General Information

The retina is the thin nerve tissue that lines the inner wall of the back half of the eye. It receives the images focused on it, similar to the film in a camera. The macula is the central portion of the retina which is essential for sharp vision. The vitreous is a transparent jelly located behind the lens and in front of the retina. Light passes through the vitreous to get to the retina.

Many ocular diseases involve the retina, causing or contributing to visual loss. Retinal abnormalities may be associated with nearsightedness (myopia), injury, diabetes, and aging. In some patients, holes or tears in the retina may lead to retinal detachment. Left untreated, retinal detachments commonly produce progressive loss of vision and could ultimately result in complete blindness.

Fortunately, major advances in the last 20 years have resulted in successful treatment options for many retinal diseases. With careful history taking, detailed examination of the eye and special testing, the cause for the problem can be determined. Treatment for diseases of the retina and vitreous may include drops, pills, injections, laser or freezing treatments. More extensive surgery may be performed in a hospital operating room or out-patient center. Nearly all surgeries are done on an out-patient basis and rarely require hospitalization. Even for major surgery, hospital stays are usually only one or two days.

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