Retina Specialist: An Overview of their Role and Functions
Eyes are valuable and need special care and protection to maintain your vision lifelong. The retina has a vital role in vision, and any disease or injury to it can cause loss or impairment of sight.
The retina is a thin light-sensitive membrane that is found at the rear part of the eye on the interior side, located near the optic nerve. When light from an object penetrates your eye, the retina of your eye receives an image from the lens. The retina changes this image into neural signals, and sends them to the brain via the optic nerve to enable us to see the object in particular, and our surroundings in general. The retina processes an image from the reflected light, and the brain has to identify the picture.
When the retina suffers from any damage, it can cause varying degrees of eyesight impairment, as well as total blindness. This is when you might need the help of a retina sprecialist, who provides you with the best possible eye care to help ameliorate the problems in your retina so that you can recover from any retinal diseases that you might have.
What Conditions Do Retina Specialists Treat?
A retina specialist is a medical practitioner trained in ophthalmology and sub-specializing in vitreoretinal medicine, which is concerned with treating the conditions of the vitreous body of the eyes and the retina.
Retinal specialists treat a number of eye conditions, from macular degeneration occurring with age to detachment of the retina and even eye cancer. Moreover, severe eye trauma and hereditary diseases of the eye are also treated by this specialist.
Listed below are some of the eye disorders that are diagnosed and treated by retina specialists.
- Eye FloatersIf there are spots in your vision, then you may be having floaters. Most of them occur due to age-related changes, but severe nearsightedness is another cause of this eye disorder. When you have eye floaters, the jelly-like substance inside the eye is liquefied, leading to small clumps that cast tiny shadows on your retina.
A torn retina can also result in floaters, which if not repaired can be a cause of retinal detachment. In case floaters impair your vision, you can consult a retina specialist for treatment. They may remove the jelly-like substance through surgery or use a laser to disrupt them and make them less prominent.
- Diabetic Eye AilmentDiabetics are prone to retinal damage. Such patients suffer from double vision, blurry vision, dark spots or floaters, pain or pressure in the eyes, problems with peripheral vision, rings, or flashing lights. This doctor treating them may use laser surgery to deal with a diabetic eye disorder.
- Macular DegenerationAn age-based eye disorder, macular degeneration is a retinal condition that can result in central vision loss. Typically, about 10 million people in the United States above 55 years of age are affected by this eye disorder.
The symptoms of this eye disease include hazy central vision, straight lines appear twisted, or problems in viewing the finer details. While treating this eye condition, a retina specialist applies an antioxidant supplement to slow down the progression of this condition, retarding the development of unhealthy blood vessels, and much more.
- Retinal DetachmentRetinal detachment is a disorder that can occur when an excess of vitreous or jelly-like fluid is collected behind the retina. This causes detachment of the retina from the back of the eye. It may also lead to partial or complete loss of eyesight. The appearance of floaters or eye flashes may be a symptom of retinal detachment. If left untreated, this condition can be a reason for permanent loss of eyesight.
For minor retinal detachments, physicians employ simple procedures like photocoagulation, retinopexy, cryopexy, vitrectomy, and other methods so as to repair the damage. However, in many cases, there may be a need for surgery to correct a detached retina.
- Retinitis PigmentosaThis retinal condition refers to genetic disorders that can lead to retinal degeneration. With the destruction of rods and cones of the eye, normal vision is gradually impaired but there is no chance of complete blindness. The eye diseases which are classified as retinitis pigmentosa include Usher syndrome, Refsum disease, rod-cone disease, and Bardet-Biedel syndrome.
Purview of Treatment
A retina specialist treats both adults and children for a wide range of eye diseases in hospital, as well as in clinical settings. They diagnose vitreous and retinal diseases through various eye examinations with the help of advanced technical instruments and testing. Retinal specialists treat a varied range of retinal conditions including eye cancer and severe eye trauma by employing lasers and microscopes. Vitreoretinal surgeons deal with very fine and delicate tissues in narrow spaces of the eye cavity.
The eye is one of the most vital and complex organs of the body that gives you the ability to see the world around you. Hence, it won’t be a wise decision to delay the treatment of any issues you might be facing with regard to the eyes. If you notice any alterations in your vision, make sure to get your eyes checked by a retina specialist as soon as possible. Remember, immediate treatment can go a long way in saving your eyes from permanent impairment or blindness.