Diabetic Eye Care
Diabetes is a disease that affects the body’s small blood vessels, and the eye is the only organ where these vessels can be seen and examined without invasive testing methods. Because the eye’s blood vessels can help determine the condition of the blood vessels in the rest of the body, patients with diabetes may be instructed by their primary care doctor to schedule annual eye examinations. Routine eye exams can not only help manage diabetes, they also help determine whether the eye has been affected by diabetes, which can lead to bleeding and swelling of the retina, vision loss, and even complete blindness. At San Antonio Eye Specialists, we use only the latest technology for our eye examinations. The Eidon fundus camera, with enhanced visualization capabilities, helps diagnose and manage diabetic eye disease. We also use the Cirrus OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography), which uses near-infrared frequency light to reveal a high resolution cross-section of the retinal layers. This helps detect and localize early lesions, which helps us recommend a treatment plan, such as laser retinal therapy or surgical intervention, to stop the progression of advanced diabetic eye disease.
Eye Allergy Treatment
San Antonio is known for having a variety of allergens throughout the year. Cedar and oak are common in the winter, while pollen, ragweed, and certain flowers are popular in the springtime. Our immune system is triggered by allergens like these, as well as mold, pollen, and even pet dander. The result is red, watery, itchy eyes that require prescribed medication to control eye allergies. If you believe you may have eye allergies, schedule a consultation with us to be diagnosed for the appropriate care.
Pterygium is a condition in which an abnormal, non-cancerous, “fleshy” growth of the eye occurs. A pterygium typically begins in the sclera (the white part of the eye) near the nose and begins growing slowly towards the cornea (the clear part of the eye). When this occurs, it typically causes redness and irritation. In severe cases, it may even obscure the vision by growing over the iris (colored part of the eye). When the pterygium affects the patient’s vision, surgical intervention may be covered by insurance.
Pterygium removal has advanced greatly over the decade. Modern techniques make pterygium surgery safer, more effective, and more comfortable for the patient with a lower risk of recurrence. Pterygium surgery is an outpatient procedure that leaves the patient’s eye clear and less irritated. The process of removing a pterygium involves the use of an amniotic membrane, fibrin tissue adhesive, and a conjunctival autograft. This surgical technique is designed to lessen inflammation to the underlying Tenon’s fascia from which pterygium growth is postulated (although not proven) to emerge. Implementing these three surgical steps lowers recurrence of pterygium to less than 1%. If you have a pterygium, contact San Antonio Eye Specialists to learn more about your removal options.
Tecnis Symfony® Lens
The Tecnis Symfony® Lens features a multifocal lens design, with multiple power rings, to help patients see at various distances. The Symfony® Lens is also designed to improve night vision by significantly reducing glare and halos. Like other multifocal IOLs, the Tecnis Symfony® allows for better vision across a broad range of distances and can reduce or eliminate a patient’s need for glasses or contact after cataract surgery.
Routine Examinations for Patients on Certain Medications
Certain medications, such as Plaquenil or Gilenya, can have adverse effects on vision. If you take these medications, it is important to let your ophthalmologist know, and schedule annual exams to monitor changes within the eye.
Plaquenil, or Hydroxychloroquine, is a medication used to treat conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus Sarcoidosis, and other autoimmune disorders. Plaquenil has been shown to cause retinopathy, or damage to the retina. At San Antonio Eye Specialists, we monitor patients on Plaquenil by testing visual acuity, color vision, central vision field testing, distortion testing, and conducting a thorough retina exam. If signs of retinopathy are detected, we may recommend you stop taking the drug so vision can return to normal. In some cases, vision may be permanently affected.
Gilenya, or Fingolimod, is a medication used to help treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis, or MS. Patients who take Gilenya may develop macular edema, a condition in which the fluid in the back of the eye swells and causes blurry vision. Symptoms appear 3 to 6 months after patients begin taking Gilenya and typically disappear once the drug is discontinued. Before taking Gilenya, patients should have a dilated eye exam. Three months after starting treatment, patients should have an OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) to determine whether Gilenya is affecting their eyes. To schedule an exam before or during your Gilenya treatment, contact San Antonio Eye Specialists.