The retina is the thin layer of nerves that lines the back of the eye. The lens in the eye allows images to pass through, and the retina focuses them. It then sends impulses to the brain that communicate the message that the retina has received. Retinal disorders can affect your vision, and some can be serious enough to cause blindness. Brandon Eye Associates, which has offices in Brandon, Plant City and Sun City, FL, offers a range of eye care services to their patients. Here's everything you need to know about the retina.
Light, Lens, Action
Doctors use special microscopes to look at the inner parts of the eye, such as the lens. After light passes through the pupil, it hits the lens. The lens, which is behind the iris, is transparent and colorless. The lens focuses light rays on the back of the eye— the retina. The retina holds millions of cells that are sensitive to light. The retina takes the light the eye receives and changes it into signals so the brain can understand what the eye is seeing.
Rods and Cones Process Light
The retina uses specialized cells called rods and cones to process light. There are about 120 million rods and 7 million cones in each eye. Rods see in white, gray, and black and tell us the shape or form that something has. Rods cannot tell the difference between colors, but they are very sensitive, allowing us to see when it's dark.
Cones are used to see color and require more light than rods to work well. The retina has three different types of receptor cones. Each cone type is sensitive to one of three different colors — blue, green, or red — to help you see different ranges of color. Together, these cones can sense combinations of light waves that enable your eyes to see millions of colors.
Symptoms of Retinal Diseases
Many retinal disorders share some common symptoms and signs. These may include seeing floating specks or cobwebs, distorted or blurred vision, defects in the side vision, seeing flashes of light and lost vision. Seek immediate medical attention if you're experiencing any of these symptoms. Retinal disorders are diagnosed and treated by ophthalmologists. Ophthalmologists are doctors who specialize in the evaluation and treatment of all types of eye disorders.
Treatment of Retinal Diseases
Ophthalmologists specialize in the treatment (nonsurgical and surgical) of all types of eye disorders. The main goals of treatment are to slow or stop disease progression and restore or improve your vision. Treatment of retinal diseases may include laser surgery, pneumatic retinopexy, scatter laser photocoagulation, scleral buckling, vitrectomy, or injecting medicine into the eye. Your doctor will work with you to determine the best treatment.
An eye disorder can affect your day-to-day activities and make life frustrating and miserable. Improve your vision and your life today. Call Brandon Eye Associates at 813-684-2211 today to schedule an appointment in Brandon, FL. Call 813-684-2211 to schedule an appointment in Plant City, FL. Call 813-213-0020 to schedule an appointment in Sun City, FL. We want you to live your best life!
Could you benefit from a visit to the eye doctor? Blurred vision, eye pain, sudden changes in vision, and other symptoms all warrant an eye appointment. The eye doctors at Brandon Eye Associates offer comprehensive eye care for the entire family in their convenient Brandon and Plant City, FL, offices.
When should I make an appointment?
It's a good idea to schedule an appointment with the eye doctor if you notice any of these signs:
- Blurry Vision: Blurred vision may mean it's time to update your eyeglass or contact lens prescription or might be a symptom of another problem. A number of diseases and conditions can cause the symptom, including diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, glaucoma, pregnancy, migraines, multiple sclerosis, and age-related macular degeneration. If blurred vision occurs suddenly or only affects one eye, call your Brandon or Plant City eye doctor immediately.
- Your Arms Aren't Long Enough: Do you need to hold books and papers farther and farther away from your face to see the print clearly? You may be suffering from presbyopia, a condition that occurs when the lenses in your eyes become less flexible due to aging. A pair of reading glasses or a switch to bifocals, trifocals, or progressive lenses will restore your ability to read the fine print.
- Eye Pain: Pain is never normal and should be investigated if it continues for longer than a day or two. Pain can occur if you have sinusitis, eye strain, dry eye, pink eye, a scratch on your cornea, glaucoma, an infection, optic nerve inflammation or contact lens irritation. Although eye pain isn't caused by a serious condition in many cases, it's important to schedule an appointment if you experience this symptom.
- Floaters or Sudden Loss of Vision: Floaters, flashing lights or the sudden appearance of a black spot in your visual field can be a sign of retinal detachment or a tear in your retina. Retinal detachment requires emergency treatment to prevent permanent vision loss.
- Headaches: Frequent headaches can occur if your vision begins to worsen. Although you may not notice any blurriness initially, headaches can be the first symptom that it's time to update your prescription.
Has it been a while since you've seen the eye doctor? Call eye doctors at Brandon Eye Associates at (813) 684-2211 to schedule an appointment in the Brandon or Plant City, FL, office.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in people over 60. However, glaucoma is a treatable condition with help from your ophthalmologist and a variety of methods to reverse its effects are available. Learn exactly what glaucoma is and what a diagnosis can mean for you and your eyes with Brandon Eye Associates with locations in Brandon and Plant City, FL.
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma damages the eye’s optic nerve and comes from fluid building up in the front area of the eyeball. The fluid creates pressure, which, in turn, begins to damage the optic nerve and cause the symptoms of glaucoma. Though this disease can cause blindness, it is treatable and even curable in its early stages, making early detection crucial to treating glaucoma. There are two types of glaucoma, one which slowly causes a blockage of the drainage around the optic nerve (open-angle glaucoma) and one in which the iris is too close to the drainage area, causing it to become blocked very quickly (angle-closure glaucoma).
Do I have glaucoma?
