What Are the Most Common Retinal Conditions?

May 13, 2022

Eye Doctor in Baltimore, MD

The retina is a fragile piece of tissue at the back of the inside of the eye. It is incredibly important to your vision. 

Any problems that occur with it can cause dangerous, sometimes permanent, damage to your sight. Keep reading to learn more about what are the most common retinal conditions!

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a retinal condition that tends to occur in people over the age of fifty. It happens when the macula, a specific location on your retina, degrades. 

The macula is responsible for the central part of your vision. Those with macular degeneration may struggle to recognize faces or see street signs.

In advanced cases, those with macular degeneration may heavily rely on their peripheral vision. Currently, there is no cure for macular degeneration has no cure. 

Supplements and medication may be used as treatment depending on the kind of macular degeneration you have. The most effective treatment for macular degeneration is regular injections to slow the condition’s progression.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes can damage your vision in several different ways. One problem, in particular, is when it causes blood vessels in the eyes to leak.

The swelling and leaking of these blood vessels can lead to other problems as scar tissue forms in the eye and blood gets into places it shouldn’t. Keeping your blood sugar under control is essential for preventing diabetic retinopathy.

If you have diabetes, it is essential to schedule a dilated eye exam at least once a year.  

Retinal Detachment

The retinal tissue at the back of the eye is relatively fragile and can separate from the back wall of the eye. This is called a retinal detachment.

A retinal detachment can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it begins with a small tear opening inside the retina.

When this happens, fluid can accumulate behind the retina. With fluid pushing from behind the tissue, eventually, the retina can be pulled off the wall of the eye. 

A retinal detachment is a medical emergency. It can cause vision damage very quickly.

To treat a retinal detachment, eye doctors will perform a type of surgery that aims to reattach the retina to the back wall of the eye. 

Retinal Vascular Occlusions

Chronically high blood pressure can also affect your vision. It can essentially trigger small strokes in your retina. 

If blood supply is cut off, preventing oxygen and nutrients from being delivered and stopping waste from being removed. Untreated glaucoma can also cause them.   

There is no specific medication for retinal vascular occlusion. It is another reason that it is essential to keep diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol under control. 

Retinal Dystrophies  

The retina can also be a target of genetic conditions. These conditions are called retinal dystrophies. 

They are relatively rare but can quickly cause vision loss. Several conditions fit under the category. 

Here are a few examples:

  • Retinitis pigmentosa is a group of diseases that damage the light-sensitive cells in the retina. 
  • Achromatopsia causes color blindness by affecting the cone cells in your retina
  • Cone-rod dystrophy causes vision loss as the photosensitive cells at the back of the eye deteriorate

Do you want to learn more about retinal conditions or if you are at risk for developing any? Schedule an appointment at Levin Eyecare in Baltimore, MD, to learn how to keep your retina safe!  


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