California Retina Associates Blog

Proudly Serving San Diego, Chula Vista, El Centro & Nearby Areas of California

How Are Cataracts Treated?

Mon, 01/08/2018

One of the most common eye problems among older men and women in America is cataracts. While there is no cure for cataracts, there is luckily a very effective treatment option. Cataract surgery is safe and regularly performed on people whose cataracts have caused significant loss of vision.Premium IOLs can help vision after cataract surgery | San Diego

While cataract surgery is one of the safest and most routine eye surgeries available, you should still take care to have a thorough discussion with an experienced eye surgeon to learn the potential risks and benefits before committing to the procedure.

If you have cataracts and want to restore clear vision, call California Retina Associates today at 619-425-7755 (Chula Vista) or 760-352-7755 (El Centro) to schedule your consultation. We will be happy to answer your questions and let you know if you are a good candidate. We serve patients in greater San Diego, California.

What Is Cataract Surgery Like?

Cataract surgery is a quick, painless, and safe procedure performed on an outpatient basis. General anesthesia is not needed. During surgery, a tiny incision is made in the eye, through which the cloudy lens is extracted after being broken up by phacoemulsification. Your eye surgeon will then insert a new, artificial lens called an "intraocular lens" or IOL.

Cataract surgery is performed one eye at a time. After surgery, you will be provided with a shield to protect your healing eye. We will check up on you periodically to make sure that your eye is healing properly. Recovery time is usually short, often just a day or two of rest before you can resume your normal activities.

What Is An Intraocular Lens (IOL)?

The intraocular lens is the artificial lens that will replace your natural, clouded lens. There are many different types of IOLS available, including premium IOLs that can correct vision problems such as nearsightedness as well as providing clear vision.

Benefits of premium IOLs include:

·         No need (or lesser need) for glasses following surgery

·         Ability to customize vision correction

·         Can help treat presbyopia

Regular monofocal IOLs eliminate vision clouding from cataracts, but cannot correct other vision problems. Patients who opt for monofocal IOLs often need to wear glasses after their cataract surgery for best vision.

Premium IOLs, on the other hand, utilize more sophisticated technology in order to correct for nearsightedness, farsightedness, presbyopia, or astigmatism. They can also be customized in order to give you the best vision possible after your cataract surgery.

Premium IOLs allow you to upgrade your vision beyond what was possible in the past, when monofocal IOLs were the only option. Most patients feel that premium IOLs are worth the investment, as their vision will be much better and they can enjoy many everyday activities without the hassle of glasses.

Schedule Your Cataract Treatment Consultation

If your vision has been deteriorating due to cataracts, it may be time to think about cataract surgery. Call California Retina Associates at 619-425-7755 for our Chula Vista location, or 760-352-7755 for El Centro. We are happy to serve patients throughout the greater San Diego area.

Are You At Risk for Macular Degeneration?

Wed, 10/11/2017

The leading cause of blindness among adults aged 65 and over is macular degeneration. This disease affects over 200,000 men and women in America each year, and while it san diego retina specialist macular degenerationcan’t be cured completely, its progression can be stopped if caught early enough.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can happen to anyone, but there are certain factors that significantly increase your risk. In honor of Blindness Awareness Month, we’d like to help you recognize if you are at risk for macular degeneration, and remind you to visit your San Diego retina specialist regularly in order to spot signs of eye disease early. Often, full blindness can be prevented if signs of eye disease are caught early enough.

Call California Retina Associates at 619-425-7755 to schedule your eye appointment today.

What Is Macular Degeneration?

Age-related macular degeneration is a disease that affects the retina and leads to gradual loss of color vision and visual acuity, eventually causing blindness if left untreated. Symptoms can include:

·      Difficulty recognizing faces

·      Decreased central vision acuity

·      Difficulty seeing in dim conditions

·      Difficulty reading

Since AMD affects the macula, which is the part of the retina responsible for central vision, it will eventually become more difficult to see things in the center of your vision. Peripheral vision may remain intact.

