The retina is a vital part of your eye, responsible for visual recognition. It can adversely affect your vision if damaged. Retinal conditions can cause vision damage depending upon the part of the retina affected. Here are seven things that you should know about retinal diseases:
Common symptoms of the retinal diseases include:
The most commonly observed retinal disorders include retinal detachment, retinal tear, and diabetic retinopathy. Among these, retinal detachment and retinal tear are medical emergencies that require immediate medical attention.
People who have diabetes are usually at a high risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes leads the retina's blood vessels to grow abnormally, causing them to swell and leak fluid. This condition does not show any symptoms in the initial stages, so it is not easy to diagnose it early.
Age and family history of retinal disease are the major risk factors for retinal diseases. Similarly, people who smoke excessively are obese, and persons with extreme nearsightedness are also more vulnerable to retinal diseases.
A comprehensive eye exam that includes pupil dilation is usually the best method to diagnose eye conditions such as macular degeneration, retinal detachment, and diabetic retinopathy. Such an annual eye exam is critical, as most retinal diseases do not show any early symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe additional tests if needed to arrive at an accurate diagnosis.
The treatment for your retinal disease will depend upon your condition. For example, your doctor may recommend you to undergo surgery if you have a retinal tear or retinal detachment. This is because surgery will help to push the detached retina back to its position. However, macular degeneration treatment focuses on stopping or slowing the progression of the disease and restore vision.
If you see flashes or sudden changes in your vision, seek immediate medical attention as these can be warning signs of a dangerous retinal disease. Keep in mind that retinal diseases like age-related macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema worsen with time. Therefore, getting a proper diagnosis at an early stage is vital to slow down the damage.
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Generally, the damage that has already been caused to a retina is irreversible. However, early detection of the condition can drastically slow down the progression of the illness. At times, laser surgery can cure a retinal tear.
Laser treatment of a retinal tear, if done immediately, can reduce the possibility of causing a retinal detachment.
Keep your retina healthy by eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, doing regular exercise, wearing sunglasses to protect your eye, quit smoking, and doing regular eye checkups.