Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Light rays enter the eye through the cornea, pupil and lens. These light rays are focused on the retina, the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye. The retina sends signals through the optic nerve to the brain where these signals become the images we see.

The retina has two areas: the peripheral retina which gives us our side or wide-angle vision and the macula the small area at the center of the retina. The macula gives us our pinpoint vision allowing us to see clearly.

Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in people over the age of 60. It occurs when the small central portion of the retina, known as the macula, deteriorates. The retina is the light- sensing nerve tissue at the back of the eye. Because the disease develops as a person ages, it is often referred to as age-related macular degeneration. Although macular degeneration is almost never a totally blinding condition, it can be a source of significant visual disability.

Wet and Dry Macular Degeneration 

The dry form of macular degeneration occurs when the light-sensitive cells in the macula gradually break down, resulting in distortion of sharp, central vision.

When this form becomes advanced, it can result in the wet form of the disease. Blood vessels in the eye begin to leak blood and fluid. Loss of vision can happen very quickly.

Symptoms can include wavy or distorted vision, “blind spots” in vision… dark, blurry areas in the center of vision and diminished or changed color perception. Any of these changes warrant a prompt visit to your physician.

When AMD is diagnosed and treated in its early and intermediate stages, vision loss can often be slowed and the risk of its progression to the wet form reduced. While there are numerous medications and treatments available, treatment has to be aimed at the patient’s specific manifestation of the disease. Seven different forms of the disease exist and no one treatment is effective for every patient.

Years ago, AMD often resulted in legal blindness. However, new treatments have produced much better outcomes. Healthy choices can also help the prevention of developing this disease.

PSA From Deidre Hall About Age Related Macular Degeneration, Shared By The American Academy Of Ophthalmology

Read More About Retina

There is a lot of information on the internet about eye health. The best information will come directly from a board-certified eye doctor. Call (941) 625-1325 to book a consult with one of Community Eye Center’s ophthalmologists, optometrists or opticians today.

Torn Retina Informational Video

The inner eye is filled with a clear jelly-like substance called vitreous. As we age, the vitreous becomes less like jelly and more like liquid. Usually, the vitreous is only loosely attached to the retina so as the eye moves the vitreous moves away from the retina without causing problems. Sometimes though, the vitreous pulls hard enough to tear the retina. Flashes of light or floaters can appear in the field of vision.

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Torn Retina & Cryopexy

To repair a retinal tear with Cryopexy, your eye surgeon uses a special probe that applies intense cold energy to freeze the retina around the tear. This creates swelling that eventually becomes scar tissue. It is this scar tissue that seals the retina to the wall of the eye- helping to prevent the retina from detaching completely.

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Retinal Detachment and Tears

The retina is the light-sensitive area lining the back of the eye that sends signals through the optic nerve to the brain where these signals become the images that we see. The inner eye is filled with a clear jelly-like substance called vitreous. As we age, the vitreous becomes less like jelly and more like liquid. Usually the vitreous is only loosely attached to the retina. So as the eye moves, the vitreous moves away from the retina without causing problems.

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Macular Holes

The inner eye is filled with a clear jelly-like substance called the vitreous. As we age the vitreous becomes less like jelly and more like liquid. Usually the vitreous is only loosely attached to the retina so as the eye moves, the vitreous moves away from the macula without causing problems. In some cases, however, the vitreous sticks to the macula and is unable to pull away. As a result, the macula tissue stretches and a hole may form.

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Flashes and Floaters

Vision changes can indicate a serious problem with the tissue that lines the back of the eyeball (retina) optic nerve or blood vessels in the eye. Evaluation by an eye doctors is needed for sudden vision changes, such as:

Flashes of light (photopsia). Photopsia is brief but recurrent streaks, sparks, or flickers of light, particularly when you move your eyes or head. The flashes of light may be easier to see when you look at a dark background. The brief flashes may occur with retinal detachment.

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Diabetic Retinopathy

More than 24 million people – eight percent of the population – have diabetes. Diabetes is a form of vascular disease. Elevated levels of blood sugar over a long period of time can result in damage to the eyes blood vessels and retina, impairing vision. If left untreated, the eye’s macula can be damaged.

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Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-Related Macular Degeneration is a condition which affects the retina.

Light rays enter the eye through the cornea, pupil and lens. These light rays are focused on the retina, the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye. The retina sends signals through the optic nerve to the brain where these signals become the images we see.

