Angelia Thompson, M.D.

Board Certified Ophthalmologist

Lexington: 859-264-0045

Toll Free: 1-800-862-0564

We see patients the way you do.

Frequently Asked Questions

Medical questions:

What is macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration is the deterioration of the central portion of the retina, the inside back layer of the eye that records the images we see and sends them from the eye to the brain via the optic nerve. This central portion of the retina, known as the macula, is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye, and it allows us to perform activities such as reading, driving, recognizing faces or colors, and seeing objects in fine detail.

Macular degeneration reduces central vision, but does not typically affect peripheral vision. Macular degeneration is an incurable eye disease, and it is the leading cause of blindness for Americans over 55 years old.

  • Symptoms of macular degeneration:
    • words on a page look blurred
    • dark or empty area in the center of the vision
    • straight lines look distorted when looking at a grid pattern

What is diabetic retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy results from the damage of blood vessels in the retina, a nerve layer in the back of the eye that senses light and helps to send images to the brain. Diabetic eye damage occurs because of long-standing high blood-sugar levels. It is very important for diabetics to receive a diabetic eye exam at least once a year. If you have had a change in vision and are diabetic, you should see an ophthalmologist promptly. Even if you don’t notice changes in your vision, all diabetics must have an annual check-up for diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy can result in painless, progressive blindness. Disease can be present without symptoms and early treatment is the best prevention of blindness.

What is retinal detachment?

The retina is a nerve layer at the back of the eye that senses light and helps to send images to the brain. When the retina pulls away from the normal position lining the back of the eye, this is called a retinal detachment. A retinal detachment is very serious and almost always causes blindness if left untreated. The most common cause of retinal detachment is vitreous degeneration, a side effect of aging. Retinal detachment causes painless, progressive loss of peripheral and central vision.

  • Symptoms of retinal detachment:
    • flashing lights in vision
    • new floaters
    • a shadow in your peripheral vision (side vision)
    • a gray curtain covering part of your vision

Why do I need my eyes dialated?

The retina, a nerve layer responsible for sensing light and helping to send images to the brain, is located in the back of the eye. In order to see the retina, the physician must look through the front of the eye and the pupil, which constricts under bright light, making the back of the eye difficult to see. Dilation keeps the pupil from constricting, so that the back of the eye can be seen clearly and examined to diagnose retinal disease.

Other questions:

Do I need a driver?

We strongly recommend that you bring a driver since your eyes will be dilated. Dilation causes sensitivity to light and blurriness to up-close vision. Dilation usually lasts for 3-6 hours, but can last for up to 24 hours.

Do you accept my insurance?

We accept Medicare (including Medicare replacements), Medicaid, and most commercial insurances, including Humana, Aetna, Bluegrass Family Health & Blue Cross Blue Shield. If there is any question about your insurance, please contact our office and we will gladly call to verify that we are in-network, or you may call the number listed on the back of your card.