Frequently Asked Questions
General ophthalmologists are doctors who specialize in the medical evaluation and management of all aspects of eye health. They diagnose and treat various ocular issues, including vision, injuries, infections, and diseases. Like all doctors, ophthalmologists must complete a four-year undergraduate degree and four years of medical school. After medical school, ophthalmologists must also complete four years of additional training in the field of vision care, including an internship and residence.
Retina specialists follow this same path but must also complete a retina-vitreous fellowship, which typically lasts about one to two years. During this time, retina specialists receive comprehensive training in the use of advanced diagnostic techniques and vitreoretinal surgery. This period of extensive education and training prepares retina specialists to treat conditions and injuries related to the retina, macula, and vitreous. Some of the most common eye issues that retina specialists deal with include age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal tears or detachments, and vascular occlusive diseases.
No symptoms may be present in the beginning stages of diabetic retinopathy. An annual retinal screening is vital for early detection, diagnosis and treatment to prevent permanent vision impairments. In more advanced stages, a patient may experience blurred vision that comes and goes, red vision, and red or black spots in vision.
Proactive methods of prevention include, following a prescribed diet and medication plan, exercising regularly, controlling your blood pressure and cholesterol and avoiding alcohol and cigarettes. While not a method of prevention, annual eye exams can help detect early warning signs and ensure proper treatment is given to prevent long-term, severe damage.
A retinal detachment can happen to anyone at any age; however it is more common in men over the age of 40. A retinal detachment is more likely to occur in people who have previously had a retinal detachment in the other eye, a family history of retinal detachment, cataract surgery, an eye injury, or who are nearsighted.
There is no cure for AMD, however, a nutritious diet of fresh vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, nuts and seeds can slow down the progression. Studies reveal that vitamins A, C, E and minerals zinc and selenium are key contributors to good eye health.
Injections and laser treatment is often most effective for preventing further deterioration and restoring vision.
We see a range of severity of diseases that can unforeseeably lengthen appointment times. For example, patients with melanomas or retinal detachments tend to be involved. Furthermore, our physicians are on call at all the major hospitals so working in patient emergencies can also add additional unexpected time. For more information about your appointment, please visit About Your Appointment.
Yes, we will almost always dilate your eyes when you visit our office. By opening up your pupils we are able to look at the intraocular structures like the lens, the vitreous and retina to detect any abnormalities. After dilation, your up close/reading vision will be blurry for 4-6 hours. Most patients are able to drive home after an appointment, however, if you do not feel comfortable driving after dilation, please plan to arrange transportation.
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