Save Your Retina. Save Your Sight.

Save Your Retina. Save Your Sight.

Knowing The Symptoms May Save Your Sight
You have come to know that early detection of any disease, such as breast cancer or skin melanoma, is key to give you the best chance of successful diagnosis and treatments. The same holds true for your vision; EARLY DETECTION & TREATMENT CAN HELP YOU AVOID SEVERE VISION LOSS. The retina is the light sensitive inner lining in the back of the eye that is like the film in a conventional camera or a CCD chip in a digital camera. The retina transmits images along the optic nerve to the brain. The macula is the central area of the retina where reading vision is located.

Your Eyesight is Meant To Last a Lifetime
Diabetic Retinopathy is the most frequent cause of legal blindness in working-age Americans. Macular Degeneration is the most common cause of legal blindness in retirement age Americans.

Detecting And Managing Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy, to at least in a mild degree, eventually develops in almost all patients with long standing diabetes melitus. The onset and severity of diabetic retinopathy can be delayed in many patients by managing blood glucose so the hemoglobin A1C is kept at 7% or less, and also, by managing high blood pressure.

Type 1 diabetes, also referred to as juvenile-onset or insulin-dependent diabetes, is associated with more frequent and more severe retinal disease. In Type 1 patients who have had diabetes for 20 years, 50% have diabetic retinopathy so severe that visual loss occurs. Retinal examinations to detect diabetic retinopathy should begin at 3 to 5 years after the onset of Type 1 diabetes. WHILE THE VISION MAY BE NORMAL, IT IS IMPORTANT TO TREAT DIABETIC RETINOPATHY EARLY BEFORE VISION IS LOST. Type 2 diabetes is called adult-onset or non-insulin dependent diabetes. This is the most common form comprising 90-95% of the patients with diabetes mellitus.

Type 2 patients should have a retinal examination when the disease is first detected because often the disease has been undetected for a long time.

Pregnant women with diabetes should have a retinal examination in the first trimester because diabetes can sometimes get much worse during pregnancy.

For all the categories of diabetic retinopathy discussed above, follow-up visits will depend on the amount of retinopathy found.

Diagnosing Macular Degeneration
The early symptoms of wet macular degeneration usually occur in one eye at a time so the good vision in the other eye may cover up the symptoms of the eye with wet macular degeneration. MANY PEOPLE DON’T REALIZE THEY HAVE THE DISEASE UNTIL THEIR VISUAL LOSS IS ALREADY SEVERE. Using the Amsler Grid frequently can help spot the disease early. Regular eye exams also detect early signs.

Instructions on Using the Amsler Grid Click here to get the Amsler Grid.

  • Test each eye separately
  • If you wear glasses, keep them on, but completely cover one eye.
  • Hold the Amsler Grid at eye level about 14 inches away.
  • Look at the dot in the center of the grid with your uncovered eye.

If you notice blurry or wavy lines, or see dark or blank spots, call Retina Associates of Florida immediately at 800-282-9141.

Common Symptoms Requiring Referral For Retinal Exam

Symptom Common Cause
Sudden Blurred Vision Wet Age-Related
Macular Degeneration
Gradual Blurred Vision or Vision Loss
(several months to years)
Macular Degeneration
(wet or dry)
Diabetic Retinopathy
Distortion (Metamorphopsia) Macular Degeneration
Diabetic Macular Edema
Blind Spots (Scotomas) Macular Degeneration or
any Macular disease
Trouble with Night Vision (Nyctalopia) Diabetic Retinopathy
Retinitis Pigmentosa
Drug Toxicity
Color Vision Abnormalities Aquired; Diabetes
Macular Degeneration
Cone Dystrophy
Sudden Floaters Flashing Lights
or Curtain Effect
Vitreous Detachment
Retina Tear or
Retinal Detachment
Objects smaller than Normal in
one eye (Micropsia)
Diabetic Retinopathy or
Macular Degeneration


Our Mission
Retina Associates of Florida provides quality, leading-edge retinal care. Our success is measured by the satisfaction of our patients and referring doctors, the competency of our staff and the recognition by our peers of the value of our efforts in continuous improvement in the provision of retinal care and research.

Retina Associates of Florida serves patients through convenient Tampa Bay Area locations.

Call 800-282-9141 to make an appointment at the office nearest you.

Voted Best Doctors in America 2011-2014
Mark E. Hammer, M.D.
Ivan J. Suñer, M.D.
Marc C. Peden, M.D.