best to stop.

No. 2: Maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you have either high blood pressure or blood glucose, make efforts to get it well controlled. 

No. 3: If you have intermediate or advanced-level macular degeneration, there are eye vitamins that can be helpful. However, the vitamins are not for everybody; they’ve been tested and only shown to be effective for a small patient population. 

If you want to take eye vitamins, it’s important to make sure you are not wasting your money, time, and energy. Check with your eye doctor to make sure they are appropriate for you.

Florida Retina Institute

352.357.1203 / floridaretinainsitute.com 

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