Since symptoms may not appear or may go unnoticed in the early stages of AMD, it is vitally important to see an eye doctor for regular checkups. The progression of macular degeneration can be slowed or stopped, but there is no cure.

Risk Factors For AMD

No one knows exactly what causes macular degeneration, but we do know who is at a higher risk of developing it. You may be at a higher risk for AMD if you:

·      Smoke

·      Are obese

·      Have a family history of AMD

·      Have cardiovascular disease

·      Are over 65

·      Have light-colored eyes

Smokers have a significantly increased risk of developing AMD, and obesity has been shown to increase the chances that mild to moderate macular degeneration will progress into a more severe stage.

There is no surefire way to completely eliminate the risk of AMD, but there are steps you can take to decrease your chances of developing it. These include

·      Eat a healthy diet of vegetables, fruits, and grains

·      Exercise regularly

·      Quit smoking

·      Have a comprehensive eye exam at least once per year

·      See an eye doctor immediately if you notice symptoms developing

Treating Age-Related Macular Degeneration

There are two forms of macular degeneration: dry and wet. There is currently no FDA approved treatment for dry AMD; however, lifestyle changes have been shown to be effective at slowing and even halting progression of vision loss.

Wet AMD is more severe, and occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. There are a variety of treatments available for wet AMD, including:

·      Laser treatment

·      Intravitreal injections

Vision loss can progress rapidly with wet AMD, so the sooner treatments are started, the better the prognosis for your vision.

Schedule a Macular Degeneration Consultation

If you think you are at risk for macular degeneration, or if you have begun to experience symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact California Retina Associates at 619-425-7755. We serve patients in Chula Vista, El Centro, La Mesa, and other areas of San Diego.


Are You At Risk for Retinal Detachment?

Tue, 08/01/2017

Retinal detachment occurs when the layer of tissue that sends visual messages through the optic nerve comes loose from its normal position, and can lead to complete vision loss if not treated promptly. Symptoms of retinal detachment include:symptoms of retina detachment san diego

  • A sudden or gradual increase in "floaters," those small specks that periodically cross your field of vision
  • Flashing lights when you move your eyes
  • A dark curtain over your field of vision

If you experience either of these symptoms, seek medical help from our San Diego retina specialists immediately. It's vital to treat retinal detachment as soon as possible for the best chance of restoring your vision.

Risk Factors of Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachment is more common in people aged 40 and over, although it can occur at any age. Some of the main risk factors include:

  • Diabetic retinopathy: This condition occurs when blood vessels in the eye are damaged by excessive blood sugar. These damaged blood vessels can create scar tissue which can pull the retina loose from the eye.
  • Severe myopia: If you are severely nearsighted, your chances of retinal detachment are around 4x higher than those with normal vision.
  • Family history: If you have a history of retinal detachment in your family, you are more likely to experience it.
  • Other eye disease: If you suffer from other types of eye disease, such as uveitis or lattice degeneration, you are at further risk for retinal detachment.
  • Eye injury or surgery: If you suffer an eye injury or need to undergo eye surgery, this increases your risk of retinal detachment.

If caught early enough, the retina can often be repaired and vision saved. This is why it's so important to see a retina specialist immediately if you experience symptoms. In addition, regular eye exams (especially if you are over 40) are key to early detection of many eye conditions, including retinal detachment.

Schedule an Appointment with a Retina Specialist

If you are experiencing symptoms of retinal detachment in San Diego, don't hesitate to contact California Retina Associates. The sooner you get diagnosed and treated, the better chance you have of keeping your vision.

Call our Chula Vista office at 619-425-7755 or our El Centro office at 760-352-7755 to make your appointment. We serve patients in San Diego, Chula Vista, El Centro, and nearby areas of Southern California. 

How Can a Retina Surgeon Help with Your Glaucoma?

