Falls Church macular specialist

Falls Church Macular Specialist

Ophthalmologist in Falls Church

Age-related macular degeneration is a condition in which the macula, the small part in the middle of your retina, deteriorates. It is the result of the aging process itself, rather than external factors, and while not everyone gets it, everyone after the age of 40 may develop it. For this reason, we at The Retina Group of Washington strongly urge you to get a yearly screening once you turn 40. And if you are diagnosed with it, you should depend on our Falls Church macular specialist for the expert treatment and management of the disease.

First, the bad news. There is no cure for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The good news is that it will not cause complete blindness. Instead, it erodes your vision in the center of your visual field, eventuality leaving you with only vision on the sides. In addition to age, there are risk factors that can make it more likely you will get AMD. Heredity is one, which there is nothing you can do about, of course. Others like smoking, obesity, high cholesterol, and hypertension can be affected for the better. It is true that women develop AMD more than men do, and for reasons that are not quite clear. Also, lighter skin and eyes tend to be associated with greater propensity for AMD. In addition to annual testing, be sure to see our Falls Church macular specialist right away if you notice any of the following indications: distorted vision with blind spots within the middle of your visual field, and straight lines appearing wavy. State-of-the-art testing includes finding any evidence of drusen, a yellow deposit that may appear in your macula.

Although there is no cure for AMD, our Falls Church macular specialist can help you to retain maximum vision and make the most of it for the long term with various methods. Please call our office and let us schedule an appointment for you to come in.

6354 Walker Lane, Suite 100
Alexandria, VA 22310
(703) 313-8822

New York Times – Ask Well: Floaters in the Eye

What causes floaters in the eye?

Floaters, those small dots or cobweb-shaped patches that move or “float” through the field of vision, can be alarming. Though many are harmless, if you develop a new floater, “you need to be seen pretty quickly” by an eye doctor in order to rule out a retinal tear or detachment, said Dr. Rebecca Taylor, a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Floaters are caused by clumping of the vitreous humor, the gel-like fluid that fills the inside of the eye. Normally, the vitreous gel is anchored to the back of the eye. But as you age, it tends to thin out and may shrink and pull away from the inside surface of the eye, causing clumps or strands of connective tissue to become lodged in the jelly, much as “strands of thread fray when a button comes off on your coat,” Dr. Taylor said. The strands or clumps cast shadows on the retina, appearing as specks, dots, clouds or spider webs in your field of vision.

Such changes may occur at younger ages, too, particularly if you are nearsighted or have had a head injury or eye surgery. There is no treatment for floaters, though they usually fade with time.

But it’s still important to see a doctor if new floaters arise because the detaching vitreous gel can pull on the retina, causing it to tear, which can lead to retinal detachment, a serious condition. The pulling or tugging on the retina may be perceived as lightning-like flashes, “like a strobe light off to the side of your vision,” Dr. Taylor said.

See an eye doctor within 24 to 48 hours if you have a new floater, experience a sudden “storm” of floaters, see a gray curtain or shadow move across your field of vision, or have a sudden decrease in vision.

To learn more please call one of our ophthalmologists in Alexandria at (703) 313-8822

Rabin, Roni Caryn. “Ask Well: Floaters in the Eye.” Well Ask Well Floaters in the Eye Comments. New York TImes, 5 Feb. 2016. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.


RGW Selects Modernizing Medicine, Inc., for EMA

Modernizing Medicine, Inc., the creator of the Electronic Medical Assistant® (EMA™), a cloud-based, iPad native, specialty-specific electronic medical record (EMR) system, announced today that The Retina Group of Washington has selected EMA Ophthalmology to replace its legacy EMR solution. Use of the highly specialized EMR system will help streamline physician workflows and improve patient care across the entire practice.
With 26 physicians working across 14 offices, The Retina Group of Washington is one of the largest and most highly respected retinal and macular practices in the country. The Retina Group of Washington is well known for its extensive experience and sub-specialty expertise of its leading physicians and surgeons. Deeply committed to the advancement of care, the group is constantly conducting cutting-edge research and administers a Fellowship program to train future ophthalmologists.
“As one of the leading retinal practices in the country, we constantly look for ways to make our physicians’ lives easier and improve care,” said Dr. Michael Rivers, current Board member at The Retina Group of Washington and head of their EMR system selection committee.
For more information click here.

Ophthalmologist in Alexandria

Eye Surgeon 22310

Ophthalmologist in Alexandria

Ophthalmologist in Alexandria

A retinal detachment is more serious than a retinal tear. It is something that needs to be addressed in a timely manner and you need expert care from a specialist. At The Retinal Group of Washington, we’re pleased to offer exactly that to you, our valued patient. Our ophthalmologist in Alexandria is highly skilled and experienced at handling retinal detachment, so you can rest assured that you in the best hands. Surgery is typically the best solution for a detached retina.

