The eye is an incredibly sophisticated organ, which makes it simultaneously powerful and vulnerable. While it plays a vital role in how humans gather information about their environment, it is also one of the most fragile organs in the body. As such, it’s crucial that we are proactive about our vision health.

March is Save Your Vision Month, and it serves as a reminder to educate yourself about various eye conditions, including retinal problems. The retina is thin and light-sensitive and lines the back of the inner eye, and its function is to acquire light signals and send those signals to the brain to convert them into vision.

The retina is susceptible to numerous serious conditions some of which are serious and many require the assistance of a retina specialist. Below are some of the most common retina conditions.

Diabetic Retinopathy

This condition is a complication caused by diabetes mellitus and is characterized by abnormal blood vessels in the retina.  Early on in the disease one may not have any visual symptoms but it can lead to blindness if not monitored and treated as necessary.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

The macula is the central portion of the retina and it is responsible for central vision used to read, see color, and recognize fine details.  Macular degeneration causes deterioration of the macula and causing difficulty with fine central visual details.

Retinal Holes, Tears, and Detachments

Retinal detachment is a condition where the retina becomes separated from the underlying layers of the eye. Left untreated, it can cause permanent vision loss and total blindness.  Retinal tears and holes can lead to retinal detachment.  Flashes and floaters can be an indicator or predictor of retinal tears, holes or detachment.

Other Retinal Conditions

In addition to the conditions above, there are many other less serious conditions that need to be assessed and treated by a retina specialist, including:

  • Macular Hole: This is a hole in the macula, which can cause vision to look blurry centrally.
  • Choroidal Melanoma: This is a type of malignant tumor that develops inside the eye between the retina and the sclera.
  • Epiretinal Membrane: This is a thin membrane of tissue that forms on the macula’s surface. It can sometimes cause central vision problems.
  • Retinal Vein Occlusion: This is when the small veins that transport blood away from the retina become blocked. The visual symptoms can range from mild to severe.
  • Uveitis: This type of eye inflammation affects the uvea, which is the middle layer of the eye wall. If left untreated, it can cause permanent vision loss.

Celebrate Save Your Vision Month by addressing your eye health. If you think you may be at risk for a retinal condition or are in need of treatment, contact the expert retina specialists and eye surgeons at Austin Retina Associates at 800-252-8259 or complete an online form.

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