Thu, 06/08/2017

Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that, if left untreated, may eventually lead to blindness. Therefore, it's vital to get your eyes checked regularly so that any early symptoms can be caught. Glaucoma is irreversible, but when caught early enough can be effectively treated and vision can be saved. Our retina surgeons are highly skilled and able to detect and treat glaucoma at all stages.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease most common in people over 40 years old, although people of any age can develop it. It involves pressure on the eye that eventually leads to damage of the optic nerve. There are many types of glaucoma, but they all involve fluid buildup in the eye that causes pressure, which in turn damages the optic nerve.

While anyone can develop glaucoma, people at high risk for it include:

  • People over 40
  • Diabetics
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • African or Hispanic heritage

How to Treat Glaucoma

When caught early enough, glaucoma can often be treated effectively with special medicated eyedrops. These glaucoma eyedrops work in various ways, from relaxing the inner eye muscles to helping reduce fluid production or increase fluid outflow. Our eye doctors will prescribe the best type for you, and explain how to use them correctly.

While eyedrops are the first line of defense against glaucoma, in some cases, surgery is necessary. There are a variety of glaucoma surgeries, including laser surgery and traditional surgery. Generally, surgery for glaucoma is done one eye at a time. Our expert retina surgeons will work with you to determine the best treatment plan for your glaucoma.

Even if it is determined that you need surgery, you will very likely still need to use eyedrops afterwards. Glaucoma unfortunately cannot be completely cured, but regular use of medication can help slow its progression significantly.

Contact a Retina Surgeon Today

If you have glaucoma or think you may be at risk for it, don't hesitate to contact our skilled retina surgeons at California Retina Associates in Chula Vista and El Centro. Call us today at 619-425-7755 (Chula Vista) or 760-352-7755 (El Centro) to schedule your eye exam or discuss glaucoma treatment options. 

What is a Retina Surgeon?

Thu, 05/11/2017

San Diego Retina SurgeonAt California Retina Associates, our experienced doctors have a track record of providing high-quality eye care to residents of the San Diego area. Our retina surgeons can address a wide range of vision problems using safe, proven procedures.

If you're trying to learn more about our office or about your options, you might have a few basic questions. One of them serves as the title to this post. What is a retina surgeon? What does a retina surgeon do?

These are good questions. Let's start by talking a bit about your retina. The retina is simply a layer of light-sensitive cells at the back of your eye. Light strikes the retina, and your retina, in turn, converts that light into neural signals and sends them to your brain.

A retina surgeon specializes in performing surgical procedures that target conditions affecting the retina. These conditions include:

Becoming a retina surgeon requires hard work and years of specialized experience. This includes completing medical school, an internship and specialized residencies and fellowships. This means you can trust in the experience and training of our doctors.

Retina surgery is exceptionally sensitive and complicated work. Fortunately, our retina surgeons have a proven track record of doing great work for our patients.

If you live in or around San Diego, California and you want a retina surgeon you can trust, please call California Retina Associates today at 619-425-7755.

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

Tue, 01/03/2017

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month. Sponsored by the Glaucoma Research Foundation, a national nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for glaucoma, the purpose behind this campaign is to increase awareness of glaucoma and inspire at-risk groups to get vision saving eye exams before it’s too late. If you are over the age of 60, you are at risk for developing glaucoma. Routine eye exams are the most effective way to detect glaucoma before problems begin – and to start a treatment program before vision is lost. Please call our San Diego retina specialists at (760) 352-7755 to learn more.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness in the United States. More than 3 million people in the US currently have glaucoma and the National Institutes of Health projects this number will increase 58% by 2030, impacting more than 4 million Americans at that time. Sadly, symptoms of glaucoma may be absent prior to vision loss, and it is estimated that as many as ½ of the men and women at risk for complete vision loss from glaucoma are unaware that they have the condition. This is made sadder still by the fact that routine eye exams can detect glaucoma moths or even years before it becomes a problem and, once detected, glaucoma can be treated and controlled to prevent future vision problems. When allowed to progress however, any vision loss will be permanent.

