Common Retinal Diseases: Causes & Symptoms
Retina is the layer of cells lining the back wall of the eye which senses light and sends signals to the brain to be interpretated to images that you can see. Diseases and conditions of the retina can cause a range of symptoms, from mild to severe. If you undergo any changes in your vision, it is essential to see an ophthalmologist determine the root cause. This article will explore some common retinal diseases and their causes and symptoms. By understanding these diseases, you can be better equipped to seek treatment if needed. Remember, early diagnosis is critical for preserving your vision!
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition that affects the central part of the retina, known as the macula. The macula is primarily responsible for providing sharp, central vision and for allowing us to see fine details. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in older adults, resulting in a gradual loss of central vision.
There are two main types of AMD: dry AMD and wet AMD. Dry AMD is the most common type, and it occurs when waste products build up under the retina. Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow underneath the retina and leak fluid or blood. Although there is no definitive cure for AMD, there are treatments that can slow down its progression and help preserve vision. Early diagnosis is essential for preventing severe vision loss.
Diabetic macular edema (DME)
Diabetic macular edema (DME) is a potentially vision-threatening complication of diabetes. It occurs when leaked blood and fluid accumulate in the macula, the small central area of the retina responsible for clear central vision. DME can cause blurred or distorted vision and, in severe cases, can lead to blindness. Although there is no cure for DME, early diagnosis and treatment are essential to help preserve vision. Several treatments are available for DME, including laser therapy, injectable medications, and surgery. With proper treatment, many people with DME can maintain good vision.
Retinal vein occlusion
Retinal vein occlusion is an ailment that occurs when the veins in the retina become blocked. This can cause vision problems, such as blurred vision or blindness. Retinal vein occlusion is most commonly caused by diabetes, high blood pressure, or other vascular disorders. Treatment for retinal vein occlusion typically involves laser surgery or injections of anti-VEGF drugs. In some cases, surgery may be required to remove the blockage. Retinal vein occlusion can be severe, so you must see an eye doctor if you experience any vision problems. Prompt diagnosis and treatment can help to preserve your vision.
Retinal detachment is a serious eye condition that occurs when the retina, the thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye, pulls away from the blood vessels that supply it with oxygen and nutrients. If left untreated, retinal detachment can lead to blindness. Some retinal detachment symptoms include floaters, flashes of light, and blurred or dim vision. Retinal detachment often occurs when the vitreous, the jelly-like substance that fills the eye, shrinks and pulls away from the retina. It can also be caused by an eye injury or certain medical conditions, such as diabetes. Treatment for retinal detachment typically involves surgery to reattach the retina to the back of the eye. Sometimes, a laser or a freezing procedure may be used instead of surgery. With prompt treatment, most people with retinal detachment experience a successful outcome.
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