The retina is the light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye. Made up of millions of photoreceptors, the retina takes in the light that comes in through the cornea, and interprets that light into signals that travel through the optic nerve and into the brain. And that is how you see! Basically, vision can’t take place without the retina, and retinal diseases can cause vision loss that is very difficult to restore. That’s why it’s important to know what some of the most common retina disorders are, and to get them diagnosed and treated if you have vision problems. Tyson Eye has a Retina Specialist who has extensive experience and expertise in treating these common retina disorders and is ready to help.
The macula is the central region of the retina and is responsible for capturing the images you see, much like the film in a camera. When the macula becomes damaged, either due to age, disease or trauma, it can cause vision to blur or become distorted, or in more extreme cases, to lose vision all together. Age-related macular degeneration is the most common disease of the macula, and is the leading cause in visual disability in people over age 65.
Retinal Vein Occlusion
Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO) is a condition where a vein in the retinal (either a central vein or a branch vein) becomes blocked. The blocked vein can then leak into the surrounding tissue and cause swelling and fluid buildup in the retina, which can result in sudden (usually painless) vision loss in one eye. RVO can cause permanent vision loss if not treated right away, so if you experience symptoms like floaters in your vision, blurriness, or loss of vision that comes on quickly, see your eye doctor right away.
Posterior Vitreous Detachment
The vitreous, which is the gel-like substance that fills the eye, may become more liquid as we age and can separate from the retina. This separation, called Posterior Vitreous Detachment or PVD, causes common symptoms like floaters and flashes of light across one’s vision. In most cases, this is just a normal part of the aging process, but you should always check with your doctor if you have a sudden increase in floaters or flashes of light, or feel like a curtain is dropping over your field of vision. Sometimes, the sticky gel-like vitreous can actually cause a small tear in your retina when it pulls away. A retinal tear, if left untreated, can lead to an overall retinal detachment which is considered an urgent medical emergency and can cause permanent blindness. If you have symptoms of PVD, see your doctor immediately.
Diabetes is the leading cause of vision impairment among working age Americans. Diabetics, as a group, have 25 times the usual risk of vision loss. Diabetes cause damage to the fragile, small blood vessels in the retina and can lead to a disease called diabetic retinopathy, which can cause symptoms like spots and floaters in the vision, as well as vision loss. If you have diabetes, be sure you are seeing your eye doctor regularly, and any time you experience any issues with your vision.
Tyson Eye is regarded as one of the premier eye care centers in Southwest Florida. Our surgeons and doctors have helped thousands of Floridians enjoy better vision and have consistently introduced break-through technology to the area.
If you are concerned about any of these common retina disorders, are due for an eye exam, or are experiencing any problems with your vision, we’re here to help. We are committed to excellence by delivering modern technology with old fashioned concern. Call us at 239-542-2020 or request an appointment today!