Understanding Uveal Melanoma and Its Treatment Options

 

Retina Associates
Image: retinatucson.com

Retina Associates is an ophthalmology practice located in Tucson, Arizona, where Dr. Cameron Javid and his fellow physicians provide surgical treatment for a wide range of eye conditions. The team at Retina Associates focuses on retinal tears and detachment, as well as diabetes-related eye disorders and tumors inside the eye.

Uveal melanoma is regarded as one of the deadliest eye diseases among adults. In the United States, about 2,000 individuals per year are diagnosed with it, Unfortunately, there hasn’t been enough research done to identify its exact cause or common risk factors. Overexposure to sunlight was once thought to be a major factor, but that has since been proven inaccurate. Smoking is considered a risk factor. Yet, there are proven obscure risk factors such as potential associations dysplastic nevus syndrome, and melanosis oculi. People with fair skin and light colored eyes are at risk.

The disease can occur within three areas of the eye: the iris, the ciliary body, and the choroid – and half of those patients will develop the fatal metastatic form of the disease within 10 to 15 years after diagnosis. The primary form of treatment is radiation therapy, which is given to roughly 80 percent of patients and is available in two forms: proton beam radiotherapy and plaque brachytherapy, the latter of which is the most common.

Those with larger tumors might require enucleation, which involves removing the eye and optic nerve while retaining the nearby orbital adnexal tissue and attaching a spherical orbital implant. A custom-made prosthesis replaces the implant 6-8 weeks after surgery.

Understanding Choroidal Detachment in the Eye

 

Choroidal Detachment pic

Choroidal Detachment
Image: webmd.com

Guided by Cameron Javid, MD, Retina Associates is a Tucson, Arizona practice that provides a full range of ophthalmologic treatments. Among the areas in which the Retina Associates team has extensive knowledge is the retina and choroid.

The eye’s vascular layer, the choroid is spongy and contains blood vessels and connective tissues that extend along the eye’s back wall. It has a vital role in providing the retina’s outer half with needed nutrients and oxygen.

One concern with the choroid is detachment, with blood or fluid pushing it away from its position flush against the sclera, the white of the eye. This detachment occasionally involves severe pain, and may cause achy eyes, or have no symptoms at all.

There are two major types of choroidal detachments, hemorrhagic (blood filled) and serous (fluid filled). Tied to high intraocular pressure, hemorrhagic choroidal detachments often involve a painful bursting of the choroidal blood vessel.

By contrast, serous choroidal detachments are related to low eye pressure and are rarely more than mildly uncomfortable. Treatment of this condition centers on the use of eye drops to dilate the pupil and reduce inflammation. Small postoperative choroidal detachments often heal on their own. Both conditions may require surgery.

Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration – A Serious Form of Eye Disease

Retina Associates

Retina Associates

Serving the needs of Tucson, Arizona, patients, Dr. Cameron Javid and the Retina Associates team provide advanced ophthalmologic care for a variety of eye conditions. Among the conditions for which Retina Associates offers exceptionally high-quality treatment is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which stands as the most common cause of vision loss worldwide in people over 60 years of age.

A condition centering on the gradual breakdown of the macula within the retina, macular degeneration impacts the patient’s ability to clearly make out details. The two basic types of the condition are dry, non-exudative AMD, and exudative, wet AMD. The latter form of AMD results in more severe visual impairment and accounts for the vast majority of blindness incidents associated with the disease.

Composed of a complex cellular network, the retina stands as one of the body’s most metabolically active tissues. The tissue receives its oxygen and nutrient supply through blood vessels in the retina and choroid layers that enable high blood flow. This process can be disrupted through problems with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which can lead to abnormal growth of blood vessels in the eye as well as hemorrhaging and edema beneath the macula. As these lesions turn into scars, the macula is destroyed and central vision deteriorates rapidly.

Reflecting its seriousness, cases of wet AMD require immediate treatment that includes the use of VEGF inhibitors as a way of shutting down the choroidal neovascularization process. In addition, several clinical trials are available with new treatment options for patients that qualify.

Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion – An Eye Blockage Impacting Vision

Retina Associates pic

Retina Associates
Image: retinatucson.com

With a team of respected Tucson, Arizona, medical professionals, Retina Associates offers quality care for a range of conditions requiring ophthalmologic treatment. Among the areas of focus for Cameron Javid, MD, and Retina Associates are central and branch retinal vein occlusions (CRVO and BRVO).

Retinal vein occlusions involve situations in which the veins that carry nutrient and oxygen-rich blood from the retina’s nerve cells are obstructed. If the blockage involves the main vein, the condition is known as CRVO and if it involves smaller veins, it is called BRVO.

The latter typically occur at arteriovenous crossings, which are situated at the intersection between the vein and retinal artery. The artery hardens in a process of atherosclerosis within a sheath shared with the smaller veins. Losing flexibility and becoming compressed, the restricted blood flow can lead to clotting and occlusion. When the blood cannot drain it can also leak into the macular edema at the center of vision.

Not a curable condition, treatment of BRVO aims at maintaining vision stability, and typically involves intraocular injections of medicine. There are currently 4 medications to choose from or laser treatment. We are currently recruiting patients for the TOPAZ cilincal trial which utilizes a new way to administer a steroid to the eye yo reduce swelling of the macula which is the central retina.