There are two types of surgery that are common for effecting a repair of a retinal tear: laser photocoagulation and cryotherapy. However, for a detachment, the likelihood is that you will need a more invasive and complex procedure in order to correct it. There are three options that are used in such cases and they are called pneumatic retinopexy, scleral buckle, and vitrectomy. Deciding which one is the most appropriate for you will require taking into account your unique circumstances, the exact location around the retina where the detachment has occurred, and if you have any scar tissue that is present prior to the surgery being done. Our ophthalmologist in Alexandria will go over the pros and cons with you and ensure that you understand them.

Retinopexy is when a bubble of gas is injected into the center of your eyes. The bubble presses on the retina and then photocoagulation, which utilizes a laser, is used to seals the retina back to normal. The bubble is kept in your eye for about 1 to 3 weeks afterward to ensure that the bond is strong. The scleral buckle procedure involves our ophthalmologist in Alexandria placing a piece of flexible material (often plastic) over the sclera (white) of your eye and then sewing it into place. It exerts pressure on your retina so that it can get its normal position back, flat against the wall of the eye. Heat or cold is used to facilitate the bonding. Vitrectomy is where the vitreous gel of your eye is removed. This is done when there is bleeding in the retina and it is designed to stop it. Call our retina specialist today to learn more.

6354 Walker Lane, Suite 100
Alexandria, VA 22310

Top Retinal Ophthalmologist In Alexandria

Drs.  Reginald J. Sanders and William F. Deegan were selected by their colleagues in the medical field as “Top Doctors” in Ophthalmology as part of the 2015 “Top Doctors” published in the September issue of Washingtonian.  The bi-annual survey,  conducted for the first time online, solicited nominations from more than 12,000 physicians throughout D.C., Maryland and Virginia.  The list is designed to help readers find the best medical care in their communities, including primary care doctors and those specialists whom patients choose for themselves.

Early Vitrectomy for Spontaneous, Fundus-Obscuring Vitreous Hemorrhage.

Melamud A1, Pham H2, Stoumbos Z2.



To examine the visual outcomes of early intervention in the setting of fundus-obscuring vitreous hemorrhage (VH) presumed to be due to posterior vitreous detachment.


Retrospective comparative case series.


All eyes that presented with a fundus-obscuring VH defined as vision of 20/400 or worse, and requiring a B-scan at presentation from 2003 – 2013, were evaluated. Eyes with any history of retinopathy; macular degeneration; recent trauma; presentation greater than two weeks after onset of symptoms; or follow-up of less than two months were excluded. The main outcome measure studied was final best-correct visual acuity (BCVA) as dependent on the time to surgery.


92 eyes met inclusion criteria with a mean follow-up of 490 days. Initial BCVA was logMAR 2.218 (Snellen equivalent 20/3000-20/4000 range 20/400- light perception); final BCVA was 0.318 (Snellen equivalent of 20/40-20/50 range 20/20 – light perception, p < 0.001). 56 patients (60.8%) had either a retinal tear or a retinal detachment. Patients who underwent surgery within 1 week had no significant improvement over all others, however a significant improvement was found when comparing early versus delayed surgery groups (p<0.05). There was a significantly increased risk of developing a macula-off retinal detachment in patients who did not undergo surgery within one week of presentation.


Early surgical intervention results in similar visual outcomes compared to a conservative approach. However, early intervention significantly reduces the incidence of severe vision loss related to macula involving retinal detachment. This study highlights the importance of close follow-up given the high risk of retinal detachment in fundus-obscuring vitreous hemorrhage.
Am J Ophthalmol. 2015 Jul 21. pii: S0002-9394(15)00449-3. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2015.07.025. [Epub ahead of print]

Retinal Vein Occlusion in Young Patients

The management of retinal vein occlusion (RVO) has changed dramatically over the last 3 decades since the results of the Branch Vein Occlusion Study (BVOS) and Central Vein Occlusion Study (CVOS) were published in the 1980s and 1990s.

While most patients who present with RVO are 60 years of age or older, young patients can pose particular diagnostic and treatment challenges.

In this installment of Practical Retina, current RGW retina fellow Dr. Luke Lindsell and Dr. Michael Lai from Washington, D.C., address what should be included in an appropriate diagnostic work-up for younger patients who present with RVO, provide pearls for detecting uncommon underlying systemic etiologies, and review their treatment paradigm.

You can read about it in their article entitled “Current concepts in managing retinal vein occlusion in young patients” for the July/August 2015 issue of the journal Ophthalmic Surgery Lasers & Imaging Retina.

Click here to read more.

Source: Ophthalmic Surgery, Lasers and Imaging Retina July 2015 – Volume 46 · Issue 7: 695-701