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.

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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

Panretinal Photocoagulation (PRP)


In an ophthalmologic setting, lasers can be used to effectively seal leaky vessels and tears, as well as destroy abnormal vessels and tissue.  It also cuts down on the production of the harmful hormone Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor that the eye produces in problems like proliferative diabetic retinopathy. During Panretinal Photocoagulation Laser Treatments, a laser beam is used to decrease the growth of abnormal vessels in the retina that are pulling nourishing blood flow away from normal vessels or bleeds. This type of treatment is most beneficial when several abnormal vessels begin to form, so that prompt action can prevent blindness.  PRP treatments cannot improve existing vision, but are meant to help prevent further damage and vision loss.



PRP treatments are done at East Carolina Retina while you are awake and lying down under dim lights, typically with local anesthesia. Before the procedure, your eyes will be dilated and a shot will be administered below or near your eye to keep the area numb for the next 6-8 hours. Your treatment will take between 20-30 minutes. During the procedure, 400-800 separated laser burns are applied to the side of the retina to stop the hormone production. It also aids in redirecting blood flow to central areas.  Typically administered as 2-3 treatment visits per affected eye, peripheral retina is sacrificed to save as much of the central vision as possible. The first two treatments usually occur two weeks apart, while additional treatments may be done as needed. Other treatments such as cryotherapy and Avastin injections may modify how many treatment are needed. 



  • Helps curtail development of new, abnormal vessels
  • Helps prevent retinal detachment
  • Causes other present abnormal vessels to shrink or disappear
  • When treatment is administered in time, severe vision loss is reduced by 60%.




  • Some loss of side vision (peripheral) and night vision can occur.
  • Generalized blurring of vision is experienced by some patients can be made worse. Usually short term, this rarely lasts indefinitely.
  • Central vision could be affected by swelling (Usually edema is treated first).
  • The laser can cause scarring and/or bleeding, or very rarely damage healthy tissue, which can cause vision loss and need surgery.
  • Swelling of eye, and pupils staying dilated for months, while unlikely, can occur.