World Health Organization reports approximately 1.3 billion people have some kind of vision impairment. About 80% of these cases are preventable.
Retinal diseases are among the many causes of vision problems. These affect the retina which is a layer of tissue at the back of the eye responsible for sensing light and sending messages to the brain. The retina offers central sharp vision you need for driving, reading, and seeing fine details.
The diseases are also known to be a leading cause of blindness.
Retinal issues don’t have to catch you off guard. We want you to enjoy healthy eyesight long into your golden years.
Uncover some of the most important facts you should know about retina ailments below as well as the signs to be on the lookout for.
1. Symptoms of Retina Issues
Before diving deep into the symptoms patients with retinal illnesses display, it’s important to know the diseases vary widely. A majority of the diseases, however, share common symptoms and signs including:
- Seeing cobwebs and specks
- Distorted or blurred vision
- Defects in side (peripheral) vision
- A sudden decrease in vision
- Shadows in Peripheral vision
- Heavy feeling in the eyes
- Flashing lights, etc.
You may have to use one eye to notice some of the symptoms above.
Your doctor will study the symptoms you show to determine the type of retina disease you have. This way, he or she will recommend the most appropriate treatment option.
2. There Are Different Types of Retinal Problems
Different people get different types of retinal illnesses with the most common being:
It’s an age-related retina condition resulting in central vision loss. It mostly affects seniors who are above the age of 55. Symptoms tend to involve wrapped straight lines, blurry vision, and challenges focusing on fine details.
Floaters are spots you get in your vision making it challenging to see clearly. This occurs as a person grows older. It may also happen in extreme nearsightedness cases or when you have a torn retina.
This happens when a lot of fluid accumulates behind the retina leading to separation. Other risk factors include eye injury, genetic predisposition, previous cataract surgery, and the existence of other eye disorders.
Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetes patients are susceptible to retinal damage. They may experience double vision, blurry vision, dark spot, rings, flashing lights, pain or pressure on the eye. Luckily, there are plenty of treatment options available for individuals with diabetic eye disease.
Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)
This is a genetic condition triggering retinal degeneration. As the cones and rods begin to die off, vision loss also declines. Early symptoms are night blindness, color blindness, or central vision loss.
3. Diagnosis of Retinal Diseases
To make a diagnosis, ophthalmologists conduct eye exams to search for abnormalities in the eyes. Some of the tests you can undergo to determine the extent of the disease include:
Amsler Grid Test
Doctors use Amsler grids to test the clarity of the central vision. Professionals will ask you whether the lines on a grid appear distorted, broken, or faded. This helps them understand the extent of your retinal damage.
The test uses a dye which makes the retina’s blood vessels to stick out under special lighting. It makes it possible to identify leaking, closed, or abnormal blood vessels. It also recognizes any changes at the back of the eye.
The test makes use of high-frequency sound waves assisting doctors to view the retina and other eye structures.
OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography)
This captures accurate retina images to help in the diagnosis of disease. It also helps to monitor treatment responses.
Indocyanine Green Angiography
The test also uses dye which lights up when professionals expose it to infrared lighting. The images show blood vessels of the retina as well as other hard-to-spot vessels found at the back of the retina.
MRI & CT
In some rare cases, these imaging techniques may come in handy when the eye care specialist wants to evaluate eye tumors or injuries.
4. Treating Retina Problems
It’s vital to get early treatment to slow down or stop retina sickness. It helps to either restore or improve vision.
Your doctor will work with you to determine the best course of treatment. Some of the options include:
You can visit an Eye Surgery Center to repair a retinal hole or tear. The surgeon, in this case, will use a laser to heat up tiny pinpoints in the retina. This produces scarring which welds or binds up the retina to the underlying tissue.
If you have a retinal tear, your surgeon might apply a freezing probe on the eye’s external wall to treat the tear. When the intense cold comes into contact with the eye, the retina will freeze. The area under treatment scars securing the retina to the wall of the eye.
Injecting Medicine into the Eye
Your doctor can go ahead and inject the appropriate medication to the eye’s vitreous. It’s a great option for patients suffering from diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, or broken vessels in the eyes.
Indenting the Eye’s Surface
This is a type of surgery known as pneumatic retinopexy. Surgeons use this when they want to repair a certain retinal detachment.
5. Persons At Risk of Getting Retinal Conditions
Certain factors can increase the risk of developing a retina disorder. These include:
- High Myopia (extreme nearsightedness)
- Severe eye injury /eye trauma
- Previous cataract surgery
- Having diabetes, high cholesterol, pressure, and blood sugar problems
- Family history of the retinal illnesses
- Weak retinal areas
- UV exposure
- Having other eye diseases or disorders like lattice degeneration, degenerative myopia, and uveitis, among many others.
- Glaucoma medications
If you’re at high risk of suffering from retinal illnesses, it’s best to have regular eye exams. This allows your doctor to start treatment early if there is a problem present.
It’s also advisable to put on protective eyewear anytime you engage in hazardous activities or play sports to help preserve vision.
6. Effective Ways of Preventing Retinal Ailments
To avoid problems with your eyes, there are a couple of steps you can take to protect them and ensure they remain as healthy as possible like:
Scheduling Regular Eye Exams
This can help detect any problems early enough so treatment can start right away to save your eyes from any diseases.
Eating healthy foods to boost vision
It’s possible to eat your way to healthy vision. A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can do wonders for your eye health.
Dark leafy greens, carrots, grapes, and fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids are a few examples of specific foods you should eat if you want better vision.
Maintaining Healthy Weight
When you’re overweight it puts you at risk of developing medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes which can contribute to vision loss.
Frequently Resting Your Eyes
Avoid eye strain especially if you spend most of your time on the computer screen. After looking at your screen for 20 minutes, take a small break of 20 seconds to look at other things to reduce eye fatigue.
It’s also advisable to put on sunglasses when you’re outside to protect the eyes from harmful UV rays.
Don’t Let Retinal Sickness Take Over Your Life
Taking care of your eye health is non-negotiable. You have plenty of options to explore to avoid retinal diseases and enjoy healthy vision for a long time.
Consult a professional Ophthalmologist or Retina Specialist who will diagnose and treat the condition to preserve your eyesight and improve quality of life.
Do you or your loved one suffer from retinal conditions? Are you looking for the best retinal care center?
Check out our services to enjoy expert and friendly retinal disease care using the latest technology and techniques.