Retina Disease – Your frequently asked questions answered

What causes retina disease?

There are innumerable causes of retinal problems but by far the commonest is age related macular degeneration. This is where the macula, the central portion of the retina responsible for fine vision and reading, becomes worn. It is an age related change and almost inevitable. Threading a fine needle becomes harder. Fine print is harder to see and you need more light and bigger print for reading. This is dry age related macular degeneration which almost all of us get. Unfortunately 10% of patients with dry macular degeneration get wet macular degeneration. This is where the vision suddenly goes more blurry with distortion. This requires treatment and needs referral to the hospital as a matter of relative urgency.

Another common retinal disease is that seen in diabetic patients. They can develop diabetic retinopathy which is where you develop leaky or new blood vessels at the back of the eye. Diabetics need to attend the retinal screening service on a yearly basis to ensure that such changes are picked up early and treated.

Very short sighted people can develop retinal detachment where the retina comes away from the back of the eye. Sudden onset of flashing lights or floaters is a cause for concern and you should see your optometrist if you develop these asap for assessment.

How is retina disease diagnosed?

Clinical examination is the key. We put drops in to make your pupils large and can examine the retina itself. We also can do retinal scans called OCT (ocular coherence tomography) scans to examine the anatomy of the retina in fine detail.

Are retina problems hereditary?

There are some hereditary retinal conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa but most are related to ageing.

Retina Disease treatment at Woodthorpe Hospital

For more information or to book an appointment please contact us on 0115 684 8929, or alternatively use our online enquiry form.

Mr Amar Alwitry

Content reviewed by:

Mr Amar Alwitry - Consultant Ophthalmologist

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