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. The macula provides the sharp, central vision needed for reading, driving and seeing fine detail. Retinal disorders affect this vital part of the eye. They can affect your vision, and some can be serious enough to cause blindness.

Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration, or age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 and older. It is a disease that destroys the sharp, central vision needed for reading and driving.

AMD affects the macula, the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail. Macula Degeneration does not hurt, but it slowly destroys the cells in the macula. There are two types: wet and dry. Wet AMD happens when abnormal blood vessels grow under the macula. These new blood vessels often leak blood and fluid. Wet AMD damages the macula quickly. Blurred vision is a common early symptom. Dry AMD happens when the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down. You gradually lose your central vision. A common early symptom is that straight lines appear crooked. Regular comprehensive eye exams can detect macular degeneration before the disease causes vision loss. Treatment can slow vision loss, but it does not restore vision.

Retinal Detachment
Retinal detachment is a very serious eye condition that happens when the retina separates from the tissue around it. Since the retina can’t work properly under these conditions, it could cause permanent vision loss if the detached retina isn’t repaired promptly. A retinal detachment lifts or pulls the retina from its normal position. It can occur at any age, but it is more common in people over age 40.

A detached retina doesn’t hurt, so be aware of these symptoms:
– Flashes of light
– Seeing “floaters” (small flecks or threads)
– Darkening of your peripheral (side) vision

A retinal detachment is more likely to occur in those who …
– Are extremely nearsighted
– Have had a retinal detachment in the other eye
– Have a family history of retinal detachment
– Have had cataract surgery
– Have other eye diseases or disorders
– Have had an eye injury

Diabetic Eye Disease (Retinopathy)
Over time, the effects of diabetes can damage your eyes. The most common problem is diabetic retinopathy. It is now a leading cause of blindness in American adults. Diabetic retinopathy damages the tiny blood vessels inside your retina, and it progresses in such a way you may not notice it at first.

Symptoms can include:
– Blurry or double vision
– Rings, flashing lights, or blank spots
– Dark or floating spots
– Pain or pressure in one or both of your eyes
– Trouble seeing things out of the corners of your eyes

If you have diabetes, you should have a complete eye exam every year.

Contact Us for a Consultation or Examination
Retinal disorders can be very serious. It is important to identify and treat these disorders early. Regular comprehensive eye exams are the best form of protection. If you currently have concerns, or have any questions concerning these eye conditions, contact us today for a thorough examination or consultation.