The retina is an essential part of your vision as it’s responsible for turning light rays into images through signals to the brain. When there’s a problem with the retina, you run the risk of having vision problems. Our retina specialists in Kolkata, who specialize in diagnosing and treating retinal conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and retinal detachment, answer some of the frequently asked questions on the retina:
1.What is the retina?
The retina is a layer of cells at the back of the eye. The job of the retina is to receive light, convert that light into a neural signal, and send the signal via the optic nerve to the brain. The brain interprets these signals and creates an image.
2.What are the different parts of the retina?
The retina is nearly 0.5 mm thick and lines the back of the eye. It contains 200 million neurons and different parts of the retina are responsible for various vision functions. The macula is the most important part of the retina as it allows you to controls your central vision. It is the macula that allows you to see fine details, color, recognize faces and read. and more.
3.What are the different types of retinal conditions?
Some of the common retinal conditions are
- Macular degeneration
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Retinal detachment
- Retinal tear.
There are other medical conditions that can occur, but these are some of the most common ones.
4.What is retinal detachment and what are the different types?
Retinal detachment is a medical emergency. It occurs when the retina detaches and pulls away from its normal position. A detached retina doesn’t hurt but it may cause the sudden appearance of flashes of light and floaters. If immediate treatment is not sought, retinal detachment can result in permanent loss of vision. There are three different types of retinal detachment:
- Rhegmatogenous: This is the most common type of retinal detachment. A tear in the retina causes the fluid to accumulate. The fluid pulls the retina away. The detached portions lose their blood supply, which results in loss of vision.
- Tractional: This type of detachment happens when the scar tissue grows on the retina’s surface. This type of retinal detachment is seen more commonly in people with uncontrolled diabetes.
- Exudative: In this type of retinal detachment, fluid accumulates below the retina, but there are no holes in the retina. Age-related macular degeneration, an injury to the eye or tumors are some of the causes of this type of retinal detachment.
5.Is retinal detachment different from retinal tear? Both retinal tear and retinal detachment have similar symptoms. The retina could tear before it detaches.
6.What symptoms should warrant a visit to a retina specialist?
Retinal problems vary widely. However, most of them cause visual symptoms. Some of the common symptoms that should prompt you to see a retina specialist are:
- The sudden appearance of floaters
- Blurred or distorted vision
- Poor peripheral vision
- Sudden loss of vision
7.How are retinal problems diagnosed?
There are many sophisticated diagnostic tests such as optical coherence tomography, automated perimetry, and digital fundus photography that are carried out to detect a retinal condition. A retina specialist will recommend appropriate tests, depending on your symptoms.
8.How are retinal conditions treated?
Treating retinal conditions can be sometimes complex. The nature of treatment depends on the condition, severity, and treatment options. From shrinking abnormal blood vessels to removing and replacing eye fluid, from injecting medications to laser surgery, there are many treatment options available. A retina specialist is the best person to suggest an appropriate course of treatment.
9.How to prevent retinal conditions?
Though some retinal conditions are out of your control, you must follow a healthy lifestyle for your overall eye health. Having a healthy diet and exercising regularly is good for your eyes and overall health. Smoking increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. Therefore, quit smoking.
10. How often retinal exam is necessary?
You must get your eyes tested once a year. If you are diabetic or have an eye condition, your doctor may suggest more frequent eye check-ups.