Southeastern Retina Associates shines a light on dry macular degeneration

Southeastern Retina Associates shines a light on dry macular degeneration

January 29th, 2015 by Brandi Dixon in Health Experts
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Vision  loss  is something that can  come  in many different forms  due  to  the  process of aging. However, one specific form of central-vision loss known as dry macular degeneration can pose serious problems if not given proper attention.

Dr. Richard Breazeale

"Dry macular degeneration (AMD) is an aging change that causes tissue under the retina to disappear slowly," explained Dr.  Richard  Breazeale, M.D., with Southeastern Retina Associates. "This causes the central retina 
to work poorly, eventually leading to central-vision loss."

There is currently no treatment  available  for the condition. However, investigative studies are being  done  on certain 
types of AMD.

"We at Southeastern Retina  Associates  in Chattanooga have been chosen  as  a  site  for  a clinical trial being run at 
select centers worldwide to evaluate the effectiveness of a new medicine on slowing the progression of geographic atrophy, which is a type of dry  macular  degeneration," said Dr. Breazeale.
The ongoing damage to the retina takes time, which  is  why  AMD  is recognized  as  age-related,  according  to  Dr. 
Breazeale. Patient genetics  can  also  come  into play.

Patients  with  geographic  atrophy  and visual acuity of 20/100 or better are ideal candidates for this new study available at Southeastern Retina Associates.
For those not participating in the study, there are some key preventive measures  to  be  taken, including  not  smoking cigarettes, paying attention  to  diet  and  maintaining a regular exercise routine.

"Keep your diet filled with green leafy vegetables and eat fish regularly, as omega-3 fatty acids seem to be protective," Dr. Breazeale said.


If  left  completely untreated, dry macular degeneration can cause severe central-vision loss over time. "It can also increase the  risk  of  developing new blood vessels under the retina (wet macular degeneration), which can rob  patients  of  central vision quickly," he noted. "There are excellent therapies available presently for wet macular degeneration."

For anyone concerned that they may be facing dry  macular  degeneration, Dr. Breazeale advises  talking  to  your eye doctor  right  away  and asking about your risks. "Ask your eye doctor if it might be appropriate to refer you for further evaluation by a retina specialist at Southeastern Retina Associates," he said.

On the first appointment  at  Southeastern  Retina  Associates, patients  can  expect a  comprehensive  eye 
evaluation,  including a detailed  examination of the vitreous and retina, which may last up to three  hours.  Drops  are 
applied  to  the  eyes  to dilate the pupils so that the retinas can be examined. Doctors recommend patients bring a companion to drive them home.

The  physicians  and staff  at  Southeastern Retina  Associates  are committed to providing individualized attention 
and  the  best  care  possible,  all  in  a  comfortable and compassionate environment.


Southeastern Retina Associates has offices in Chattanooga and Cleveland, TN, and Dalton and Rome, GA, and can be reached at 423-756-1002. For more information about the practice or to schedule an appointment, visit