Retinal disorders include age-related macular degeneration (AMD), retinal detachment, and diabetic retinopathy.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
AMD is the physical disorder of macula which is in the center of the retina and responsible for reading, driving, and performing other activities requiring fine, sharp, or straight-ahead vision. There are two different types: dry (%90) and wet macular degeneration. Dry AMD is associated with tiny yellow deposition beneath the retina and less severe vision loss which slowly develops. Wet AMD is associated with delicate, abnormal blood vessels under the retina and then it causes a scar. This is responsible for central vision loss. Wet AMD progresses more rapidly than dry AMD.
Although the causes of AMD are unknown, genetic (age, family history, light-colored skin and eyes) and other risk factors (smoking, diets with low antioxidants, obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol, excessive exposure to sunlight) which can be controlled by the patients, may lead to AMD.
Blurred vision, a dark or empty area in the central area of vision and distortion of straight lines are the main symptoms of AMD. Monitoring and early detection are important for AMD.
Wet AMD is treated with medication injection and/or laser surgery to prevent the leaking of the blood vessels. A small dark spot may be left after laser surgery. There are currently no treatments for dry AMD. Many patients with dry AMD continue their normal life due to unaffected peripheral vision. Low-vision optical devices, such as magnifiers can be used as aids to correction of vision in dry AMD.
Retinal detachment results from the separation of the light sensitive membrane which overlays the nerve tissue and blood supply. It must be treated promptly. Otherwise it can cause vision loss and blindness in severe cases. The retina is attached to the vitreous. As human age gets older, the retina may detach because of the shrinking of the vitreous. Retinal detachment can also result from blunt trauma and certain eye disorders such as advanced diabetic retinopathy and severe nearsightedness. Certain symptoms of retinal detachment are; increase in the number and size of eye floaters, floaters with flashes, shadow in peripheral vision, and sudden decrease in vision, appearance of grey curtain over part of vision.
Surgery is performed successfully in repairing the retinal detachment. There are several surgical techniques such as laser surgery, cryopexy, pneumatic retinoplexy, and scleral buckle.
Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disorder that weakens or changes the blood vessels in the retina, resulting in loss of vision. This is the leading cause of blindness in eye disorders. Early detection is important to prevent the loss of vision in diabetic patients. Surgeries such as photocoagulation and vitrectomy are very successful in the correction of diabetic retinal alterations by means of the early detection programs. Laser surgery (photocoagulation) seals leaking or bleeding vessels, and vitrectomy corrects abnormal vessel proliferations, scar tissue, and bleeding.