The Eye Institute Of West Florida

Retina | Diagnosis and Treatment

Are you seeking a Retina Treatment Center in Largo, Clearwater, St. Petersburg or Tampa?

At The Eye Institute of West Florida, we treat the most complex retina-vitreous disorders in a safe and caring environment. Our fellowship-trained Retina Specialists are world-renowned experts at diagnosing eye diseases and offering the latest treatment options.

Our team offers patients compassionate care in a comfortable environment. Visit any of our six locations in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Largo and Clearwater to experience how we treat patients and their family members.

Schedule a Retina Evaluation

Leonard S. Kirsch, MD Retina Specialist

Leonard S. Kirsch, M.D.

Schedule your Retina consulation with Dr. Leonard Kirsch below by selecting a time at the location you want to be seen.

Richard J. Hairston, MD Retina Specialist

Richard J. Hairston, M.D.

Schedule your Retina consulation with Dr. Richard Hairston below by selecting a time at the location you want to be seen.

Janie Ho, MD Retina Specialist

Janie Ho, M.D.

Schedule your Retina consulation with Dr. Janie Ho below by selecting a time at the location you want to be seen.

Sejal Shah, MD Retina Specialist

Sejal Shah, M.D.

Schedule your Retina consulation with Dr. Sejal Shah below by selecting a time at the location you want to be seen.

Couple with macular degeneration
Diabetic retinopathy

About The Retina

The retina is a very thin tissue lining the back wall of the eye that is connected to the brain. The outer part of the retina is nourished by a single special layer of cells called the retinal pigment epithelium that lies underneath the retina like a pad under a carpet on the floor.

The transparent cornea and lens in the front of the eye focus incoming images onto a central area of the retina called the macula. The retina converts these images into a chemical message that is sent to the brain. The macula is where incoming light is focused. The macula is the only part of the retina which allows you to read the small print and perform visual tasks that require fine or “central” vision. The retina outside of the macula is responsible for the “side” or peripheral vision.

Common Symptoms of Retinal Disease

If you experience any changes in your vision, it is important to seek care from an ophthalmologist. Some common signs and symptoms that indicate problems with the retina include:

  • Suddenly seeing floating specks, cobwebs, or flashing lights
  • Blurred or distorted vision
  • A curtain or veil obscuring your vision
  • Lost vision

Human eye anatomy the retina

Dr. Leonard Kirsch, Dr. Richard Hairston, and Dr. Janie Ho are our board-certified, fellowship-trained ophthalmologists with advanced medical training in the subspecialty of the retina and vitreous care. At The Eye Institute of West Florida, you will always receive the personal attention of an expert to help diagnose and treat your condition.

Retinal diseases
Macular edema

Risk Factors of Retinal Diseases

With no obvious symptoms, it is important to understand your risk factors of getting a retinal disease. You have a higher than normal risk if you:

  • Are over the age of 60
  • Have a family member with retinal diseases
  • Have high blood pressure, diabetes, migraines or poor blood circulation
  • Have had an eye injury
  • Are obese and smoke

The only way to tell you to have a retinal disease is to have a complete eye exam at least every one to two years. Detection of a retinal disease may go undetected unless properly diagnosed by a physician.

Still interested in learning more?

When you are choosing where you will have your retina surgery and treatment regimen, we are available to consult you on your options. Give us a call at 727-581-8706 to schedule your consultation.

If you are interested in reading more about the different types of retinal diseases and treatment options including surgery and retinal injections, please refer to the following pages:

Choose The Eye Institute of West Florida for your retina treatment to get the best vision results possible.

Last modified on May 19th, 2021 at 8:33 am

"I cannot imagine a better experience than the ones that I have had with Dr. Kirsch. He is thoughtful and understanding. He explains all of the options that you have as a patient. I trust him completely with the care of my eyes. What is also amazing is Dr. Kirsch's staff. Their longevity is a testament to Dr. Kirsch's ability to retain great people around him. It is apparent that everyone at the facility cares about quality of care and patient outcomes. I highly recommend Dr. Kirsch and his staff."

John – Patient of Dr. Leonard Kirsch

Meet Your Retina Care Specialists

Leonard S. Kirsch, MD, F.R.C.S.(C)Leonard S. Kirsch, M.D., F.R.C.S.(C) is a fellowship-trained vitreous and retina specialist. He is internationally known for the numerous papers and lectures he has presented here and abroad. Dr. Kirsch is currently an active participant in ongoing research to find new treatments for diseases of the retina. His expertise in the most advanced diagnostic and treatment techniques of all diseases of the retina, macula, and vitreous make Dr. Kirsch one of the elites in his field. In the Tampa Bay area, Dr. Kirsch pioneered the use of Photodynamic Therapy with Visudyne©, and intravitreal Macugen©, Lucentis©, and Avastin© for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. Dr. Kirsch was also among the first surgeons in Florida to perform 25 gauge “no-stitch” vitrectomy in 2001. He is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada.

Richard J. Hariston, MDRichard J. Hairston, M.D. is a vitreous and retina specialist. He joined The Eye Institute in June 2001 coming to us from a busy retina practice in Washington, DC. Dr. Hairston graduated from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and did his residency at the Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute at Johns Hopkins University. He completed a fellowship in diseases and surgery of the retina and vitreous at The Center for Retina Vitreous Surgery, Memphis, Tennessee. He then served as Assistant Chief of Service in Ophthalmology and Director of the Ocular Trauma Service at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Most recently he was Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University. He is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. Dr. Hairston enjoys an international reputation as an outstanding retina and vitreous surgeon.

Janie Ho, MDJanie Ho, M.D. is a board-certified ophthalmologist, fellowship-trained in medical and surgical vitreoretinal diseases such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and retinal tears and detachments. She has been educated at some of America’s finest institutions. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University and her medical degree from Duke University. She went on to ophthalmology residency at the University of California, San Francisco. Following residency, Dr. Ho continued on to a fellowship in vitreoretinal diseases at the prestigious Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary of Harvard Medical School. Dr. Ho has participated in angiogenesis research, investigating causes and treatment for common retinal disorders.

Sejal Shah, MD - Retina SpecialistSejal Shah, M.D. is a board-certified, fellowship-trained Retina Specialist. Dr. Shah received her medical degree from the University of South Florida. She began her postgraduate training with an internship in medicine at UCLA, followed by ophthalmology training at the University of South Florida. She went on to complete a fellowship at the prestigious Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of retinal disorders. Dr. Shah also earned a B.S. degree with honors in Nutritional Science from the University of Florida. Dr. Shah brings her expertise as a medical retinal specialist with skills in managing and treating vitreoretinal pathology which including age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Her research has appeared in publications such as Ophthalmic Surgery, Lasers, and Imaging Retina; Clinical Ocular Oncology; Survey of Ophthalmology; International Ophthalmology Clinics; and Survey of Ophthalmology. In her spare time, she enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends, traveling, and trying to keep up with her twin boys.