What are the Common Eye Retinal Diseases?

Eye retinal diseases come in many different forms. While some are common and can be easily treated, others are considered rare and may even require complex treatment options. Eye retinal diseases can damage any part of your retina, a thin layer of tissue lining the back wall inside the eye that contains millions of light-sensitive cells (rods and cones) that receive, organise and send visual information to your brain, through the optic nerve. This entire process enables you to see. 

Different Types of Eye Retinal Problems

The most common types of eye retinal diseases include:

  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration 

Age-Related Macular Degeneration, also known as AMD, is a common eye retinal disease that damages the central vision. It is an age-related eye problem that often occurs to people over 50 years old. AMD affects the macula, the small central portion of the retina. People with AMD rarely go blind from this disease, but if left untreated, AMD can cause severe vision problems. 

  • Retinal Detachment

A retinal detachment is another eye retinal disease that occurs when fluid passes through the retinal tear, causing the retina to detach from the other tissues in the back of the eye and pull away from its normal position. The longer retinal detachment goes untreated, the greater the risk of permanent vision loss. 

  • Retinal Tear 

A retinal tear occurs when the jelly-like substance in the center of the eye called the vitreous begins to shrink and tugs on the retina with enough force to cause a retinal tear 

  • Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy is a serious complication of diabetes that can lead to blindness. This eye retinal disease is caused by high levels of sugar that damage the blood vessels of the retina. 

Diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels throughout the body, including the capillaries in the retina. These tiny blood vessels in the eye can leak fluid causing the retina to swell. This can result in cloudy or blurred vision. You may also develop abnormal capillaries that are even more susceptible to breaking and bleeding. 

  • Macular Hole

A macular hole refers to a small defect in the macula, the center of the retina in the back of your eye. As the hole forms, your central vision may appear to be blurry, wavy or distorted.     

  • Macular Edema (could be due to CSR)

Macular Edema refers to an eye retinal disease that occurs when fluid builds up in the macula which can lead to swelling. People with macular edema may have blurry vision. If left untreated, this condition can lead to permanent vision loss. 

  • Cystoid Macular Edema

Cystoid Macular Edema or CME is a painless eye retinal disorder that affects the center retina or macula. With CME, multiple cyst-like patterns of fluid appear in the macula causing retinal swelling or edema. 

What are the Symptoms of Eye Retinal Diseases?

In most cases, eye retinal diseases share common signs and symptoms. These include:

  • AMD (as mentioned above)
    • Retinal detachment
    • Floaters
    • Flashes of light 
    • Blurring of vision
    • Curtain-like shadow covering your vision
  • Diabetic retinopathy
    • Gradual / sudden worsening of vision
    • Blurred / patchy vision
    • Difficulty seeing in the dark

When to See an Eye Doctor?

Have you noticed any changes in your vision? If so, seek immediate medical attention and schedule a comprehensive eye exam with your eye doctor.

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