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Which Eye Care Professional To Choose: Ophthalmologist, Optometrist or Optician?

Which Eye Care Professional To Choose: Ophthalmologist, Optometrist or Optician?

There is a question about eye care professionals that our staff receives frequently. It is a question that is hugely significant when scheduling an eye appointment at Community Eye Center.

“What’re the differences between ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians?”

We are always happy to address this concern for patients because it streamlines their visit by providing them with eye care that suits their individual eye needs. Whether a patient requires a comprehensive eye exam, eyeglasses, or is seeking treatment for a more complex eye condition, Community Eye Center’s goal is to offer expedient care and direct patients to the best eye care provider for their needs.

While there is some overlap in the services provided, the levels of training and expertise are unique to each type of provider. To alleviate confusion, here is a glimpse at the different care that each of these providers offers:

Ophthalmologist

Often, the term “eye doctor” is used as a universal term to describe ophthalmologists and optometrists. The use of this name is accurate because they are both doctors who concentrated in eye care. However, there are differences in the level of training and what ophthalmologists or optometrists can diagnose and treat.

The critical distinction between an ophthalmologist and an optometrist is that an ophthalmologist is a medical or osteopathic doctor (MD or DO) who specializes in eye and vision care.

As a doctor of medicine, who has completed school and a minimum of eight years of medical training, ophthalmologists can diagnose and treat any eye condition or disease, perform eye surgery and prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses for vision correction. Ophthalmologists are qualified to care for all eye conditions and diseases.

Ophthalmologists are often also involved in scientific research about the causes and cures for eye diseases and vision disorders. Some ophthalmologists may also choose to specialize in a specific area of their medical training or surgical eye care. These subspecialties require additional fellowship training. Subspecialties of ophthalmology may include glaucoma, retina, cornea, pediatrics, and plastic surgery. This extensive training is to prepare ophthalmologists to care for more complex cases in specific areas of the eye.

Optometrist

Optometrists are licensed to practice optometry, but are not medical doctors and do not perform eye surgery. Optometrists hold a doctor of optometry (OD) degree after completing four years of optometry school, preceded by three years or more years of college.

Optometrists are doctors who provide care ranging from comprehensive eye examinations and vision correction with the fitting of glasses and contact lenses to diagnosis and management of ocular diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, pre and post-operative care for surgical patients, and dry eye evaluations.

Optician

Opticians are technicians who receive training to design and fit eyeglass lenses, frames and contacts as well as other vision correcting devices. They may use prescriptions which are provided by ophthalmologists or optometrists but cannot test vision or write prescriptions for vision correction. Opticians cannot diagnose or treat eye conditions or diseases.

If you would like more information about the eye care providers at Community Eye Center, Schedule an appointment with one of Community Eye Center. You may also call Community Eye Center at +1-941-625-1325 for information or to schedule an appointment.


For over 30 years, Community Eye Center (CEC) and its eye doctors have provided excellence in eye care from multiple south-west Florida locations, eye only surgery center, and optical services. CEC offers total eye care including cataract surgery, dry eye treatment, treatment of macular degeneration and all other retinal diseases, glaucoma treatment, diabetic eye exams, eyelid & cosmetic surgery, comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses & glasses, and 24/7 emergency eye care. Selecting only the most qualified and dedicated eye health professionals (board-certified ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians, eye surgeons, oculoplastic specialists, cataract specialists, and more), CEC offers comprehensive and expedient care.

Tips To Prevent Computer Eye Strain

Tips To Prevent Computer Eye Strain

VENICE/NORTH PORT/PORT CHARLOTTE, FL— SEP 27, 2018 With a constant increase in the use of technology, many have found careers that require them to stare at computer screens for several hours at a time. This can cause the eyes to strain. Problems with the eyes can occur and are categorized as computer vision syndrome or CVS. This syndrome doesn’t describe a single issue; however, it is a category of problems that include eye strain and pain. Those working in computer jobs are not the only to be affected by CVS. Children may also be affected since they use tablets and computers during school and leisure. Moreover, this can be especially harmful if lighting and posture are not ideal. Some measures can help to prevent computer vision syndrome. Here are five tips to help keep your eyes healthy and to avoid eye damage:

1)  Get routine comprehensive eye exams

It is recommended that those who work on their computers have comprehensive eye exams once per year. Routine eye exams are essential to maintaining eye health. It may very well be the most crucial step to prevent computer vision problems. During your comprehensive eye exam, share your computer usage (including how far you sit from the screen) with your eye doctor. This will help the eye doctor monitor the effects of your computer usage on your eyes. Your eye doctor can even test your eyes at working distances.

