Retina is like the film in a camera. Retina is the third and inner coat of the eye which is a light-sensitive layer of tissue. When the focused light hits the retina, a picture is created and sent to the brain through the optic nerve (the nerve of the eye), thus giving us vision. Sometimes part of the retina either tears, pulls away or detaches from the back of the eye; when this occurs that part of the retina cannot gather light ans results in vision loss.
Diseases and conditions of the retina
- Age-Related Macular Degeneration
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- Retinal tear
- Retinal Detachment
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
What causes in AMD?
During normal aging, yellowish deposits, called drusen, form under the retina, which is the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye that provides clear, sharp images.
As drusen increase in size and number, they can interfere with proper functioning of the retina, damaging or killing the light-sensitive cells of the macula.
Because the macula’s light-sensitive cells provide the ability to have sharp, detailed vision, the results can be blurring of central vision and a devastating impact on the ability to enjoy activities of daily life, such as reading, driving, or even recognizing the face of a friend or family member.
This form of age-related macular degeneration is called dry AMD. Dry AMD can be a precursor to wet AMD.
Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels behind the retina start to grow under the macula. These blood vessels often leak blood and fluid, damaging or killing light-sensitive cells—loss of vision occurs quickly.
Although approximately 80 percent of patients with age-related macular degeneration have dry AMD, wet AMD is responsible for 80 to 90 percent of severe loss of vision with this disease.
Life with AMD : what you should know but din’t
AMD may be a difficult condition, but it is not as devastating as people fear when they are diagnosed and only rarely leads to complete blindness. Millions of people actually live healthy, independent lives, despite having age-related macular degeneration.
It is important to learn about the disease and work with a retina specialist, who will put a treatment plan in place. These physicians have the ability, training, and experience to treat all medical and surgical aspects of AMD and other diseases of the retina.
A retina specialist can also suggest access to rehabilitation options like low vision aids which includes a variety of tools and resources that can make everyday living with AMD a little bit easier.
The earliest signs of AMD in the retina can be detected by a retina specialist before you have any vision loss, but those who have had the disease for some time may notice changes in vision which are symptomatic of dry and wet AMD.
Dry AMD symptoms
- Need for brighter light when reading
- Difficulty adapting to low light levels
- Increased blurriness of printed words
- Decrease in brightness of colors
- Blurred spot in the center of the field of vision
- Blank or black spot in the field of vision (spot will start small and grow over time, possibly leading to blindness
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