Your retina acts as the messenger that connects what your eyes focus on with what your brain perceives. It is the most essential part of the eye that makes it possible for you to see things and make sense of what you’re seeing. But when you suffer from an unhealthy retina, it becomes unable to send clear signals to your brain, resulting in vision impairment. Therefore, it is crucial to stay informed with some of the common retina problems and warning signs to look out for.
Symptoms of Retina Problems
Let’s take a look at some of the warning signs that could indicate that you suffer from retina problems. Although there can be other possible reasons for these symptoms to occur, retina issues are the major ones to consider.
- Distorted vision
One can say that he/she experiences distorted vision when objects appear out of shape, for example, straight lines may appear bent or wavy. Objects may even appear larger or smaller than they should.
- Double vision
Double vision causes a person to see two images of a single object. These two images could be overlapping, layered or blurry. While double vision can be a symptom of various eye problems, it often points to a retinal issue.
- Flashing lights
When your retina is damaged it sends wrong signals to your brain, that might cause abnormalities like flashing, that might make it really frustrating and difficult to see things clearly.
- Specks/ Lines in vision
It is common to find specks or lines that interfere with your vision at times. But if it is regular and constant, then you might have something to worry about.
- Dimmer vision
This is an occurrence where you see things as if you are looking through tinted sunglasses. While experiencing a dimmer vision, things appear dark with less contrast.
- Blind Spots
Blind spots could be in the form of large shadows, complete blind spots or something blocking your vision. Blinds spots that interfere with your vision are a clear warning sign of retina problems.
What are some of the common retinal conditions?
- Diabetic retinopathy
This condition develops when high blood sugar levels damage blood vessels in the retina. Diabetes can cause blood vessels to swell and leak. In some cases they can close down, stopping blood from passing through. All of these changes can severely damage your retina.
- Retinal detachment
A retinal detachment happens when your retina is pulled away from its normal position. Retinal detachment should be treated as an emergency and require immediate medical attention. Detached retina symptoms include floaters and flashes of light or shadow in the field of vision.
- Retinal tear
A retinal tear can be identified with warning signs such as flashing lights and floaters. This occurs when the gel-like substance in the centre of your eye called the vitreous, shrinks and pulls on your retina causing a break in the tissue.
- Macular hole
The macula is located in the centre of the retina, which provides a sharp vision needed to identify fine details that make it possible for us to do things like reading and writing. A hole in this macula, known as the macular hole can cause a blurry central vision.
- Age-Related Macular degeneration
Unlike macular holes, in this case, the macula cells deteriorate over time affecting the central vision. In early stages, macular degeneration cannot be easily identified, but later on, it can cause wavy or blurry vision and if left untreated can lead to complete loss of central vision.
- Retinitis pigmentosa
Retinitis pigmentosa is an extremely rare genetic condition. In this case, a person suffers from a breakdown or loss of cells in the retina resulting in loss of night vision and peripheral vision.
- Epiretinal membrane
An epiretinal membrane is a thin sheet of fibrous tissue that develops on the surface of the retina and causes a disturbance in vision. This most commonly affects people over the age of 50.
- Vein occlusion
The nerve cells in your eye require a regular supply of blood to deliver oxygen and nutrients. But if there is a blockage in an artery or vein due to a clot, the flow of blood is blocked. This condition is called retinal vein occlusion (RVO).
Retina plays an important role in your vision and its damage, if not treated on time, can lead to permanent vision loss. This is why it is important to have regular eye exams through dilation of your pupils to evaluate the condition of your retina.
Prasad Netralaya is Mangalore and Udupi’s leading eye care centre and the ideal place for identifying and treating retina problems. Got questions? Call us at +91 9513596565 or book an appointment if you wish to visit in person.