What are Vitreo-Retinal Diseases?
The retina is the interior lining of the eye which contains millions of nerve endings which are sensitive to light. It is actually an extension of the brain. When the light passes through the cornea and the pupil, the vitreous and the lens focus on the retina, which then first serves as the receiver of light. Then it transmits the light as nerve impulses to the brain by means of an optic nerve. Vitreous is a gel like substance which is transparent without any color and it fills the cavity between the retina and the lens. It actually serves the purpose of supporting the shape of the eye. The macula is the central portion of the retina and it is in charge of providing central vision. It is composed of cones and rods and it provides the possibility of distinguishing colors, fine details, night vision and so on. The fovea is a very small area located in the center of the macula and it is composed of cones. It is in charge of providing the sharpest vision. There are a large number of medical conditions which may affect the retina and the vitreous and they include retinitis pigmentosa, floaters, flashes, eye cancer, uveitis, retinoblastoma, retinopathy of prematurity, macular holes, retinal detachment or tears, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
What Conditions, Diseases and Irregularities Affect the Retina and Vitreous?
Diabetic retinopathy is an ophthalmic type of disorder which commonly affects people who suffer from diabetes. It is among the leading causes of blindness in young persons and adults alike. There are two different types of diabetic retinopathy and those include proliferative diabetic retinopathy and non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Proliferative type is associated with a much larger risk of the loss of vision and it commonly follows the advanced cases of non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy. It develops once the blood vessels on the retina or the optic nerve become blocked so that they cut off the nutrient supplies. This type of diabetic retinopathy may lead to further medical complications such as the neovascular glaucoma, tractional retinal detachment, rhegmatogenous retinal detachment, traditional retinal detachment and vitrous hemorrhage. Non-proliferative retinous diabetic retinopathy is only the early stage of the disease which involves the swelling of the retina and the deposition of exudates due to the fluid leaking into the retina. The non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy usually does not involve any symptoms while the proliferative type may involve certain types of symptoms such as permanent vision loss, temporary vision loss, blurriness, visual distortions, loss of peripheral vision, loss of central vision and dark floaters. The age related macular degeneration is the leading cause of irreversible blindness. There are two different types, the dry and the wet macular degeneration. The dry one is much more common than its wet counterpart and it is a slowly progressing disease which leads to severe central vision loss. Wet macular degeneration always develops from the dry one. These medical conditions usually do not involve any particular symptoms. Dry macular degeneration may sometimes involve slight blurriness, slight fuzziness of the vision and a blurred central spot. Wet macular degeneration may involve rapid loss of central vision. Another common medical condition is called the macular hole. It occurs when the fluid leaks under the edges of the macular hole and triggers a microscopic retinal detachment which leads to the development of distorted vision and blurring. If the hole gets all the way through to the macula, it may be associated with a significant loss of central vision. Retinal detachments are conditions in which the retina gets pulled or lifted from its usual position. The retractions of vitreous may sometimes tear the retina, which causes various medical complications. These tears commonly do not affect the vision directly. Retinal detachment is easily characterized by a partial or complete loss of vision. Uveitis is a medical condition easily characterized as an inflammation of the uvea. Uvea is located between the sclera and the retina, and when it gets inflamed it may affect various parts of the eye which surround it. The symptoms of this type of medical condition may include sensitivity to light, floaters, redness, blurred vision and painful sensations.
Different Treatment Options
The treatment options for those who suffer from diabetic retinopathy include intraocular corticosteroids injected under topical anesthesia. There are a large number of different types of treatment options available for patients who suffer from age related macular degeneration. Some of the most commonly used ones include thermal laser photocoagulation, photodynamic therapy and Visudyne therapy. Those who suffer from a macular hole have only one treatment option. It is a surgical intervention known as vitrectomy with an internal tamponade. The treatment options of retinal detachments and tears include surgical interventions, cryo therapy, laser therapy, retinopexy, sclera buckling procedure, vitrectomy, and several others. Uveitis is treated with eyedrops, oral medications or injections.