Baltimore Office Visit FAQs
Also serving Pikesville, Owings Mills, Glen Burnie, & Rosedale
- What will happen during my first visit?
- How long will it take?
- What, if anything, should I bring with me?
- Do I need someone to drive me?
- What is laser surgery?
- What is fluorescein angiography?
- What is considered to be a retina emergency?
- What should I do if I have an emergency?
- Can you help coordinate my insurance?
- What are intraocular injections?
- What types of medicine are injected into the eye?
- Are intraocular injections safe?
- Where are intraocular injections performed?
- How are the injections performed?
- Do intraocular injections hurt?
- What if I blink during the injections?
- What happens after the injections?
- Are there any side effects?
What will happen during my first visit?
A medical technician will take your medical history, check your vision, measure your eye pressure and dilate your eyes. Then one of our physicians will review your history and examine your eyes. Based on his findings, he may suggest some additional tests.
How long will it take?
We recommend that you allow 2-3 hours. Follow-up visits generally are shorter.
What, if anything, should I bring with me?
- You should bring (or wear) your glasses;
- a list of all medications you take (prescribed and over the counter);
- the name, address, and phone number of your primary care physician;
- and insurance information cards.
Do I need someone to drive me?
We always recommend that you have someone drive you because your eyes will usually be dilated.
What is laser surgery?
Laser surgery is a painless and quick (approximately 20-minute) in-office surgical procedure. Although laser surgery may be used to treat a variety of retinal conditions, it usually is administered to stop leakage or growth of blood vessels and treat retinal tears.
What is fluorescein angiography?
It is a diagnostic procedure in which a vegetable based dye is injected into your arm to evaluate the blood vessels in the back of the eye. The dye does not contain iodine and is not related to X-ray dye. As the dye circulates through the blood vessels in your eyes, photos are taken, which the physician evaluates to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of your eyes.
What is considered to be a retina emergency?
Sudden decrease in vision, distortion of vision with straight lines appearing wavy, a blank area in the center or side vision, flashes, floaters, a decrease in side vision, discharge, swelling or pain can be symptoms of conditions that may require emergency attention.
What should I do if I have an emergency?
Call our office immediately. If we are closed, our answering service will page the doctor on call, who will return your call promptly and advise you on what to do next.
Can you help coordinate my insurance?
To help simplify your life, the Elman Retina Group accepts assignment for Medicare patients. We participate with most major managed care and indemnity insurance plans and can handle all of the paperwork for most insurance claims.
What are intraocular injections?
Intraocular injections involve injecting medicine directly into the eye to treat retinal diseases. This is the most common treatment of vision-threatening retina diseases, as often injections are the most efficient way to get the medicine to exactly where it needs to be.
What types of medicine are injected into the eye?
One of the most common types of medicines injected into the eye are anti-VEGF medications, which are used in cases of diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusion, myopia and macular degeneration. Anti-VEGF drugs are designed to stop leakage into the retina resulting in retinal swelling as well as to inhibit the growth of abnormal blood vessels that can leak fluid or bleed into the eye. Lucentis, Eylea and Avastin are typical anti-VEGF drugs used.
Another common group of medications that can be injected directly into the eye are corticosteroids, such as Ozurdex or Triesence. These drugs are typically used to reduce severe inflammation in the eye.
In cases of retinal detachment, our doctors can inject a small gas bubble into the eye to gently press the retina against the back wall of the eye. This procedure is known as a pneumatic retinopexy.
Antibiotics, antifungal and antiviral medications can also be used to treat patients with certain types of eye infections.
Are intraocular injections safe?
When administered by experienced retina surgeons, such as Drs. Elman and Schechet, intraocular injections are very safe.
Where are intraocular injections performed?
Intraocular injections can be performed in our office.
How are the injections performed?
After numbing your eye, our team will clean your eye with Betadine to prevent infection. A small, sterile lid speculum is placed to prevent your lids from accidentally blinking during the procedure. You will be asked to look in a certain direction. A small amount of medicine is injected into the white part of the eye through a thin needle that is smaller than a hair. After the injections, your eyes will be rinsed with eye wash.
Do intraocular injections hurt?
No. Special eyedrops are used to numb the eye and eyelids prior to the injections. You should not feel any pain during the injections.
What if I blink during the injections?
You won’t blink. An eyelid speculum can be used to keep your eyelids open during the procedure.
What happens after the injections?
The use of hourly tears after an injection usually prevents any irritation from occurring. Rarely, you might have red, irritated eyes and tearing for a few days after the procedure. You can apply a cold compress to your eyes or take over-the-counter pain medication to relieve discomfort.
Are there any side effects?
Occasionally slight bleeding may develop on the surface of the eye where it was injected. This is cosmetic and similar to a bruise that can be seen after an injection elsewhere. The bleeding should quickly resolve on its own. In a very small number of cases, infection can occur. Any pain, loss of vision, floaters, swelling, severe redness or excessive tearing should prompt an immediate call to the treating physician.
If you have additional questions for our ophthalmologists, please contact the Elman Retina Group today.