What is the retina?
The retina is light-sensitive tissue that lines the back interior of the eye. This tissue is responsible for turning light into signal for the brain which, ultimately, results in the images we see.
What are common retinal conditions?
A healthy retina is vital to eye health and clear vision. However, retinal damage can result in lasting eye problems and even vision loss.
Common retinal conditions are as follows:
Retinal tear & detachment:
Retinal tears occur when the vitreous, a gel-like substance that fills the middle of our eye, pulls hard against the retina, lifting it off the back of the eye. Think of it like a section of wallpaper or tape peeling from a wall.
When the retina “peels” from the eye, vision is tremendously compromised, causing blurriness and other complications. Retinal tears and detachment can lead to permanent blindness if not treated surgically.
Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the blood vessels in the back of the eye become weakened and damaged, causing swelling or leakage of blood in the eye. There are two types: non-proliferative and proliferative.
Non-proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy is caused by fluid from the blood vessels in the Retina leaking into the macula, causing it to swell. This can lead to blurry or cloudy vision. In its more advanced stages, Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (PDR) sets in and new blood vessels can form in the Retina. These irregular blood vessels can cause damage by leaking blood into the vitreous. If untreated, PDR can possibly lead to Retinal detachment and even.
Macular degeneration is a progressive eye condition affecting as many as 10 million Americans and millions more around the world. This disease attacks the macula of the eye, where our sharpest central vision occurs.
Although it rarely results in complete blindness, it robs the individual of all but the outermost, peripheral vision, leaving only dim images or black holes at the center of vision.
Symptoms include: Blurred central vision or blind spots.
Is treatment available?
When the retina is damaged from disease or injury, vision loss occurs. Most times, this vision loss may not be restored by treatments. Doctors can always do their best to stop or slow progression of a disease, however. This means that, when caught early on, most retinal disease is manageable and vision loss can be minimal.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best way to know if I have retinal damage?
Retinal damages, while common, are typically less well-known than other ocular diseases. That said, the best way to prevent or detect retinal damage or disease is to visit your eye doctor regularly for examination.
How long does the initial consultation take?
We ask patients to allot approximately 90 minutes for general consultations and annual assessments.
What causes retinal damage?
Several factors can damage the retina, including (but not limited to):
- Eye disease
- Trauma to the eye
- Environmental factors (e.g. solar radiation/staring at the sun)