The retina is a layer of tissue in the back of your eye that senses light and sends images to your brain. In the center of this nerve tissue is the macula. It provides the sharp, central vision needed for reading, driving and seeing fine detail. Retinal problems affect this vital tissue. They can affect your vision, and some can be serious enough to cause blindness. Examples are
• Macular degeneration - a disease that destroys your sharp, central vision
• Diabetic eye disease
• Retinal detachment - a medical emergency, when the retina is pulled away from the back of the eye
• Retinoblastoma - cancer of the retina. It is most common in young children.
• Macular pucker - scar tissue on the macula
• Macular hole - a small break in the macula that usually happens to people over 60
• Floaters - cobwebs or specks in your field of vision
HOW IS RETINAL PROBLEMS DIAGNOSED?
The doctor may use the following tests, instruments and procedures to diagnose retinal detachment:
• Retinal examination. The doctor may use an instrument with a bright light and a special lens (ophthalmoscope) to examine the back of the eye, including the retina. The ophthalmoscope provides a highly detailed view, allowing the doctor to see any retinal holes, tears or detachments.
• Ultrasound imaging. The doctor may use this test if bleeding has occurred in the eye, making it difficult to see the retina.
HOW IS RETINAL PROBLEMS TREATED?
The main goals of treatment are to stop disease progression and preserve or improve vision. In many cases, damage that has already occurred can't be reversed, making early detection important. Options may include:
• Using a laser.
• Shrinking abnormal blood vessels.
• Injecting air or gas into your eye. .
• Indenting the surface of your eye.
• Evacuating and replacing the fluid in the eye.
• Injecting drugs into the eye.
• Implanting a retinal prosthesis.
DID YOU KNOW?
Individuals with high blood sugar or diabetes are more prone to retinal problems.