Retinal Structure and Function

The retina, a delicate nerve tissue layer, is situated at the back of the eyeball near the optic nerve. This vital part of the eye is crucial for visual recognition, sharp imagery, detailed vision, and central vision, which is essential for activities like reading. Conditions such as retinal degeneration can blur the periphery of objects and distort images.

Common Causes of Retinal Diseases

  • Retinal Degeneration: This type of retinopathy, resulting from the progressive loss of retinal cells, frequently develops in individuals over 50.
  • Diabetes: A significant contributor to retinopathy, diabetes-related symptoms often go unnoticed until the advanced stages, including reduced clarity of vision and the appearance of shadows or dark spots. Diabetic retinopathy requires simultaneous and continuous management of both diabetes and retinal health.
  • Anatomical Factors: Congenital conditions, retinal tears, or holes can cause retinal degeneration. Those with high degrees of myopia are particularly susceptible.
  • Other Medical Conditions: Blood disorders, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, or side effects from eye surgeries can lead to retinal diseases.

When to Schedule an Eye Examination?

Eye examinations are crucial, particularly when experiencing blurred vision, shadows, spots, or light flashes. However, these symptoms are not always apparent, making regular eye check-ups essential, especially for those at higher risk.

High-Risk Groups for Retinal Diseases

  • Individuals with a family history of retinal diseases
  • People aged 50 and above
  • Diabetes sufferers
  • Individuals with a prescription of -6.00 or higher
  • Those who have undergone eye surgeries like LASIK

Diagnosing Retinal Diseases

An eye doctor will conduct a comprehensive eye exam, often including eye drops. Tests like fluorescein angiography, which involves injecting a dye to examine retinal blood vessels, may also be performed. Patients should arrange for accompaniment post-examination due to temporary vision impairment.

Preventing Retinal Diseases

Prevention includes lifestyle choices like non-smoking and diabetes management. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and eye protection from harmful elements are recommended, alongside periodic eye exams, especially for high-risk individuals.

Treating Retinal Diseases

There are various treatment options available for retinal diseases, and the most suitable choice depends on each individual case. Treatment options can include intravitreal injection, laser surgery, or standard surgery. In addition to receiving treatment, it is essential for patients to prioritize their overall well-being, particularly if they have diabetes.

The treatment of retinal diseases is an ongoing process, and patients should make sure to attend their scheduled doctor's appointments promptly.