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In addition, Dr. Huang has been on Sirius XM Radio, a national radio broadcast, and wrote an article for Indian Country Media Network. The subject of this article is: Diabetes and Diabetic Eye Disease: Get Your Eyes Examined Today.

To read the article and view interesting photo's and video, please click here

It was Labor Day 2015 when Rosetta Ivey-Foster, a 76-year-old retired bank clerk, learned first-hand how quickly diabetes can deteriorate vision. Swift action restored most of her eyesight.

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes more than 25 years ago, Ivey-Foster had carefully managed her disease. That included getting regular comprehensive dilated eye exams to detect early signs of diabetic eye disease, a group of conditions that includes diabetic retinopathy, cataract, and glaucoma. The National Eye Institute recommends that people with diabetes get a dilated eye exam at least once a year to detect early signs of diabetic eye disease.

A few days before Labor Day, Ivey-Foster noticed the sudden appearance of a floater in her right eye. "It looked like a blob or a water bubble," she said, noting that she'd had floaters before, but they'd always disappeared after a couple of days. This one persisted. As she sat on her balcony to watch a local Labor Day air show with a neighbor, she realized something was terribly wrong with her vision. "I couldn't see the planes!" she said.

Diabetes, a growing threat to vision

More than 25 million Americans have diabetes, and that number may double or triple by 2050. All people with diabetes are at risk for diabetic eye disease. African Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, and Hispanics/Latinos are at higher risk for losing vision or going blind from diabetic eye disease. Diabetic retinopathy poses the greatest risk to vision. It is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetes and the most common cause of blindness among working-age Americans. Over time, high blood sugar levels from diabetes affect the tiny blood vessels in the tissue in the back of the eye called the retina.

Timely treatment saved her vision

Ivey-Foster saw her eye doctor at once. Suber Huang, M.D., founder of the Retina Center of Ohio in Cleveland, discovered that Ivey-Foster could read none of the letters on the eye chart with her right eye. She had developed proliferative diabetic retinopathy, an advanced stage of the disease. New, abnormal blood vessels were growing on the surface of her retina and leaking blood -- the cause of her floaters.

Huang treated Ivey-Foster's right eye with a laser to burn and shrink abnormal blood vessels in the retina. He also removed the bloody gel-like fluid in her eye and replaced it with a clear saline solution, a procedure called vitrectomy.

"I was so relieved when he took the bandages off of my eye and I could see again," Ivey-Foster exclaimed. By Labor Day 2016, Ivey-Foster had regained enough vision to again see the planes in the air show.

Studies stress controlling diabetes

"Well-controlled glycemia, or blood sugar level, has a positive, measurable, and lasting effect on eye health," said Emily Chew, M.D., deputy director of the NEI Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications. In a recent study, she and colleagues found less diabetic retinopathy progression among people with type 2 diabetes who intensively controlled their blood sugar levels. "This study sends a powerful message to people with type 2 diabetes," she said. The message also applies to people with type 1 diabetes.

For people who have diabetes, the NEI's National Eye Health Education Program recommends these important steps to keep their health on TRACK:

Take your medications as prescribed by your doctor.

Reach and maintain a healthy weight.

Add physical activity to your daily routine.

Control your ABC's -- A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

Kick the smoking habit.

Ivey-Foster emphasized, "I would say to anyone that has diabetes, make sure you get regular eye exams." In addition to early detection, her experience highlights the importance of timely treatment.

Research reveals new treatment options

Today, people like Ivey-Foster have an alternative to laser therapy. In 2015, the NEI-funded Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network showed that eye injections of the anti-VEGF drug Lucentis (ranibizumab) are highly effective in treating proliferative diabetic retinopathy. VEGF is what stimulates abnormal blood vessel growth and leakage in the retina. The finding was the first major treatment advance for proliferative diabetic retinopathy in 40 years.

In 2016, the reported results of a clinical trial that compared three anti-VEGF drugs for diabetic macular edema, a complication of diabetic retinopathy that causes the build-up of fluid in a region of the retina called the macula. The study found that Lucentis, Avastin (bevacizumab), and Eylea (aflibercept) were similarly effective when patients' vision loss was mild. Eylea outperformed Avastin and Lucentis among patients who started treatment with moderate (20/50) or worse vision.

