Phoenix_OptometryAsk any Phoenix optometrist, and he or she will tell you that the eye is an amazingly complex organ, with multiple parts that all have to work together to ensure you have proper vision.

However, the retina may be the most important element of all. Lying behind your iris and lens, your retina is the layer of light-sensitive tissue that sends visual information to your brain. If your eye is a camera, your retina is the film.  It’s how your brain sees.

So, your eyesight is only as good as the information your brain receives.

What Are The Most Common Retinal Problems?

1 – Diabetic Retinopathy

The leading cause of blindness among those under the age of 65 is Diabetic Retinopathy. It causes blood circulation to the eyes to fail, starving them of oxygen, eventually causing the blood vessels to burst.

90% of D.R. cases can be treated if caught early. Anyone with diabetes is at risk.  In fact, diabetics are twenty-five times more likely to go blind needlessly.  If you or anyone in your family is a diabetic, we urge yearly eye exams with a qualified optometrist.

2 – Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachment can be caused by several different conditions, and is exactly what it sounds like:  The retina detaches from the back of the eye, severing the connection to the brain.

Although reattachment can be successful in most cases, it usually requires surgery.  The earlier it’s caught, the more likely the surgery is to be successful.

3 – Macular Degeneration

The macular is the very center of your vision, vital for reading, facial recognition, and even color perception. As a person ages, buildup in front or behind the macular blocks its reception, causing a slowly-growing grayish blank spot.

As the process is painless, it can often go unnoticed for some time. Worse, there is no reliable cure. Most M.D. patients can only slow the degeneration with medication.  A vitamin regimen, along with some newer prescription medications, sometimes shows positive results.

Any problems with your retinas are serious, and can lead to permanent blindness.  Please remember to visit your optometrist regularly for vision checkups.