Dr. Sunness is one of the pioneers in understanding how patients adapt after they develop blind spots in their vision. At Hoover, she provides comprehensive evaluations and visual function testing, as well as low vision evaluation. Treatment by Susan Garber, our low vision occupational therapist is also available. Dr. Sunness sees patients with a wide variety of conditions, including macular disease, retinal disease, glaucoma, optic nerve disease, and corneal disease. She also is actively engaged in clinical research in low vision.
Dry age-related macular degeneration
Dr. Sunness is recognized as one of the world's foremost authorities on the advanced dry form of age-related macular degeneration (also called geographic atrophy). She conducted the largest natural history study of this condition to date, and her work has served as the basis for designing clinical trials for possible treatments for this condition. Hoover Services offers a comprehensive evaluation, retinal examination, and low vision treatment.
Stargardt Disease (macular degeneration in young people)
Dr. Sunness is one of few ophthalmologists in the United States specializing in Stargardt disease. She follows about 150 patients with this condition. She has a collaborative relationship with Dr. Rando Allikmets, who discovered the abnormal gene in Stargardt disease, to provide genetic testing to patients.
Dr. Sunness works with many patients with Retinitis Pigmentosa. Hoover provides clinical visual function and electrophysiological testing, along with a full retinal evaluation and low vision evaluation and treatment.
Other macular and retinal disease
Dr. Sunness treats many patients with wet macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and other hereditary and acquired macular and retinal diseases.
Dr. Sunness completed the summer genetics course at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, in 2000. She collaborates with a number of geneticists who are studying ocular diseases, and arranges for genetic testing for her patients. DNA analysis of her patients has provided insight into possible genetic factors predisposing to macular degeneration.
Dr. Sunness is an author of 55 peer-reviewed papers. She has written more than 20 chapters in books relating to retinal and macular disease and visual function.