Dr. Anthony Young of the University of Louisville has been working with patients in the ophthalmology and emergency room at Johns Hopkins University for over a decade.
He’s been on the forefront of diagnosing and treating vision loss in people who’ve lost their eyesight.
The doctor said the biggest challenge in diagnosing vision loss is knowing when to start treating the disease and when to stop.
“When people get diagnosed with a disease, you have to know when you’re going to stop treatment and when you can start,” he said.
Young said that when you’ve had your eye examined, you want to be prepared to tell a doctor about any problems with your vision, because “if they’re not treating you right, you’ll have to go through that process.”
Young said there are a number of reasons people are diagnosed with eye diseases.
Some people lose their eyes because they have cataracts, which make vision blurry.
Other people may have a tumor or a disease called retinopathy, which is caused by damage to the retina.
In both cases, the retina is responsible for vision, but the tumor can cause damage to that area, so the patient may not see much at all.
“The problem is, when they get diagnosed, they get really confused,” he added.
“There are so many factors that go into that diagnosis that make it difficult to understand.”
Young said it’s also important to ask yourself, “How am I feeling?
Is there a problem with my vision?
Is my vision changing?
If so, can I go to the doctor to ask him for more information?”
Dr. Young is one of the few ophthalmmologists in the country who specializes in treating retinal diseases.
“We have a whole team of ophthalMakers and we’ve got some great people at Johns that specialize in retinal imaging,” Young said.
“It’s really hard to go into the office and say, ‘You have this problem and we’re going do a retinal scan,'” but if you’re not prepared, it’s a “no-brainer” to go to your eye doctor.
Young has been treating about 200 people in the emergency room, and he said he’s gotten many patients who have suffered “a total loss of sight.”
Young says he’s been told the majority of his patients are getting treatment for their vision loss, but he’s not sure how long he’ll be able to do that.
“People have a really hard time getting a diagnosis,” he noted.
“So, when I look at patients, I’m always concerned about what their symptoms are.
If they’re going blind, it could be a lot longer than I thought it would be.
“I’m hopeful that with our research and our experience, we’ll be one of those cases where we can help people in their time of need.”