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Types of Retinal Conditions: What Patients Should Know

By David Gross on July 30, 2016


About the retinaThe retina is one of the most crucial parts of the eye. This light-sensitive tissue is located at the back of the eye and is necessary for clear vision. There are plenty of issues that can affect retinal health. The eye care specialists at our Merrillville vision practice can help address serious issues that affect retinal health and overall vision.

Below are a few common retinal conditions, including symptoms and treatment options. If you should ever notice issues with you vision, be sure to visit our practice.

Retinal Tears and Detachment

A retinal tear refers to a small break in the retina along the back of the eye. Major tears can lead to detachment, which means the retina breaks from the back of the eyes, resulting in vision loss. Physical trauma and eye conditions, among many other things, can result in tears and detachment.

Common signs and symptoms of retinal tears and detachment include:

  • Sudden appearance of floaters
  • Flashes of light
  • Blurry or unclear vision
  • Reduction of peripheral vision
  • Darkness in your visual field

To treat retinal tears, photocoagulation or cryopexy can be used to seal the tear with scar tissue. For retinal detachment, procedures can be performed to help press the detached retina back into place.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD or ARMD)

Coming in dry and wet forms, macular degeration often occurs in people 50 and older. This is the result of deterioration of the central part of the retina (the macula), which can result in severe vision loss.

Common signs and symptoms of macular degeneration include:

  • Straight lines appear curves or distorted
  • Blurriness or dark patches in central vision
  • Changes in color perception

Age-related macular degeneration cannot be cured, but the use of medications and nutritional supplements can help prevent its progression and prevent further vision loss.

Diabetic Retinopathy

A complication of diabetes, diabetic retinopathy occurs when blood vessels in the retina leak. This can lead to blurry vision and vision loss. The longer you have diabetes, the more likely this condition.

Common signs and symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include:

  • Floaters
  • Blurry vision
  • Poor color perception
  • Dark or blank parts of your vision
  • Vision loss

To treat diabetic retinopathy, most doctors recommend patients be more diligent when monitoring and dealing with their diabetes. Advanced laser therapy or removal of the vitreous gel in the eye may be recommended for serious cases of diabetic retinopathy.

Macular Holes

Macular holes are holes in the central portion of the retina. Macular holes are often caused by the vitreous gel within the eye pulling at the retina and then eventually pulling away at part of the retinal tissue. Physical trauma and other factors can play a role as well.

Common signs and symptoms of macular holes include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Distorted vision
  • Dark spot in the central vision

To treat macular holes, the most common option is a vitrectomy. This involves the removal of the vitreous gel of the eye to prevent further damage. A gas bubble may be placed in the eye to patch the macular hole.

Macular Edema

A macular edema occurs when there is an abnomal blister of fluid in the central portion of the retina. This swelling of the macula can lead to distorted vision. If the macular edema is not treated soon enough, it can grow and cause major vision problems, including vision loss.

Common signs and symptoms of macular edema include:

  • Wavy central vision
  • Blurry central vision
  • Changes in color perception

To treat macular edema, medications may be used to get the condition under control. Intravitreal injections (IVI) may be considered as well, which placed medication directly into the eye using a very small needle. Laser therapies may be considered if other options are ineffective.

Contact Our Team of Eye Care Specialists

To learn more about retinal conditions and how they can adversely affect your vision, be sure to contact our team of eye care specialists today. Our team of eye doctors will work with you to help preserve and improve your eyesight.

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