What are retinal disorders?
The retina is the special layer of tissue in the back of eye that detects light and sends images to your brain. Retinal disorders affect this vital tissue. With age it is possible to develop holes in the centre of the retina (macular hole), crinkles in the central retina (epiretinal membrane) or retinal detachments.
What causes them?
Many retinal disorders happen as a result of the vitreous gel (the gel-like substance in the centre of the eye between the retina and lens) pulling away from the retina. The retina can also become thinner and more brittle with age, pulling away from the underlying blood vessels. Most disorders are most common in people aged over 50. Direct injury to the eye can also cause problems such as retinal detachment although this is less common.
What you may experience:
You may experience visual problems with:
Retinal detachment is a sight threatening condition. It is important to seek advice immediately if you get any warning signs of a retinal detachment.
What treatment is needed?
A careful examination of your eye is required to assess if any tears in the retina have occurred. If any tears have occurred laser treatment around the area will reduce your risk of getting a retinal detachment. Laser treatment is quick and is usually performed as an outpatient procedure.
If the retina has become detached, this can usually be reattached successfully with surgery although you may still have permanently reduced peripheral or central vision. The quicker the detachment is treated the more successful surgery is likely to be.
Who will I see for treatment?