What is the retina?
The retina is a thin layer at the back of the eye that contains light sensitive cells. These cells allow images to be sent to the brain via the optic nerve and help us to see. If this process is interrupted, the quality of vision is affected or even lost.
Diseases and conditions of the retina?
There are a number of conditions and diseases of the retina. Some of the more common conditions are diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusions, retinal detachment and age related macular degeneration.
People with diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes may cause blood vessels in the retina to become diseased or damaged and this can have an effect on an individual’s vision. Left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness. Early diagnosis is key to preventing loss of vision. Possible treatments for diabetic retinopathy include laser treatment and vitrectomy surgery.
Retinal vein occlusions occur when a vein in the retina becomes blocked. This prevents proper blood flow within the retina and may cause blood and excess fluid to leak from the retina. People with a retinal vein occlusion may experience a sudden onset of blurred vision.
Retinal detachment occurs when the retina separates from the inside wall of the eye. People who have a detached retina may experience sudden flashes of light or describe the sensation of a large shadow moving down slowly and obscuring their vision. If a person notices these phenomena they should organise a consultation with an Ophthalmologist immediately as failure to treat a detached retina can cause irreparable damage to vision and even blindness.