What is the Retina?
The retina is a multi-layered sensory tissue that lines the back of the eye and connects the visual images that you see to the brain via the optic nerve. It functions like the film in the back of a camera.
The retina has millions of photoreceptors that capture light rays and convert them into electrical impulses. These impulses travel along the optic nerve to the brain where they are turned into images. Any type of disruption while these images are traveling to the brain results in vision loss or distorted vision.
What is the Macula?
The central part of the retina, called the macula, is the most sensitive. If the macula is affected by disease, seeing becomes very difficult. The macula is responsible for your central vision, allowing you to read or recognize another person.
The retina is an extension of the brain, and like brain tissue, the retina cannot regenerate. Diseases of the retina — including those caused by diabetes and macular degeneration — can cause permanent blindness; therefore, having regular eye exams is critical to preserve your vision. Our expert physician specializes in diagnosing and treating the back of the eye.
Diabetes is the number one cause of blindness in the United States. It is very important for diabetics to be proactive and work closely with an ophthalmologist to monitor their eye health. Left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can eventually lead to blindness. With early detection, approximately 90% percent of diabetes-related vision loss can be prevented.
High blood sugar levels cause blood vessels in the back of the eye to swell, leak, and even close, stopping blood from passing through. If the disease progresses, abnormal blood vessels grow on the retina and can cause scar tissue.
Because this is a progressive disease, there are usually no symptoms in the early stages. By the time you experience vision problems, the disease will be in a later stage of development. If you are diabetic and are experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact Jervey immediately:
A diabetic can significantly reduce the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy by adopting a healthy lifestyle and making eye health a priority:
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss among people over 50 years old. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive retina disease that affects the center of the retina, the macula. The macula is responsible for central vision, so any damage to this area will affect your ability to perform daily tasks.
Dry AMD: This condition occurs when yellow drusen deposits begin to collect under the macula, causing the area to thin and dry out. This is the most common form of AMD.
Wet AMD: This condition occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow under the macula, often leaking blood or fluid. This is a more serious form that causes severe, rapid vision loss.
At Jervey Eye Group, we strive to keep you informed and educated regarding your eye health. As part of this effort, we offer helpful videos about retina care and what to expect with surgery. Take a few minutes to explore, and if you have any questions, ask your doctor when you visit.
All of our doctors are trained to recognize and treat retina issues. However, once significant risk or damage has occurred, our doctors will often refer to one of our partners who is a sub-specialist trained to manage the more severe cases.
Our modern, efficient facilities include four offices in Greenville, Simpsonville, and Easley. Each offers one-stop convenience for examinations, eyewear selection, purchase, and fittings.