Open-angle glaucoma occurs slowly over time and often does not produce immediate symptoms. Though there are no outward warning signs in its earliest stages, your eye doctor can identify it during a routine examination. As the disease advances into the more severe stages, blind spots begin developing in the peripheral vision. Angle-closure glaucoma occurs in attack form and comes on swiftly, usually without any warning. The attack can produce symptoms such as severe pain in the eye, redness and decreased vision, blurriness, nausea, vomiting, and seeing rainbows or halos.
Mild versions of these symptoms may be a sign that an attack is imminent, and those experiencing them should see their ophthalmologist right away. Those who have a family history of glaucoma, are over the age of 40, who have vision that needs correction, or who have other conditions like diabetes, migraines, or poor circulation are more at risk for glaucoma.
Treating Glaucoma in Brandon and Plant City
Consulting with your eye doctor is the best way to find a suitable treatment option for your glaucoma. The damage from glaucoma is permanent and cannot be reversed, but the condition can be stopped in its tracks. This makes early detection important as early treatment means avoiding the later, more damaging, stages of the disease. Your doctor may recommend medication, eye drops, or surgery to correct your glaucoma.
For more information on glaucoma or its treatments, please contact Brandon Eye Associates with locations in Brandon and Plant City, FL. Call (813) 684-2211 to schedule your appointment today!
Are you tired of viewing the world through clouded lenses? The eye doctors at Brandon Eye Associates in Brandon, FL, discuss cataracts and explain how cataract treatment can improve your vision.
What are cataracts?
A cataract affects the lens of your eye. The lens, a transparent disc located behind your iris, focuses light on your retina, enabling you to see clearly. As you age, cells in the lens begin to die and clump together, causing the lens to become cloudy. When this happens, your vision can become blurry.
Who gets cataracts?
Aging is an important contributing factor in cataract formation. Cataracts can begin to form as early as your 40s or 50s, although at this point, most are small and don't cause significant problems. As you get older, cataracts gradually worsen and make certain activities difficult, such as reading or driving.
You may be more likely to develop cataracts if you smoke, have diabetes, took a steroid medication for a long time, experienced extensive exposure to the sun, or had an eye injury, inflammation or surgery in the past.
What are the symptoms of cataracts?
In addition to blurred vision, cataract symptoms include:
- Glare or halos around lights, particularly at night
- Faded colors
- Double vision in one eye
- Increased sensitivity to glare and light
- Difficulty reading in low light
- The need to change your eyeglass or contact lens prescription often
How are cataracts treated?
When your cataract is small, you can do a few simple things to manage your symptoms, such as using brighter lights when you read, visiting our Brandon office for a new eyeglass prescription, or buying a pair of sunglasses with anti-glare lenses.
If your cataract is large, and you have difficulty performing your usual activities, surgery may be recommended. During cataract surgery, your lens is removed and replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens implant. Surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and only requires a local anesthetic. Most people notice an improvement in their vision just a few hours after surgery, although it may take a week or two to experience sharp vision.
Do your cataracts keep you from doing the things you want to do? Surgery can improve your vision. Call eye doctors at Brandon Eye Associates in Brandon, FL, at (813) 684-2211 to schedule an appointment to discuss your options.
Several retinal eye treatments are available for treating various retinal conditions, such as diabetic retinopathy or retinal detachment. The type and severity of the retinal condition will dictate which treatment method is used to correct the problem. Common retinal eye treatments include laser therapy and eye surgery. The ophthalmologists at Brandon Eye Associates treat a variety of problems of the retina in Brandon and Plant City, FL.
Retinal Detachment Treatment
Retinal detachment is a condition in which retinal tissue in the back of the eye separates from the wall of the eye. Retinal detachment can occur following an injury or trauma to the eye. Additionally, if retinal tissue becomes weak or develops holes, detachment can occur then, as well. When retinal detachment occurs, the result is partial or complete loss of vision in that eye. While retinal detachment and the accompanying loss of vision can sound daunting, there are treatment methods for reattaching the retina.
In Brandon and Plant City, retina reattachment is performed by an ophthalmologist. There are different treatment methods for reattaching the retina. The treatment used will depend on the location where the retina detached from the eyewall. Retinal detachment treatments include:
- Pneumatic Retinopexy — A gas bubble is injected into the eye to hold the retina in place while the eye produces new tissue to reconnect the retina to the eyewall.
- Cryosurgery — Scar tissue is created, which helps the retina reattach to the eyewall.
- Sclera Buckle — A small device for reducing tension on the retina is permanently inserted in the eye.
Diabetic Retinopathy Treatments
Diabetic retinopathy is a condition in which the blood vessels in the retina become damaged due to high blood sugar levels. When the blood vessels become damaged, they often swell, begin leaking, or even close, all of which can lead to loss of vision. Among individuals with diabetes, diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss. There are treatments for this condition. However, treatment only stabilizes the patient’s vision. It cannot reverse the damage and completely store lost vision.
Treatments for diabetic retinopathy include several laser treatments, as well as surgery. Specific treatments for this condition include:
- Grid Laser Treatment — A laser treatment used to seal off areas with extensive leaky blood vessels.
- Focal Laser Treatment — A laser treatment for reducing swelling in the anterior portion of the eye.
- Pan Retinal Photocoagulation — A laser treatment used to stop the retina from leaking by creating several small burns that seal the retina.
- Vitrectomy — A surgical treatment in which a laser is used to remove damaged retinal tissue and blood vessels from the middle portion of the eye. A saline solution is then injected into the area to maintain the round globe shape of the eye.
Several retinal eye treatments exist for the treatment of such conditions as retinal detachment and diabetic retinopathy. For treatment of retina problems in Brandon or Plant City, FL, contact Brandon Eye Associates at (813) 684-2211.
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