The retina is a thin layer of tissue on the inside back wall of your eye. It contains millions of light-sensitive cells and other nerve cells that receive and organise visual information. Your retina sends this information to your brain through your optic nerve, enabling you to see.
Retinal diseases can affect any part of your retina and can cause total blindness. Disease affecting the edge of your retina can affect your side (peripheral) vision. Some diseases affect the part of your retina that serves your central vision (the macula and the fovea).
Some of the common retinal diseases and conditions are as follows:
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Age-Related Macular Degeneration or AMD is the leading cause of blindness and central vision loss among adults over age 65 around the world.
During normal aging, yellowish deposits form under the retina, which is the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye that provides clear, sharp images. As these yellow deposits increase in size and number, they can interfere with proper functioning of the retina, damaging or killing the light-sensitive cells of the macula. Because the macula’s light-sensitive cells provide the ability to have sharp vision, the results can be blurring of central vision and an impact on the ability to enjoy activities of daily life, such as reading, driving, or even recognizing the face of a friend or family member. This form of age-related macular degeneration is called Age-Related Macular Degeneration.
Diabetic Retinopathy is one of the most frequent causes of vision impairment in the world. Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes that causes damage to the blood vessels of the retina-the light-sensitive tissue that lines the back part of the eye, allowing you to see fine detail. Diabetic retinopathy occurs in more than half of the people who suffer from diabetes. The longer someone has diabetes, and the less his or her blood sugars are controlled, the more likely the possibility that person will develop diabetic retinopathy.
The macula is the region of the retina located in the centre of the retina. It is responsible for providing the sharp, central vision needed to see fine details. A macular hole is a small full-thickness retinal defect in the macula which develops when semitransparent scar tissue form on the surface of the retina. With time, this scar tissue can contract and result in distortion of the underlying retina or macular edema (swelling).
Retinoblastoma is a rare primary eye cancer of the retina that most commonly affects infants and young children. It is caused by a gene mutation during cell division.
A retinal detachment occurs when the retina is lifted or pulled from its normal position in the eye. It may begin with a small tear or break that leads to a full detachment.
River blindness and other eye parasitic diseases that involve the retina affect people in many countries around the world.
These are some of the common retinal diseases. It is best to have regular eye examination from qualified ophthalmologist to stay away from eye disorders.