The retina is a thin layer of tissue which lies towards the back of the eye. The retina acts as a highly specialised, light sensitive membrane which light is directed towards from the front of the eye. It converts these light rays in to signals which pass along the optic nerve to the brain to form our vision.
Medical retina is a term used to describe the assessment and treatment of medical conditions which affect the retina.
The central part of the retina is known as the macula. The macula converts the light to form our central, sharp vision. The rest of the retina is known as the peripheral retina. Many of the more serious conditions affecting the retina affect the macula and include:
Age related macular degeneration is a condition which affects some individuals in middle and later life. The cause of macular degeneration is still unclear but individuals with a family history of the problem are more at risk.
Diabetic retinopathy: Poorly controlled diabetes causes small blood vessels at the back of the eye to weaken and leak as well as causes abnormal blood vessels to develop. Both of these processes can cause visual loss.
There are also certain genetic diseases of the retina which we diagnose and treat the most common being Retinitis pigmentosa.
Retinal tears and detachment of the retina often occurs due to age related processes to the connective tissue or may be as a result of trauma.
Your specialist will initially take an in depth history of your visual problem and use this information to guide the appropriate diagnostics tests. An eye examination will include observing the back of your eye through a magnifying glass and light and administering some visual skill tests which determine your visual acuity in your central and peripheral fields.
Imaging techniques for assessing retinal disorders may assist in diagnosing retinal problems. Imaging techniques to produce 3D photographs as well as accurate images of the blood vessel network around the retina are often requested. These may include:
- Optical coherence tomography
- Fundus photography
- Fluorescein angiography
- Indocyanine green angiography
Normally, a range of diagnostic tests will be requested to adequately reach an accurate diagnosis.
At Circle Health we are able to provide the full range of treatments needed to optimally manage any retinal problem. Depending on the exact diagnosis and stage of your condition treatments may involve:
- Eye drops
- Surgery (repair torn or detached retina)