Retina Associates

Dealing Exclusively with Problems of the Retina and Vitreous

Dedicated to delivering complete patient care and satisfaction in the areas of eye medicine and surgery, Retina Associates is based out of two locations in Tucson, AZ, and one office in Green Valley, AZ. Each of the doctors at Retina Associates has expertise in treating a multitude conditions related to the eye; the team includes Cameron Javid, MD; April Harris, MD; Egbert Saavedra, MD and Mark Walsh, MD. The conditions they treat include such concerns as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal tears, retinal vein occlusions, and a variety of pediatric retinal conditions commonly affecting children.

Possessing diverse backgrounds of academic training and practical experience, the doctors at Retina Associates hold degrees from established institutions nationwide including, the University of Illinois, The University of Texas, the Medical College of Virginia, and Washington University. Furthermore, they have contributed to their fields by holding ties with professional organizations and publishing articles across several peer-reviewed publications. In addition, the doctors have undertaken a range of fellowship training in medical and surgical retina including, Massachusetts Eye and Ear infirmary/Harvard medical school, University of Texas, Johns hopkins/Wilmer eye institute and Associated Retina Consultants in Royal Oak, Mich. Retina Associates has conducted research to advance knowledge in their field via a number of clinical trials and voluntary patient studies.

Retinal Detachment - How It Occurs

At Retina Associates in Tucson, Arizona, Dr. Cameron Javid and his associates treat related ophthalmological conditions, such as retinal detachment. In doing so, the professionals at Retina Associates draw on an in-depth knowledge of retinal structure and the processes that contribute to this condition.

In the human eye, the retina consists of a layer of tissue responsible for receiving and processing visual stimuli. This light-sensitive tissue receives light rays after they pass through the cornea, the pupil, and the lens. These structures focus the light on the retina, which transforms that light into neural messages that travel through the optic nerve to the brain.

To reach the retina, rays of light must pass through a clear gel known as the vitreous. This substance has a tendency to shrink as an individual ages, and this shrinking can cause it to tug on the retina. This most often occurs without any symptoms or damage, but it is possible for such tugging to cause the upper layers of the retina to separate from the basement membrane underneath it.

When the retina detaches, it often causes the sudden appearance of floating specks or light flashes in the field of vision, or darkness. These symptoms are signs of an emergent condition and should prompt immediate medical attention, as vision loss related to retinal detachment may become permanent if not treated.

Stages of Diabetic Retinopathy

At Retina Associates in Tucson, Arizona, Dr. Cameron Javid and his colleagues care for patients with a broad range of retinal disorders. Retina Associates particularly welcomes patients with diabetic retinopathy, as the staff ophthalmologists offer in-depth expertise in the condition.

Diabetic retinopathy is a progressive condition, which means that it increases in severity with each subsequent stage of disease. The first stage, background retinopathy, occurs when the blood vessels in the retina develop minuscule changes in blood vessels called microaneurysms. This is a common development in patients with diabetes and does not require treatment, unless swelling of the macula or central retina occurs. This should prompt the patient to take steps to prevent more advanced retinopathy.

More prolific swelling of the retinal blood vessels indicates the development of nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy. Sometimes the retina develops active bleeding on the surface of the retina called preproliferative retinopathy, this early stage of the disease indicates more extensive growth of abnormal retinal vessels. In some cases, this can involve bleeding into the surrounding retinal tissue.

As the disease advances, new abnormal blood vessels may begin to grow in the retina and into the body of the eyeball. This signals the onset of proliferative retinopathy and indicates an increased risk of blood or fluid leakage, as these new blood vessels are extremely fragile. Ultimately, these damaged, weak vessels can cause the retina to pull away from the back of the eye and cause permanent vision loss. Fortunately many treatments are available including injections, laser and micro surgery.

Types of Retinal Detachment

Retina Associates of Tucson, Arizona, focuses exclusively on matters related to the retinal tissue at the rear of the eye. Through Retina Associates, Dr. Cameron Javid and other experienced physicians have treated many cases of retinal detachment.

In a healthy human eye, a thin membrane known as the retina receives visual images and translates them into signals that pass along the optic nerve. This process ceases to occur properly if the retina separates from the rear of the eyeball.

This typically occurs in one of three ways. In the case of rhegmatogenous retinal detachment, the most common form of the condition, the retina develops a hole or tear that allows ocular fluid to slide behind the retina. This causes a separation between the retina and the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), which provides the retina with the nutrients it needs to function.

Other cases of retinal detachment occur secondary to other retinal conditions, such as cancer or inflammatory disease. Such conditions prompt a process known as exudative retinal detachment, in which primary disease processes cause the buildup of fluid behind the retina. In the case of cancer, it is the tumor that separates the retina from the RPE.

Tractional retinal detachment, by contrast, develops due to the presence of scar tissue on the retina, which pulls together and draws the retina away from the rear of the eye. This process is most prevalent in individuals with diabetes mellitus, which can cause poor vascular function and subsequent scar tissue growth.

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