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What You Should Know About Retinal Disease

Over 7 million Americans are affected by diabetic retinopathy, and almost 11 million Americans suffer from age-related macular degeneration, two of which are two common types of retinal diseases. Eye health is crucial; the sooner you notice any symptoms of retinal disease and seek medical attention, the better the outcome. The more you know about nutrition and eye health, the better chance you have at keeping your eyes healthy longer. For these reasons, we must understand the most common types of retinal disease and recognize the symptoms.

What Is The Retina?

Many retinal disorders and diseases impact the vital tissue of the eye. Some retinal conditions are severe enough to cause blurred vision and blindness. The retina is located on the inside back wall of your eye and consists of a thin layer of tissue. This tissue contains millions of light-sensitive cones, rods, and other nerve cells that receive and organize visual information.

This information is then sent to the brain through the optic nerve, enabling you to see. Depending on the type of retinal disorder or disease, treatment can improve or restore your vision if you seek medical attention.

Common Symptoms Of Retinal Disease

Vision can change with age, so maintaining annual eye appointments is crucial to your eye health. Many retinal diseases present symptoms similarly, which is why proper diagnosis is critical to receiving treatment. Some of the most common retinal disease and disorder symptoms include:

  • Lost vision

  • Defects and distortion of side vision

  • Distorted or blurred vision

  • Seeing floaters or specks

Optometrists can determine whether or not any of these symptoms result from retinal disease through a series of tests.

Common Retinal Diseases And Disorders

  • Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration breaks the tissues at the center of the retina. This disease causes symptoms such as a blind spot or blurred vision at the center of your visual field.

  • Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels of the eye, which then leads to diabetic eye disease. Diabetic eye disease affects and deteriorates the capillaries in the back of the eye, causing fluid to leak into and under the retina. The retina swells from the liquid and causes vision to be distorted. In some cases, capillaries may break and bleed, which worsens vision.

  • Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachment can present as floaters in your eye, but not all floaters are signs of retinal detachment. Flashes in the eye may also indicate something is wrong with the retina, as well as decreased vision or seeing a gray curtain. Retinal detachment is caused when too much fluid accumulates behind the retina, causing it to separate. Risk factors such as eye injury, extreme nearsightedness, genetic predisposition, and previous cataract surgery may increase the chances of retinal detachment.

What You Can Do To Prevent Retinal Disease

  • Schedule regular eye exams

  • Maintain good health

  • Rest your eyes

  • Protect your eyes from UV rays and injury

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