COULD IT BE A RETINA ISSUE?
Do you experience flashes and floaters in your field of vision?
Are you having difficulty with blurry vision?
Do you often see blind spots when you look into the distance?
As we age, we can experience these retina-related symptoms and more that affect our ability to see clearly. Depending on the particular retina issue, treatment can help significantly, and may even prevent vision loss. It is important to see a trained retina specialist if you experience certain retina disease symptoms.
WHAT IS THE RETINA?
The retina is the nerve-rich, light-sensing area at the back of the eye. The retina is an amazingly complex structure that is layered with neurons and intertwined synapses. The retina has many parts, but its primary job is to sense light and, with the help of the optic nerve, send signals to the brain so you can see.
The retina is made up of several parts. The macula is a small but important area found in the center of the retina. You need the macula to clearly see details of objects in front of you, like faces and written text.
There are a number of eye problems that can affect the macula, and can lead to vision loss if not treated. You are more likely to have retina problems if you are moderately or severely nearsighted, have had any type of trauma to the eye or have a family history of retina problems.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE COMMON RETINA EYE PROBLEMS?
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common microvascular complication among people with diabetes and results in more than 10,000 new cases of blindness each year.
A retinal tear is a small break in the lining of the retina. Retinal detachment occurs when the retina lifts away from the back of the eye, making vision blurry. A detached retina is a serious problem and requires the intervention of a trained ophthalmologist.
Flashers and Floaters
Flashes are like flashing lights or streaks in your field of vision that occur because the vitreous rubs or pulls on your retina. Floaters are more like small specks, spots, lines or cobwebs in your field of vision. While they seem to be in front of your eye, they are actually floating inside. Floaters are tiny clumps of gel or cells inside the vitreous.
Retinal Vein/Artery Occlusion
Retinal vein occlusion is a blockage of the small veins that carry blood away from the retina. Retinal artery occlusion refers to blockage of the retinal artery carrying oxygen to the nerve cells in the retina.
Central Serous Chorioretinopathy
Central serous chorioretinopathy is a condition where fluid builds up under the retina, distorting vision.
Lattice degeneration is a condition where there are areas of abnormal thinning in the peripheral retina.
Epiretinal Membrane (ERM)
Also commonly called cellophane maculopathy or macular pucker, ERMs are tiny membranes that form on the inner surface of the retina. In rare cases, they can result in painless loss of vision and visual distortion.
Macular edema is when fluid accumulates in the layers of the macula, which is the part of the retina that helps us see fine detail, faraway objects and color.