The retina is a layer of tissue inside the eye that receives and processes light, allowing you to distinguish light intensity and color. Retinal conditions can range from degenerative diseases to after-effects of eye injuries, and in some cases they can lead to permanent vision loss.
There is a significant range of symptoms that are associated with retinal diseases, ranging from mild to severe. Some of the more common retinal diseases include:
Macular degeneration is characterized by the deterioration of the center of the retina. There are two different types of the disease, and it always begins as co-called “dry” macular degeneration, which is generally less severe. However, it can evolve into “wet” macular degeneration, which is when fluid leaks into the retina.
The central area of the retina in the back of the eye is known as the macula. Therefore, a macular hole is a small defect in this area that sometimes results from an eye injury.
Vitreous is a gel-like substance that helps the eye maintain its shape, and a retinal tear is the result of the vitreous shrinking and breaking the retinal lining. If this happens, you may see floating specks or flashing lights.
Sometimes fluid can pass through a retinal tear, and it may cause the retina itself to detach from the other layers in the eye.
Diabetes can cause the capillaries in the retinal area to leak small amounts of blood under the retina. The retina will then swell, often leading to distorted or blurred vision. Learn more about Diabetic Retinopathy.
With an increase in blood pressure, the blood vessels in the retina’s wall begin to thicken, causing them to become narrow and limit the amount of blood flow. The danger here is that in some cases, this causes damage to the blood vessels or swelling in the retina, limiting how well the retina functions. Additionally, in severe cases, it can cause pressure on your optic nerves and loss of vision.
A Retinal Vascular Occlusion occurs when the blood vessels that transport blood to and from your retina are unable to function because of a blockage or blood clot. This causes a buildup of fluid and impairs the retina’s ability to filter light, obscuring vision. The severity of this condition depends on the location of the occlusion and whether the vessel involved is an artery or vein.
Medical Retina Diagnosis and Treatment
The most important safeguard in the fight against retinal diseases is vigilance. If you notice any changes in your vision you should seek treatment from a medical professional as soon as possible, even if they seem like annoyances rather than serious complications. Many of these conditions are degenerative, and the symptoms will only worsen over time without proper treatment.
Florida Eye Specialists is home to a dedicated team of physicians with decades of experience helping patients overcome retinal conditions. If you have noticed any changes in your vision and are concerned about possible retinal disease, schedule a consultation with one of our physicians as soon as possible.