Degenerative conditions that affect the retina, the part of the eye responsible for forming images, can pose a serious threat to a person’s vision. When the retina deteriorates or becomes detached from the back of the eye, immediate treatment is needed to halt the progression of the disorder.
Macular degeneration affects the macula, the central area of the retina. It occurs when the macular tissue deteriorates or when abnormal blood vessels develop in the macula. Over time, these problems cause blurred or distorted vision. While macular degeneration cannot be cured, it can be managed with low-vision aids and other medical, laser, and surgical treatments, depending on the degree of degeneration.
What to look for:
A macular hole is a small break in the macula, which is located in the center of the retina. Fluid that is inside the eye may leak through the hole, causing blurred and distorted vision. Some macular holes heal themselves, while others require surgery to repair the hole; our surgeons will diagnose the severity of the problem and recommend the appropriate treatment.
Diabetic patients are more prone to having retinal diseases. Diabetic retinopathy is a degenerative disease that damages the retinal blood vessels, thus inhibiting the retina’s ability to transmit images. Symptoms range from mild blurred vision to total loss of vision. Treatment for diabetic retinopathy depends on how far the disease has progressed and can include laser treatment of the blood vessels.
When the retina becomes separated from the back of the eye because of injury, disease, or other causes, retinal detachment has occurred. Patients experiencing the symptoms of retinal detachment – sudden flashes of light, spots in the visual field, hazy vision, or the sensation of a curtain closing over the eyes – should seek treatment immediately to prevent permanent vision loss. Treatment options, including laser surgery or insertion of devices to hold the retina in place, depend on the degree of detachment.