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Advances in Retina Care Reduce Your Risk of Blindness

Photo: Michael Roh, Retinal Specialist

If you’re concerned about blurry vision, dark spots or floaters, you may receive a referral to Dr. Michael Roh. He’s one of six retinal specialists with South Coast Retina Center.

“Seniors can have a variety of retinal issues,” explains Dr. Roh. “The most common is Age Related Macular Degeneration which causes blurred vision, especially when reading. You may also have a dark spot that forms in your vision.”

There are two types of Age Related Macular Degeneration, wet and dry. Dry Macular Degeneration is the most common form and causes a slower loss of vision.

Up until recently, there was nothing doctors could do to help patients with Dry Macular Degeneration.

“Dry Macular Degeneration is not curable, but we can slow vision loss by recommending a vitamin formula that is proven in the AREDS study or the Age Related Eye Disease Study,” says Dr. Roh. “The sooner a patient’s disease can be diagnosed and monitored the better.”

“It’s easy for seniors to disregard floaters or blurry vision, but ignoring these symptoms can lead to blindness.”

People with Wet Macular Degeneration receive a different treatment, called Anti-VEGF therapy.

“VEGF stands for vascular endothelial growth factor. When it’s overexpressed it can cause vascular problems in the eye that are seen in Wet Macular Degeneration,” says Dr. Roh. “We give an injection of an Anti-VEGF drug into the eye to normalize blood vessels and stabilize vision.”

Anti-VEGF therapies can also improve vision in people suffering diabetic retinopathy.

“Over the last five years or so Anti-VEGF injections were found to help patients suffering bleeding in the eye, blurriness and loss of vision due to diabetic retinopathy,” says Dr. Roh. “Together with laser treatments, we’re able to prevent blindness in patients who at one time, would have lost their vision.”

Dr. Roh is also a trained surgeon who deals with retinal tears and detachments.

“Retinal tears or detachments cause flashing lights and floaters, followed by a loss of vision,” explains Dr. Roh. “When caught early we can do a laser treatment in the office with a 90% success rate. If you wait, you’ll need surgery in the operating room. You also risk suffering some vision loss. The message is, call your doctor immediately with these symptoms.”

“I want every senior to know that even though a referral is necessary for an office visit, you can always call our office with vision questions,” says Dr. Roh. “We’re here to help you.”

South Coast Retina Center’s Torrance office is located at 2601 Airport Drive, Suite 210. The phone number is 310-534-2209.