RETINAL AND MACULAR DISEASES: MEDICAL RETINA
Retinal diseases such as Diabetes, Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Uveitis can cause blindness. Fortunately advances in treatment of these conditions has made blindness much less common than before. Dr Hay-Smith is very well trained, skilled and experienced in the use of new and innovative treatments for diseases of the retina. He also participates in national and international research into new and current treatments to ensure that his patients always receive the very best care that is available in Australia. He is a full member of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Retinal Specialists and the European Society of Retinal Specialists.
Diabetic retinopathy affects the small vessels of the retina and if left untreated can and does cause blindness. 80% of diabetics have some retinopathy 10 years after diagnosis of diabetes.
It is essential that all diabetic patients have regular eye exams to detect the early signs of damaging changes in the eye. Prompt intervention with either laser or intravitreal drugs (drugs painlessly injected directly into the eye by a skilled surgeon) can preserve vision.
Good diabetic control is the best way to prevent diabetic damage to the eyes. Sometimes this is not enough and Dr Hay-Smith can use a range of tests to determine if treatment is required. He may recommend the regular use of intravitreal drugs or argon laser photocoagulation. For more information follow this link.Learn more
AGE RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION
Age related macular degeneration is a disease that affects the back of the eye (the retina). Initially vision becomes distorted and then central vision is progressively lost. The loss of central vision can be very visually disabling.
There are two types of age related macular degeneration: dry and wet. There is currently no treatment for dry changes but fortunately the more rapid wet changes are now treatable. Intervention at the early stages of the condition get the best results.
A new class of drugs, called anti vascular endothelial growth factor agents (anti VEG-F) have transformed the treatment of wet AMD. These are injected into the eye by Dr Hay-Smith using tiny injectors and is usually totally painless.
The complication rate for the treatment of AMD is very low.
For more information from Dr Hay-Smith on AMD follow this link.Learn more
RETINAL VEIN OCCLUSIONS
If a blood vessel in the retinal circulation gets blocked than a retinal vein or retinal artery occlusion can occur. This can result in sudden painless loss of vision. There can also be serious long term complications such as cystoid macular oedema (CMO or CME) and neovascular glaucoma. These conditions can be treated with injections of Anti Vaso-Endothelial Growth Factor (Anti VEG-F) drugs including Aflibercept (Eylea) or Ranibizumab (Lucentis) or intravitreal steroids such as Dexamethasone (Ozurdex) implants.
These are injected into the eye by Dr Hay-Smith using tiny injectors and is usually totally painless.
Uveitis is the inflammation of the uvea, or the lining of the eye. It can range from mild and self limiting to severe and sight threatening. Much uveitis is ideopathic (unexplained) but some uveitis is connected to systemic disease such as infections and auto-immune conditions.
Most uveitis can be treated with eye drops. Some, especially posterior uveitis, is associated with systemic auto-immune conditions and can be difficult to treat. These conditions are best managed by an ophthalmologist with a special interest in inflammatory conditions of the eye, sometimes in collaboration with a rheumatologist, neurologist, chest or other physician.
Dr Hay-Smith one of the few doctors in Queensland who has had specialist training in this area. Uveitis is discussed separately – follow this link.Learn more