Diseases That Affect The Retina

The retina is found on the inside back wall of the eye. It is a thin layer of tissue that contains millions of light sensitive cells called rods and cones. These cells gather visual information and transmit it to the brain through the optic nerve.

Disorders of the retina can affect vision and lead to vision loss. In certain cases loss of vision can be prevented if retinal diseases are detected and treated early.

Some common types of retinal diseases include:

  • Retinal tears – occur when the gel like substance in the center of the eye shrinks and causes tugging on the retina to the point where it tears. Symptoms include seeing floaters and flashes of light.
  • Retinal detachment – occurs when fluid passes through a tear in the retina and accumulates behind the retina causing it to separate from the back wall of the eye.
  • Diabetic retinopathy – occurs in people who have diabetes. It is the condition where the tiny blood vessels in the back of the eye leak fluid causing the retina to swell. This leads to blurry vision.
  • Macular degeneration – occurs when the center of the retina begins to deteriorate causing a blind spot in the center of the visual field. There are two types of macular degeneration, wet and dry.
  • Retinitis pigmentosa – is an inherited disease and causes loss of night vision and peripheral vision.

Some common symptoms of retinal diseases include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Loss of night vision
  • Appearance of floaters

If you are experiencing any changes in your vision it is important to see an eye doctor as quickly as possible. Depending on what the diagnosis is, there are treatment options available that may be able to help correct the condition. If you would like to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-5900.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.