Emily’s Urgent Retina Care Saves Her Eyesight

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Last updated 9/11/2023
Emily’s Urgent Retina Care Saves Eyesight

Emily’s Urgent Retina Care Transforms Her Eyesight

By the time Emily Lee discovered Assil Gaur Eye Institute, her eyesight had become a frightening problem as blurred central vision began to develop in her affected eye.

 

The Los Angeles mother of three was even having trouble performing her job as a bookkeeper, let alone keeping an eye on the kids while her husband was at work.

 

“I couldn’t see the numbers,” says Emily, referring to her wavy vision. “I was still able to drive, but not very safely.”

Why was Emily suddenly losing her vision? 

Her long-time eye doctor examined her and suggested she contact Assil Gaur Eye Institute (AGEI) for a consultation to make sure she was not developing glaucoma. 

 

AGEI contacted her the same day she saw her optometrist and got Emily into see Dr. Avneet Sodhi Gaur, AGEI’s glaucoma specialist. After examining her and measuring the eye pressure, Dr. Gaur referred Emily to AGEI’s retina specialist, Dr. Svetlana Pilyugina (affectionately known as Dr. P.).

 

During the consultation with Dr. P. Emily was advised to address her emerging retinal condition.

 

“She suggested I get retina injections quickly to correct my issue but at the time, my vision wasn't bothering me too much,” remembers Emily, adding the scheduled an appointment for the following week. “(But) a few days later, I was struggling to perform my work as straight lines began to blur and become wavy. The condition was worsening, and it also coincided with a stressful work season.”

 

Emily hastily called the AGEI office to move her appointment with Dr. P up and was told no slots were open that week. 

 

Scared to take no for an answer, she called the office back and was told someone would call her.

 

 “I felt rather dejected, but then during his lunch hour, Aaron Redman, director of operations, phoned and told her to come in during the lunch hour the next day,” said Emily.

 

Aaron would go on to play a vital role in Emily’s AGEI journey.

 

“Aaron’s and Dr. P.’s kindness eased much of my anxiety, she says. “It meant a lot that they would give up their lunch hour to help a patient in need.”

 

Emily’s gets her diagnosis from Dr. Pilyugina 

Dr. P. is a skilled surgeon specializing in retinal diseases such as retinal detachment, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and other conditions using the most current medical, surgical, and injectable technologies.

 

She used tests such as optical coherence tomography (OCT). This central serous retinopathy OCT scan looks at the back of your eye. It provides three-dimensional pictures of the retina to measure retinal thickness, identify swelling, and detect serous retinal detachment

 

Dr. P diagnosed Emily with central serous chorioretinopathy (CSCR), sometimes known as central serous retinopathy (CSR). Central serous chorioretinopathy is a condition where fluid leaks under the retina, which is the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye.

 

Central serous chorioretinopathy (CSCR) is the fourth most common retinopathy after age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and branch retinal vein occlusion.

 

What is Central serous chorioretinopathy (CSCR)? 

Central serous retinopathy is a disease that occurs when fluid builds up behind the retina in your eye. The fluid can cause the retina to detach, leading to vision problems or vision loss.

 

The visual acuity of people affected by CSC varies widely, but wavy vision is a classic symptom (when straight lines look crooked or bent). Other symptoms include blurry vision, a dark spot in the center of your vision, dim vision, white things looking brown, and objects seeming smaller or further away than they are.

 

But sometimes, patients with CSC can show no symptoms at all, especially if the affected areas fall outside the macula — the part of the retina that is used to distinguish fine detail for activities like reading and recognizing faces.

 

Dr. P. surmised that Emily’s work stress had been crucial to triggering her condition. Stress makes the body release a hormone called cortisol, which can cause inflammation (swelling) and fluid leakage. 

 

What causes central serous chorioretinopathy (CSCR)? 

While the exact cause is not entirely understood, some risk factors seem to contribute to CSR. These include stress, corticosteroid medications, and conditions like hypertension and type A personality. Sometimes, pregnancy can also be a contributing factor.

 

What are the treatment options for Central Serous Chorioretinopathy?

When it comes to Central Serous Retinopathy (CSR), the condition can get better on its own, especially when the symptoms are mild. In that case, “watchful waiting” is a treatment option, 

 

But if it does not improve over time, or the immediate condition becomes more serious, such as in Emily’s case, there are several options, including laser treatments (laser photocoagulation, micropulse laser, photodynamic therapy (PDT) and medications like Verteporfin, Avastin, or oral medications like acetazolamide to decrease fluid accumulation.

 

Lending a sympathetic ear 

Like many patients facing any medical procedure, Emily was justifiably nervous. She found a sympathetic ear with Aaron Redmond.

 

He eased her fear and told her what to expect with the procedure. And most of all, he showed her that she need not worry about a thing.

 

“Sometimes, with a doctor, I feel intimidated; some call that “white coat syndrome. Aaron recognized that and spoke to me like a friend,” she says. “It was so meaningful that he walked me through the process and made me feel comfortable. I would not have gotten that level of care anywhere else.”

 

A painless eye injection returned Emily’s normal vision! 

Fortunately for Emily, Dr. P. is a renowned retina expert and moved forward with two intravitreal injections of Avastin to help reduce swelling in the back of the eye.

 

Avastin is the brand name for the drug, which is called bevacizumab. It blocks the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the back of the eye. It also stops the leakage of fluid from these blood vessels. 

 

“My vision is great now; I’ can see straight without any waves,” says Emily of the painless and brief in-office procedure. “I was on a bad journey as my vision kept worsening. I feel like I’ve gotten more than my vision back. I also have peace of mind.”

 

Nothing but kudos for Assil Gaur Eye Institute

Emily has the sight to resume her busy life, and her bi-annual follow-ups with Dr. P. will keep her that way. She was also prescribed a lifestyle change: stress management to help keep the condition at bay.

 

She was also advised to avoid certain steroid medications like corticosteroids, which can sometimes help resolve the condition.

 

“I advise anyone with eye problems to go to the Assil Gaur Eye Institute,” says a satisfied Emily. “I like them a lot because their doctors are knowledgeable, and I completely trust what they tell me. Also, the staff is genuine, and people like Aaron make it feel like a family environment.”

 

Why trust AGEI with your eyesight? 

Assil Gaur Eye Institute has assembled a team of top ophthalmologists from around the country who offer their patients the highest quality of specialist eye care in the United States. 

 

In keeping with the founding principles of AGEI, our doctor and staff keep their clinics comfortable and familiar, much like how family-run medical practices used to be.

 

Today, AGEI is nationally recognized for its compassionate, patient-centric care, commitment to pioneering advances in ophthalmology, and dedication to supporting its patients' and community's health and well-being. Please call (866) 945-2745 or make an appointment online.

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