Any disorder that affects the retina or the light-sensitive structure that sits in the back of the eye is considered a retinal disease. The retina contains cells that trigger impulses that travel through the optic nerve to the brain. The cells in the retina contain rods and cones that help organize the visual information before transmission. When the impulses reach the brain, a visual image is produced. The most common symptom of a retinal disease is vision abnormalities. These abnormalities include general vision loss, floating specks or cobwebs, peripheral or side vision defects, and blurred or distorted vision. Treatment focuses on slowing or stopping the progression of the disease and restoring, improving, or preserving an individual’s vision. Because retinal damage is often permanent, early detection of any retinal diseases is vital. There are numerous diseases of the retina, and some are much more prevalent in the population than others. Learn more about them now.
Macular degeneration is a disease of the retina where a component of the retina called the macula becomes damaged. The macula is responsible for providing an individual with their central vision. A macular degeneration patient has difficulty with seeing fine details close up and far away. However, peripheral vision will still be normal in an affected individual.
There are two main types of macular degeneration. Dry age-related macular degeneration or AMD is the most common form of this disease, comprising of around eighty percent of all cases. This condition occurs when components of the macula thin out with age, and drusen or protein clumps develop. An individual affected by dry AMD will gradually lose their central vision. Wet age-related macular degeneration is the less common type of macular degeneration. Wet AMD occurs when there is an abnormal growth of new blood vessels under the retina. When the excessive vessels begin to leak fluid or blood, sclerosis or scarring will occur on the macula. Vision will be lost more rapidly in cases of wet AMD than dry AMD. Currently, there is no cure for the latter, but certain nutritional supplements may slow its progression. Wet AMD can be treated with a medication that decreases the number of abnormal blood vessels behind the retina.
Uncover more common retinal diseases now.