The eye is a complex organ with many important and delicate parts including the retina. The retina is responsible for receiving light from the cornea and turning that light in to information for the brain. Unfortunately, when the retina is damaged, significant vision loss can occur.
What is the Retina?
The retina is a very thin layer of tissue and is positioned at the back of the eye near the optic nerve. The retina receives light via light-sensitive cells called “photoreceptors”, or more commonly referred to as “rods and cones”. These rods and cones detect color in addition to light.
The rods are the more light-sensitive detectors of the two, however they are unable to detect color. The cones perform this task, but operate poorly in low light. The rods and cones work together to create a balance of the two. The light and color is transformed into information that is sent to the brain through the optic nerve where it is turned into recognizable images.
Common Retinal Disorders
Being the sensitive tissue that it is, the retina is especially susceptible to damage, which can lead to permanent loss of vision. There are many different conditions that can affect the retina, including:
Macular Degeneration. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs when the center of the retina, called the macula, begins to deteriorate. There are several forms of macular degeneration. AMD represents by far the leading cause of blindness in Americans, affecting more than 10 million people. This disease often affects those over the age of 60.
- Macular Degeneration : Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs when the center of the retina, called the macula, begins to deteriorate. There are several forms of macular degeneration. AMD represents by far the leading cause of blindness in Americans, affecting more than 10 million people. This disease often affects those over the age of 60.
- Macular Pucker : A macular pucker occurs when scar tissue on the macula of the retina that can cause blurred vision.
- Macular Hole : A macular hole small break in the center of the retina, and can also cause blurred vision.
- Diabetic Retinopathy : Diabetes is one of the leading causes of blindness in older people. This blinding disease is frequently without symptoms until a major event happens. This is all preventable with regular periodic checkups. Commonwealth Eye Center has a retinal specialist treat this ongoing disease.
- Retinoblastoma : This is a form of retinal cancer. It is quite uncommon, but most often occurs in children. It can be treated through several different methods such as laser surgery, radiation, or temperature based therapy, depending on how advanced the cancer is.
- Retinal Detachment : As the name suggests, this occurs when the retinal tissue is pulled off of the back of the eye. It can be caused by a multitude of factors such as genetics, eye injury, or recent eye surgery. It can be fixed, but must be treated immediately following detachment or permanent damage may be suffered.
The best way to detect retinal disorders is through routine eye examinations. Early detection is always the best, and sometimes only, way to receive treatment before vision is lost permanently.
To better serve our Culpeper patients with a need for frequent retina treatments, we have retinal specialists Dr. Nanda and Dr. Myers who book appointments in our office 2 days a month.
Please contact us today to schedule an appointment or to receive more information regarding retinal disorders and treatment.