The retina is a layer of tissue in the back of your eye that senses light and sends images to your brain. In the center of this nerve tissue is the macula. It provides the sharp, central vision needed for reading, driving and seeing fine detail.

Retinal disorders affect this vital tissue. They can affect your vision, and some can be serious enough to cause blindness. Examples are

  • Macular degeneration - a disease that destroys your sharp, central vision
  • Diabetic eye disease
  • Retinal detachment - a medical emergency, when the retina is pulled away from the back of the eye
  • Retinoblastoma - cancer of the retina. It is most common in young children.
  • Macular pucker - scar tissue on the macula
  • Macular hole - a small break in the macula that usually happens to people over 60
  • Floaters - cobwebs or specks in your field of vision

NIH: National Eye Institute

Symptoms of Retinal Disorders

The following features are indicative of Retinal Disorders:
  • visual distortions
  • reduced central vision in one or both eyes
  • decreased intensity or brightness of colors
  • blind spot or blurry spot in the field of vision
  • general haziness in the overall vision
  • need for brighter light when reading or doing close work
  • increased difficulty adapting to low lights
  • increased blurriness of printed words
  • blurred vision
  • bright flashes of light
  • floaters in the eye
  • reduced peripheral vision
  • curtain-like shadow over your visual field
  • impaired color vision
  • dark or empty areas in the vision
It is possible that Retinal Disorders shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Retinal Disorders

The following are the most common causes of Retinal Disorders:
  • abnormal blood vessel growth
  • fluid buildup in the back of the eye
  • advanced diabetes
  • tear or hole in the retina
  • trauma
  • when sagging vitreous material fills inside eye

Other Causes of Retinal Disorders

The following are the less common causes of Retinal Disorders:
  • genetic factors
  • environmental factors
  • smoking
  • bad nearsightedness

Risk Factors for Retinal Disorders

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Retinal Disorders:
  • older age
  • family history
  • smoking
  • obesity
  • cardiovascular disease
  • extreme nearsightedness
  • previous eye surgery
  • previous retinal detachment in one eye
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • pregnancy
  • tobacco use
  • being Black, Hispanic or Native American

Prevention of Retinal Disorders

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Retinal Disorders. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • manage blood sugar level
  • control blood pressure
  • manage cholesterol level
  • pay attention to vision changes
  • avoid smoking
  • take certain nutritional supplements

Occurrence of Retinal Disorders

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Retinal Disorders cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Retinal Disorders can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Retinal Disorders can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Retinal Disorders

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Retinal Disorders:
  • Examination of the back of the eye: To diagnose blood or fluid or a mottled appearance
  • Test for defects in the center of the vision: To diagnose defects in the central vision
  • Fluorescein angiography: To check abnormal blood vessels or retinal changes
  • Indocyanine green angiography: To diagnose specific types of macular degeneration
  • Optical coherence tomography: To see detailed cross-sections of the retina
  • Ultrasound imaging: To determine bleeding in the eye
  • Fluorescein angiography: It takes pictures of inside of your eyes
  • Optical coherence tomography: This imaging test provides cross-sectional images of the retina that shows the thickness of the retina, which will help determine whether fluid has leaked into retinal tissue

Doctor for Diagnosis of Retinal Disorders

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Retinal Disorders:
  • Optometrist
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Endocrinologist

Complications of Retinal Disorders if untreated

Yes, Retinal Disorders causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Retinal Disorders is left untreated:
  • rapid vision loss
  • vitreous hemorrhage
  • retinal detachment
  • glaucoma
  • blindness

Procedures for Treatment of Retinal Disorders

The following procedures are used to treat Retinal Disorders:
  • Photodynamic therapy: To treat abnormal blood vessels at the center of macula
  • Surgery: To implant a telescopic lens in one eye
  • Scleral buckle surgery: To gently push the eye wall up against the retina
  • Vitrectomy: To remove gel or scar tissue pulling on the retina
  • Pneumatic retinopexy: Helps the retina float back into place
  • Laser surgery: To seal tears or holes in the retina

Self-care for Retinal Disorders

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Retinal Disorders:
  • Regular exercise: Regularly do exercise and maintain a healthy weight
  • Quit Smoking: do not smoke
  • Avoid rubbing your eye
  • Use Eye pad: Wear an eye pad for protection at night
  • Avoid stressful conditions: Avoid vigorous activity for some weeks
  • Medications follow-up: Be sure to follow all directions for medications, such as eye drops

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Retinal Disorders

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Retinal Disorders:
  • Intake of nutritional supplements: Take supplements with high levels of vitamins C and E, copper and zinc
  • Using Fluid-gas exchange technique: Prevents the formation of the bubbles in the eyes and treat the retinal detachments

Patient Support for Treatment of Retinal Disorders

The following actions may help Retinal Disorders patients:
  • Support groups: Join online support groups to reduce symptoms and know about the experiences of others with similar conditions
  • Talk to others with impaired vision: Helps to live with impaired vision and coping with the disease
  • Enlist the help of others: Share your vision problems with friends and family members so that they can help you in preventing impaired vision loss

Time for Treatment of Retinal Disorders

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Retinal Disorders to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Disease cannot be treated but only maintained or effects reduced

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Retinal Disorders.
Diabetic Eye Disease
Eye Diseases
Macular Degeneration
Retinal Detachment
Usher Syndrome

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