2) Check your lighting and computer settings

If the room is too dark or too bright, this may contribute to eye strain while working on the computer. Some monitors come with features that help to minimize eye strain. If your computer offers a setting which automatically adjusts the screen brightness according to the room’s lighting, this may help to manage eye stress. You may also need to adjust other monitor settings such as text size and the screen’s color temperature (lower color temperatures give off less blue light which is connected to eye strain).

3)  Take breaks

Taking short and frequent breaks from the computer throughout the day can significantly reduce eye strain. An excellent practice is the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes look away from the computer screen at an object that is at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

4) Blink

While working on the computer, people often forget to blink. Blinking is vital because it moistens your eyes to prevent dryness and irritation. To moisten eyes during computer sessions, you can try blinking slowly 10 times every 20 minutes. This may help to rewet your eyes. If you find that your eyes are still dry, you may suffer from a widespread and treatable condition called dry eye disease. Your eye doctor can address this concern during your comprehensive eye exam and may offer testing and treatment options.

5) Invest in computer eyewear

The best comfort may be found with eyeglasses that are designed specifically for computer use. Eyeglasses can be professionally modified to accommodate prolonged computer use better. Your optician can help to select features based on your daily screen time and eye concerns. If you would like more information about how to reduce computer eye strain, computer eyewear, dry eye disease or to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam, please call Community Eye Center at +1-941-625-1325 For over 30 years, Community Eye Center (CEC) and its eye doctors have provided excellence in eye care from multiple south-west Florida locations, eye only surgery center, and optical services. CEC offers total eye care including cataract surgery, dry eye treatment, treatment of macular degeneration and all other retinal diseases, glaucoma treatment, diabetic eye exams, eyelid & cosmetic surgery, comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses & glasses, and 24/7 emergency eye care. Selecting only the most qualified and dedicated eye health professionals (board-certified ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians, eye surgeons, oculoplastic specialists, cataract specialists, and more), CEC offers comprehensive and expedient care.

Dr. Eric Liss On Red Tide And Eyes

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Red Tide And Eyes

Eye Symptoms That Should Never Go Unchecked


With the summer season of beaches and fun in the sun comes another, less welcoming aspect of life in Southwest Florida, red tide. While the focus is usually on the respiratory and ecological impacts of these blooms of harmful algae, it is important to keep in mind that red tide can also significantly impact the eye health of you and your loved ones.

For the past couple months, Southwest Florida has been impacted by Red Tide. These algal blooms, caused by a species of dinoflagellate, known as Alexandrium fundyense, can cause people to have throat irritation, congestion, sneezing, itching, coughing, wheezing and even chest tightness. But, Red Tide may also cause people eye irritation including itchy and burning eyes, symptoms that can indicate serious eye conditions.

“Many patients may be familiar with the typical seasonal allergy symptoms such as redness and itchy eyes but it is important to consider the possibility that red tide can also be a significant factor for some individuals,” said Dr. Eric Liss, ophthalmologist at Community Eye Center. “For some, these symptoms may be minor and not overly bothersome, however other people may have significant difficulties with eye comfort, appearance, and even vision.”  

People experiencing eye irritation from Red Tide may benefit from a comprehensive eye exam. Different from a typical optical visit, during a comprehensive eye exam, eye doctors check the eyes for signs of chronic and progressive eye conditions that can significantly impair a person’s vision, comfort and ability to function normally.

“Just as it is important to get a regular physical exam even if you don’t have active symptoms, it is similarly important to regularly assess eye health for potentially silent but visually damaging conditions such as glaucoma or macular degeneration,” said Liss. “An otherwise healthy adult should receive a comprehensive eye exam on an annual basis, with more frequent visits depending on the presence and severity of ocular disease.”

Comprehensive medical eye exams become even more critical as people age because conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration become more common. Early diagnosis and intervention of these diseases can often prevent vision loss or blindness.

“There is a widespread misperception that just because you don’t have any complaints about your vision that means that your eyes are healthy.  I see patients on a daily basis who have normal vision but who nonetheless are affected by potentially blinding conditions,” said Liss. “A clinic visit to address a quality of life complaint such as eye irritation is the perfect opportunity to make sure your overall eye health and vision are as good as they can be.”  

 

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