Retina & Retina Diseases
In a camera, the front lens allows light to travel through to the film, creating a picture. Our eyes are very similar to a camera - light enters our eye through the cornea and lens, which then focuses on the retina and travels through the optic nerve and into the brain. This light-sensitive nerve tissue lines the very back of the eye and determines how images are viewed, making a healthy retina essential for good, quality vision.
The retina is attached to the vitreous – a gel-like substance that fills the eye to help it maintain its round shape. There are millions of fibers of the vitreous that are attached to the surface of the retina, allowing light to enter the retina.
As we get older, the retina can become damaged and weakened, while the vitreous begins to shrink and liquefy. Retinal disorders can affect your vision, and some may cause blindness if left untreated. The most common types of retinal disorders include:
- Macular degeneration, which slowly destroys central vision
- Diabetic retinopathy, which causes a build-up of fluid inside the eye due to an overabundance of sugar
- Retinal detachment, which materializes when the vitreous (the gel-like substance it is attached to) moves away from the retina, tearing it
- Macular hole, a small break in the center of the retina, known as the macula
- Posterior vitreous detachment, also known as floaters, are caused by the normal aging process where the vitreous gel begins to liquefy, causing the appearance of black spots or strings in your vision