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The retina is the layer of the eye that is sensitive to light and consists of four main layers; outer neutral, photoreceptor, retinal epithelium and the choroid all of which consists of nerves, blood vessels, light sensing rods and connective tissue required for the eye to function at its optimum. Retinal conditions consist of a wide range of eye disorders which lead to blurred vision and in more severe cases; blindness. While some retinal conditions are easier to diagnose and treat, others are more of a challenge as they are relatively rare in comparison. So make sure to pay attention to changes or deteriorations in your vision and visit an eye doctor in order to make a diagnosis and follow a treatment module. And as most visual impairments are cured easier with early detection make sure you visit an eye doctor regularly to ensure that your eyes are in good condition.
Symptoms and Risk Factors
Common signs and symptoms can be seen in almost all types of retinal disorders. They may include floating specs, blurred vision, blind spots in central vision, defects in peripheral vision, or even complete loss of vision. The symptoms can be easily identified when looked at with one eye.
Retinal diseases have risk factors that are related to genetics, medical conditions, and other external factors. Common factors are:
- Family history
- Eye trauma
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Some retinal eye disorders are;
Diabetic Retinopathy - The increase of glucose levels in your blood stream leads to the minute capillaries or blood vessels located at the back of the eye to leak fluid under the retina. This in turn causes the retina to swell and results in blurred vision. This is the best case scenario because it is also possible for the individual to develop new abnormal capillaries that are prone to leaking in to the center of the eye which can deteriorate your vision further and at a more drastic pace.
Macular Degeneration - Wet or dry macular degeneration occurs when the center of the retina deteriorates and creates a blind spot right smack in the middle of your visual field. Blurred vision or a blind spot in the center of your vision can be experienced here.
Macular Hole - This occurs most often due to old-age or eye trauma and refers to a minute defect in the center of the retina located at the back of the eye. A macular hole can also occur due to an eye injury.
Retinal Tear - A retinal tear occurs when the gel-like substance in the center of the eye causes enough traction at the back of the eye which leads to a tear. Those who experience a retinal tear can get onset reactions like floaters or flashing lights.
Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD) - With aging, the vitreous tens to spate from the retina, creating a PVD, and people over 70 mostly affect this condition. Although PVD does not cause complications to most people, those who were born with a sticky vitreous can cause the retina to pull away in an unusual way, forming a retinal tear.
Retinal Detachment - The formation of fluid under the retina is the main cause for such eye disorders and occurs due to a tear in the retina. Here, the fluid passes through a retinal tear, causing the retina to lift away from the underlying tissue layer.
Epiretinal membrane - This is a soft tissue that lies on the top of your retina. Pulling in this membrane can shift your retina, causing blurred or distorted vision.
Retinitis pigmentosa - This is an inherited disease and slowly affect the retina. The condition can cause loss of peripheral or night vision overtime.
Diagnosis And Treatment
A comprehensive eye exam will be able to identify problems in your retina or the structure of your eye. Given below are tests that are used to diagnose a retinal problem and the extent of the disease.
Amsler grid test – This is used to test the clarity of your central vision. The extent of the retinal damage can be diagnosed by noting the distortion that occurs with the grid.
Indocyanine green angiography – A dye is used here which can help to see the retinal blood vessels and the ones beneath it to identify the damages.
Fundus autofluorescence (FAF) - The test is used to diagnose the advancement of the existing problem. A FAF test can highlight a pigment that usually increases due to damages in the retina.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) – The technique is used to capture the images of your retina. OCT can be used to identify macular holes and swelling and age-related macular degeneration.
The treatments are focused on stopping or slowing the progress of retinal disorders while improving your vision from the distortions. Depending on each case, treatment will be given to each patient. Our highly skilled professionals at New Vision Eye Center are always ready to treat urgent conditions that often come with certain retinal disorders.
Treatment types include lasers or other techniques and surgical procedures like photocoagulation, cryopexy, scleral buckling, vitrectomy. Implantation may require, in severe cases, to pick up light rays that require visual formation.
It is essential to diagnose the problem at its earliest to minimize the effects of the condition. If you fall under the high-risk category, a regular eye visit is crucial to ensure your eyes and vision are safe and optimal. You can also get tips on prevention and the best ways to take care of your eyes in the New Vision Eye Center clinic. Our professionals are happy to serve with all your eye concerns.