Our San Diego retina specialists strongly encourage you to visit your optometrist yearly after the age of 60 and to make additional visits if your vision begins to change. Swift detection allows for prompt treatment, both of which are essential for clear vision as you grow older.

If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma in San Diego, please contact California Retina Associates to schedule a treatment consultation right away. We have two regional offices to better meet the needs of women and men living throughout the San Diego metropolitan area.

Financing Your Eye Surgery

Thu, 12/08/2016

Vision insurance plans will often cover most – if not all – of the cost of eye surgery. Of course, different plans cover different expenses and it is always a good idea to check with your plan administrator before scheduling a surgical procedure. If you could benefit most from a procedure not fully covered by your plan, the San Diego retina specialists at our offices can discuss other payment options that will allow you to receive treatment without breaking the bank. To discuss your options right away, call our Chula Vista office at (619) 425-7755 or our El Centro office at (760) 352-7755. Our helpful staff will be happy to provide you with the information you need to begin planning your treatment.

Flexible Spending Accounts

Call our San Diego retina specialists at (760) 352-7755 to learn about financing options for your vision correction treatment.One of the most popular options for financing eye surgery is the flexible spending account. If you have an FSA or HSA, your benefits will expire at the end of the year, taking all of the money you have put towards uncovered medical expenses with it. To avoid this loss, scheduling your procedure now is absolutely your best option. Please use our online contact form or call one of our San Diego area offices to schedule a consultation right away.

Flexible spending accounts can typically be used to cover the cost of treatments for:

  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal detachment
  • Diabetic eye disease
  • Vascular occlusion

FSAs and HSAs may cover laser treatments, traditional surgical options, and even medications for a number of eye diseases. Check with your plan administrator to make sure your chosen procedure will be covered, then let us provide you with the most effective treatments for your specific retinal disorder. We can even provide a range of treatment options in cases where one particular procedure is more easily covered by your FSA or HSA.

Other Payment Options

At California Retina Associates, we strive to make our procedures and treatments available to as many people as possible. To accomplish this, we accept a range of payment methods. In addition to cash, most major credit cards, insurance, and FSA and HSA plans, we may be able to offer different financing options and payment plans for retina surgery. During your initial consultation we can discuss all of your payment options to help ensure you are provided the treatment you need to preserve and protect your eyes.

If you are experiencing any changes in visual quality or if you are in need of a surgical procedure to protect your vision, please contact California Retina Associates to schedule a consultation. Our retina specialists proudly serve San Diego and all surrounding California communities from our offices in El Centro and Chula Vista.

Diabetic Eye Disease Month

Tue, 11/01/2016

November is Diabetic Eye Disease Month. If you are overdue for an examination, call our San Diego retina specialists at (760) 352-7755 and schedule a consultation today.November is both National Diabetes Month and Diabetic Eye Disease Month. If you are diabetic and have not visited your ophthalmologist in over a year, please call our San Diego retina specialists at (760) 352-7755 to schedule an appointment right away. Diabetic eye disease can progress quickly and result in a complete loss of vision. Our retina specialists can detect early warning signs of these diseases and provide swift and effective treatment against their progression. Swift treatment is essential. Delaying will likely result in irreversible vision loss.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease. The leading cause of blindness among adults aged 20-74, risks for diabetic retinopathy increase the longer you have been diabetic. Risks are further increased by tobacco use, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and poor blood sugar maintenance. However, even men and women who control their diabetes may develop this condition. In fact, the National Institutes of Health reports that 7.7 million people over the age of 40 currently have diabetic retinopathy. This number is expected to increase to more than 11 million within the next 15 years.

