New Treatment for Macular holes

Recent approval of Jetrea (Ocriplasmin) to treat symptomatic VMA (Vitreo Macular Adhesion) has opened up a new era in non surgical management of macular holes. Previously only a hospital based surgery was able to reverse the process of macular hole development but now a new drug can be injected into the eye painlessly in the office and within a few weeks the process reverses back to more normal vision levels....  more

FDA Approves ASRS Leader's ArgusŪ II Artificial Retina

On February 14, the FDA approved the Argus II artificial retina developed by ASRS Executive Committee and Board Member Mark S. Humayun, MD, PhD.

This breakthrough technology is the first ever to offer limited vision to patients with late-stage retinitis pigmentosa (RP).

 Second Sight Medical Products (Sylmar, CA) manufactures the Argus II implant, which has 60 electrodes and a tiny camera mounted on eyeglasses to capture images.

 The FDA approved Argus II for adults age 25 years or older with severe to profound RP. About 10,000 to 15,000 of the 100,000 Americans with RP will qualify for Argus II. Up to 4,000 patients a year can be treated with the device.

...  more

Macular degeneration and Aspirin?

Aspirin and Macular degeneration... is there an increase in the wet form of macular degeneration in those patients taking aspirin? The wet form develops quicker than the dry form. It may only be related to the fact that you are more likely to take aspirin if you have medical problems like stroke or heart attacks in the past and these conditions are more commonly associated with wet age related macular degeneration. ...  more

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)


As our patient, all of the physicians and staff at East Carolina Retina Consultants welcome any questions or inquiries that you may have regarding your retinal care.  Many of your questions will be answered during your consultation with one of our physicians. It helps if you write down your questions and bring them to the exam. The information below provides general answers to some of the most common questions we are asked.  Please note that none of the information contained on this page or within this site takes the place of diagnosis and treatment from one of our licensed professionals. If you have an eye emergency, call our practice immediately at (252) 758-2402 or dial 911.


What is a retina specialist?


A retina specialist is a medical physician (M.D.) who is licensed to practice ophthalmology, but has received additional training in retinal care.  The specialists at East Carolina Retina Consultants strictly diagnose and treat conditions involving the retina and vitreous, which are located at the back of the eye.


Do you perform routine eye exams or offer prescription glasses from your office?


 No. If you are seeing one of our specialists, you should still remain under the care of your regular eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist).  During your treatment at our practice, we will keep your eye doctor informed of your progress and send copies of your records from our office to them. You should still see your eye doctor for routine eye exams and prescription glasses requests.


How do I make an appointment with one of your physicians?


Nearly all of our patients come to our practice through a referral from another physician, whether it be your ophthalmologist, optometrist, endocrinologist or family doctor.  Once you are established in our practice, we will schedule appointments with you as often as needed to assist with disease management or other retinal conditions. Established patients may also call our office at (252) 758-2402. If you are new to our practice, we recommend that you see a primary care physician or an ophthalmologist first, so that they may identify if the concerns you are having are related to your retina and/or vitreous.


What do I do in case of an eye emergency?


 If your emergency is medical in nature but NOT eye-related, please dial 911. If you have an eye emergency, please contact East Carolina Retina Consultants at (252) 758-2402.  In the event our office is closed, our answering service will help to page the Ophthalmologist on-call team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also go to the Vidant Hospital Emergency room where they can triage the problem and get the on call physician. 


How long is a new patient visit?


Your first visit to our office will take approximately 2-4 hours.  To cut down on your wait time, print the necessary forms here so that you may have them filled out the day of your appointment.


What will I need to bring with me for my appointment?


When you come to East Carolina Retina Consultants for your appointment, please bring a list of all medications and eye drops you are currently taking, including dosages for each; all relevant medical history and laboratory tests; a list of allergies; the glasses or contact lenses you are currently prescribed; a pair of sunglasses (due to light sensitivity following dilation); and someone to drive you home from your appointment. Due to the amount of information gathering and diagnostic tests done at the exam, the wait time at our practice are longer than for routine care. We recommend that patients bring a snack with them, especially if they are diabetic. In addition, you will be asked to provide your current medical insurance cards and/or billing information as well as your co-payment required by your health insurance plan.


Will my eyes be dilated?


Yes, one or both eyes will likely be dilated at each visit. The exception to this is if you are visiting the OCT clinic for a quick eye scan. 


Do I need a driver for each appointment?


Since your eyes will most likely be dilated at each appointment, yes, you need to make arrangements for someone to drive you.


Should I take my usual medication the day of my appointment?  Should I bring medications I need to take the day of my appointment with me?


Yes, take all of your usual and necessary medications the day of your appointment. If you are having surgery the day of your visit, you will have received pre-operative instructions telling you whether you can take your medication or not.


Can I eat before I come for my appointment?


Yes, you can, unless you are planning to have surgery the day at the hospital the day of your visit.  If you are having surgery the day of your visit, you will have received pre-operative instructions telling you whether you can eat or not.  If you are expecting to have laser or other treatments in our office, you may still eat.


Where do the doctors perform surgery?


Many procedures are performed in the office at East Carolina Retina Consultants, and are done same-day.  For more complex procedures, our doctors have privileges at the neighboring hospital in Greenville.


Will you cut my eye to perform a procedure?


Many of our in-office procedures can be done without cutting in the eye.  In the event that an incision has to be made, it is only done by one of our qualified physicians with precise medical instruments to minimize invasion and pain. Major surgeries are done at the hospital or surgery center. 


What types of medical insurance do you accept?


At East Carolina Retina Consultants, we accept several types of insurance for your convenience. For a full listing of these, visit our insurance & billing page.  It is imperative that you bring current documentation of your coverage to every appointment.  If you are covered by a managed care policy (HMO, PPO or POS), you may need to obtain authorization and/or a referral for each visit. Please note that co-pays are due prior to service.


How will I be billed for services rendered?


We file all insurance claims as courtesy to our patients, however, deductibles and co-payments are due at the time service is rendered.  If you have concerns about paying for consultations and treatments at our office, please see a member of our staff.