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4 Retina Diseases Which Can Lead to Loss of Vision

A retina eye doctor will treat conditions impacting the retina of the eye, which is responsible for the power of vision of a human body.  The doctor treats conditions like AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration), Diabetic Retinopathy, Renal Vein Occlusion and Central Serous Chorioretinopathy.

The retina is the light-sensitive tissue located at the back of the eye. Its function is like that of a camera, recording images seen by the person and sending them through the optic nerve, from the eye to the brain. The retina instantly converts light images into electrical impulses, via a chemical reaction. The retina sends such signals or impulses to the brain, where the body interprets what is seen, processes the visual information and relate what is seen to the rest of the environment.

The following are the main diseases of the retina treated by the retina eye doctor:

AMD

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a painless, common condition in which the central portion of the retina (Macula) is damaged or dysfunctional. The macula is usually responsible for central vision and offers the capacity to view fine details of the direct line of sight.

The macula is responsible for the ability to drive, read and distinguish between faces and colours. AMD thus impairs such abilities. AMD commonly impacts those above the age of 50. Early symptoms are hard to identify and damage gradually leads to loss of central vision.

There are 2 kinds of AMD- Dry and Wet and Dry is more common. Dry AMD is caused by atrophy of cells in the macula, causing deterioration of central vision and Wet AMD is caused by the proliferation of blood vessels under the macula resulting in retinal bleeding.

Diabetic Retinopathy

It is a complication of Diabetes which causes damage to the blood vessels of the retina. It is the most common cause of blindness in the working age group and develops in half the people suffering from diabetes. Chances of developing this condition depend on the type of diabetes, how long one has been affected, how often there are changes in blood glucose and how controlled one’s sugar levels are.

The early symptoms of the disease are hard to identify, but there are preventive as well as curative treatments. Symptoms include the inability to make out colours, loss of central vision, black spots or holes in vision and blurry vision. If untreated, this condition can damage one’s retina.

Treatment may consist of laser photocoagulation (seals or destroys leaking blood vessels of the retina) and Vitrectomy (removal of blood for superior vision). Preventive measures include keeping blood pressure and blood sugar at healthy levels.

Retinal Vein Occlusion

This condition is often referred to as an ‘eye stroke’. It is the blockage of one of the veins returning blood from one’s retina, back to one’s heart. Blockages from fluid buildup or blood clots in one’s retinal veins mar the ability of the retina to filter light and capacity to see. The severity of vision loss is based on which vein is blocked. There are two kinds of retinal occlusions based on the kind of retina spots: occlusion of the branch retinal vein and occlusion of the central retinal vein.

Central Serous Chorioretinopathy

This is a condition in which fluid builds up under the retina, causing distortion of vision. The fluid leakage emerges from a layer of tissue under the retina, called the Choroid. Another layer of cells called the Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE) is affected where there is fluid build-up. Hence, small detachments form under the retina, causing distortion of vision. The main symptom of the disease is blurred, distorted and dimmed central vision.

These are all the main issues impacting the retina. A healthy lifestyle and proper eye care (consulting the right doctor) can help with handling these issues

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Written by Keith Wilson

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