Diabetic eye disease can impact people with both type I and type II diabetes, though it is more common among Hispanics, Latinos, and African Americans. However, no matter your race or ethnicity, if you have diabetes it is essential that you visit one of our San Diego retina doctors every year for a thorough examination. Treating diabetic eye disease is entirely possible, but vision lost cannot be restored. This is why it is best to act before symptoms occur.

This diabetic eye disease month, recommit to your visual health. Please contact California Retina Associates and schedule a consultation today. We maintain offices in Chula Vista and El Centro to better serve men and women living throughout the San Diego area. 

Stay on TRACK to Prevent Vision Loss

Tue, 11/01/2016

It is National Diabetic Eye Disease Month. If you are overdue for a screening, call (619) 425-7755 and schedule an appointment with one of our San Diego retina specialists todayDiabetic eye disease is often asymptomatic in its early stages. This is why it is so very important for diabetics to take special care of their eyes. This Diabetic Eye Disease Month, our San Diego retina specialists encourage you to stay on TRACK of your diabetes to help prevent irreversible vision loss and to help improve the overall quality of your life.

TRACK was developed by the National Institutes of Health and is designed to highlight the most important aspects of managing diabetes:

  • T – Take all medications prescribed by your doctor
  • R – Reach and maintain a healthy weight
  • A – Add more physical activity to your daily routine
  • C – Control your ABCs (A1C, blood pressure, cholesterol levels)
  • K – Kick the smoking habit

Adding to these suggestions a “V” for annual vision screenings to help prevent vision loss associated with diabetes. Our San Diego diabetic eye disease specialists can help you develop strategies during your yearly visits that further protect your eyes and ensure clear vision well into the future.

Diabetic eye disease may be asymptomatic in early stages, but vision problems are often swift to progress once they begin. Symptoms of diabetic eye disease may include:

  • Blurry or double vision
  • Blind spots
  • Flashers and floaters
  • Eye pain or pressure
  • Eye redness

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important that you get in touch with our San Diego retina doctors right away. Treatment is possible, but vision loss is permanent once it occurs, making it best to contact us at the first sign of problems. We offer a range of treatment options for diabetic eye disease. We will help you find the most suitable option during your treatment consultation.

To schedule a consultation with one of our San Diego ophthalmologists, please contact California Retina Associates today. We have offices in Chula Vista and El Centro for your convenience.

Protecting Photoreceptor Cells

Thu, 09/01/2016

New treatments for retinal disorders are constantly being studied. To learn how they can be used to protect your sight, call (619) 425-7755 todayResearchers at the department of pharmacology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have found a “gentle” combination of FDA-approved medications that may help protect photoreceptor cells against damage. Photoreceptor cells are found in the back of the retina and allow us to see contrast, shade, color, and definition. These cells can be damaged by bright lights as well as by retina disorders such as macular degeneration.

In this most recent study, researchers employed the method of systems pharmacology – an approach that seeks to understand how various medicines impact different systems of the body – to determine how a multi-medication approach may help address damage to the retina on several fronts. Focusing on four medications, bromocriptime, metroprolol, doxazosin, and tamsulosin, researchers were able to protect mice from retinal damage with greater success than one medicine at a time, even when those singular medicines were given at higher doses. While not yet studied in humans, this research may indicate that a specific regimen of low-dose medications may actually be more effective at combatting retinal damage than current single-medication approaches in the treatment of macular degeneration and other sight-stealing disorders.

The San Diego retina specialists at California Retina Associates utilize the most advanced treatment options to help protect our patients from vision loss. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of a retinal disorder, please contact us online or by calling (619) 425-7755 or (760) 352-7755 to schedule an examination today.

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California Retina Associates

Chula Vista Office
835 Third Avenue, Suite A
Chula Vista, CA 91911

El Centro Office
1452 South La Brucherie, Suite A
El Centro, CA 92243

La Mesa Office
8851 Center drive, Suite 406
La Mesa, CA 91942