Story Source:

Materials provided by NIH, National Eye Institute (NEI). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Woman who lost vision to diabetes shares experience to raise awareness November 21, 2016


Retina Center of Ohio opens in new space at UH University Suburban Health Center in South Euclid

By Jeff Piorkowski/special to Sun News

October 03, 2016













SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio -- It's taken a while to happen, but renovation of second-floor space at UH University Suburban Health Center has been completed for the opening of the Retina Center of Ohio.

At nearly 6,000 square feet, the clean, modern space was the site of a grand opening event Sept. 29 attended by South Euclid Mayor Georgine Welo, several members of the medical community and about 150 others.

The event closed the door on a two-year wait for Drs. Suber Huang and Michael Varley who have been practicing on an upper floor at the medical center since October, 2014 while renovations of former allergy/immunology and ears, nose and throat offices took place.

"Our future is to continue to grow and to have Ohio's best retina practice," said Huang, who serves as the practice's CEO, and whose resume includes training at Johns Hopkins University, Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami.

Varley, originally of Cleveland Heights, returned to the area about three years ago after practicing for 20 years in West Virginia. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Case Western Reserve University Medical School, Varley partnered with Huang after the two became familiar with each other from their shared University Hospitals background.

Together, the doctors have prided themselves on establishing a first-rate eye care facility at which they perform a variety of specialties. Those specialties include surgery; the use of specialized diagnostic equipment for retina and macular issues; domain optical coherence tomography; use of an electrophysiology unit to diagnose neurological and rare eye disorders; and ocular ultrasonography.

"Our tagline is 'expert retina care,'" Huang said. "We're physicians first, optical physicians second, and retina specialists, most of all."

When Huang was asked why South Euclid was chosen to open the Retina Center of Ohio, he replied, "This building. This is a complex with a five-operating-room ambulatory surgery center with virtually every specialty practiced here, and an imaging center. It's a well established, respected place to practice, and it has free parking."

Huang said people with eye problems can make Retina Center of Ohio a first stop for care.

"If (people's problems) have to do with the retina, we can offer care, or send them to a specialist," he said. "Other (ophthalmologists) will send patients to us if the problem concerns the retina."

Those seeking tests for glasses, however, should see an optometrist.

As the northeast Ohio population has aged, macular degeneration is a condition with which area eye doctors have regularly dealt.

"Macular degeneration is certainly age related," said Varley, who has been in practice since 1988 "Fifty percent of patients who are 90 years old have it. Of course, not everyone reaches 90, but there aren't many diseases half of all people get."

Caused by the deterioration of the central part of the retina, macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss. Huang said that medical advances have allowed for better success rates in the treatment of the disease.

"We used to be able to correct (macular degeneration) in 4 percent of cases, now it's 40 percent. In the last several years, that's a 1,000-percent improvement."

Many eye/retina issues revolve around diabetes. Again, Huang, who has practiced since 1991, said  something can be done to help those with diabetes-related eye issues.

"Ninety percent of blinding retinal disease from diabetes can be treated," he said. "The key is early detection and a dilated exam."

Huang said that, upon opening the practice's doors in its new location Sept. 29, there were immediately several patients who came in with retinal emergencies. Such emergencies included that day, and in past days, were blurry vision, pain in the eye, infections, chemical-related irritation, items that got lodged in the eye, and trauma from being poked.

The Retina Center of Ohio has also treated patients for such  things as waviness in patients' sight, blank spots and flashes and floaters.

"People tend to be overly optimistic about their sight," Varley said. "They think if they have a problem, it will just go away.

"But many say that vision is the one sense they'd like to lose least. It's their most prized sense."

While Huang noted that, "Most people just wake up, open their eyes and they see," he believes people should not hesitate to seek immediate correction of a problem.

When Retina Center of Ohio opens it new doors officially for the first time Oct. 3, people in northeast Ohio will have an all-new place to seek that help.

Retina Center of Ohio, located at University Suburban Health Center, 1611 S. Green Road in South Euclid, is open 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Patients can call for evening and same-day appointment times. Call 216-382-3366, or visit

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