Retina Associates provides specialized care for retinal abnormalities to patients in Tucson, Arizona. Through Retina Associates, Dr. Cameron Javid and his fellow physicians treat numerous individuals with macular degeneration.
Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is the most common cause of vision loss in the United States today. It stems from the deterioration of an area known as the macula, which lies in the center of the retina at the back of the eye. In a healthy human eye, the macula is responsible for receiving and processing information from the patient’s central field of vision.
Because the retina is responsible for translating light into signals that the brain can read as vision, its degeneration can be devastating to a patient. Macular cells that no longer function can in turn no longer correctly tell the brain what the individual is seeing. This manifests as blurriness, image distortion, or even darkening in the affected visual field.
In most cases, this process occurs because the macula begins to gradually thin with age. At first, this does not cause noticeable symptoms but instead prompts the development of small deposits under the retina, which an ophthalmologist may notice on examination. Vision loss then slowly begins and worsens as damage increases.
Dry macular degeneration may progress into the disease’s wet form, which occurs as a result of abnormal blood vessel growth under the retina. These vessels are structurally unsound and leak into the retina, which in turn can cause rapid and severe vision loss. Wet macular degeneration requires timely medical treatment, so that a retina specialist can treat the condition with injections of medicine into the eye or cold laser.
Retina Associates of Tucson, Arizona, offers one of the largest ocular oncology programs in the southwestern United States. At Retina Associates, Dr. Cameron Javid provides treatment for ocular melanomas and similar conditions.
Treatment of an ocular melanoma depends largely on the stage of the tumor. The smallest ones, for example, may simply require observation to assess whether they will grow and cause problems. If diagnosis of the tumor indicates that treatment is needed, the patient may undergo radiation or surgery.
For less sizable tumors, the attending physician is likely to recommend radiotherapy. For ocular melanomas, this most often takes the form of brachytherapy, which involves placing a tiny radioactive plaque which looks like a small disc right next to the tumor. Other patents may receive procedures such as proton beam radiotherapy, which treats the tumor with a focused stream of proton particles.
Patients with larger tumors may undergo enucleation, which involves the full removal of the eye itself. In addition, each tumor undergoes a biopsy for genetic testing and gives very valuable Information regarding prognosis. This information gives the percentage of metastatic spread during the first five years and helps with the frequency and need for ongoing blood tests and CT scans to monitor the body for the potential of tumor spread.