Discovering the retina: an approach to clear vision (2023)

Retina explained

You cannot have clear vision without healthy visionThe retina. Located at the back of the eye, the retina is a thin tissue that has an amazing ability to convert light waves received from the lens into complex nerve signals. Under normal circumstances, information produced in the retina is transmitted immediately via the optic nerve to the brain's visual cortex.

Since the retina plays such a key role in healthy vision, it's no wonder that diseases and injuries to the retina often result in permanent vision loss. Everyone should take special care of their retinas if they want to increase their chances of healthy vision throughout life.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the anatomy of the retina and explain some of the most important conditions associated with these eye tissues. In this article, you will also find some preventive strategies you can use to improve the health of your retina.

How does volleyball work?

Finding volleyballeye diagram, just look for the thin layer that wraps around the inner surface at the back of the eye. You should notice that the retina is attached to the optic nerve at a raised point called the optic disc.

To understand how the retina converts light waves into visual data, it is necessary to briefly mention the photoreceptors. A well-functioning retina will have millions of these light-sensitive cells intensely sending messages through the optic nerve.

Discovering the retina: an approach to clear vision (1)

There are two main types of photoreceptors with different jobs:sticks and cones. Columns are most commonly associated with night vision devices because they better pick up visual cues in low-light environments. Cones, on the other hand, are necessary for day vision, as well as for distinguishing between different colors.

Rods can be found throughout the retina, but cones are usually concentrated in two central areas known as the macula and fovea. While the macula has several rod photoreceptors, the fovea contains only cones. For this reason, dimples are most often associated with focused vision during the day.

Interestingly, new research from Germany suggests that wands may have more to do with daylight vision than researchers previously suspected. Researchers from the University of Tübingen observed the level of rods in the eyes of a group of mice when they increased the brightness. They found that the rods actually increased in size in the retina when the mice were exposed to more light. This new study suggests that the functions of rods and cones may be more complicated than previously thought. Anyone interested in this study can read the full article on the subjectHomepage.

Several common retinal disorders

Retinal detachment

As the name suggests, Aretinal ablationit occurs when retinal tissue begins to detach from its proper place at the back of the eye. Since the retina in this condition cannot receive the necessary nutrients and oxygen, it is extremely important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to avoid permanent vision loss.

Common warning signs of retinal detachment include:

  • Sudden flashes of light
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Increased floaters in the eyes
  • Blurry vision

Patients usually do not report symptoms of eye pain when they experience a retinal detachment.

There are many potential causes of retinal detachment, but one of the most common causes of this problem is fluid leaking from the eyes. A few obvious causes of retinal tears and detachments are direct trauma to the eye or eye surgery. People who are nearsighted, over the age of 50, or have a genetic link to a patient with retinal detachment are more likely to develop the disorder.

TheNHSadvises anyone experiencing symptoms of retinal detachment to call 111 immediately. Upon arrival at the hospital, doctors will most likely scan your retina to see if it is torn or detached. For retinal tears, eye doctors usually use laser surgery or a freezing procedure to create a scar on the retinal tissue. If the retina is truly detached, doctors may need to inject gas into the eyes to prevent fluid from leaking out of the eye.

Glaucoma

According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO),glaucomait is second only to cataracts as the leading cause of blindness in the world. Scientists think it will, at least80 million glaucomapatients worldwide in 2020.

There are many forms of glaucoma, but most are caused by an unnatural accumulation of fluid in the eye that puts pressure on the retina and optic nerves. Over time, retinal nerves can be damaged, which can lead to permanent vision loss.

Unfortunately, visual symptoms of glaucoma usually do not appear until the disease is significantly advanced. However, optometrists can monitor a patient's risk of developing this disorder during a standard eye exam.

Although there is no cure for glaucoma, doctors can slow the progression of the disease with drugs and laser surgery. Ophthalmologists may also recommend dietary changes and supplements to improve glaucoma symptoms.

Moorfields Eye Hospital reports at least as much480.000people living in England have glaucoma. British doctors point out that people of African or Caribbean descent have a higher risk of developing glaucoma compared to white Europeans and Asians.

Age-related macular degeneration

One of the most common retinal diseases in people over 40 is known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Non-profit organizationSpecl Companycurrently estimates that there are around 600,000 people in the UK with some degree of AMD.

There are two main forms of AMD: dry and wet. About 9 out of 10 AMD patients suffer from the dry form of the disease, which causes the retina to deteriorate over time. Although wet AMD is quite rare, it is much more serious than dry AMD because it is caused by leaky blood vessels in the retina.

There is no cure for AMD, but doctors can slow the progression of vision loss if they catch the disease early. Common treatments include vitamin supplements, eye injections and laser eye surgery.

Like glaucoma, you won't experience the obvioussymptomswhen AMD is in its early stage. Therefore, health professionals recommend that patients over 40 undergo an examination at least once a year.

Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetics must take particular care of their vision, as elevated blood sugar levels can adversely affect the retina. This disruption of retinal timing can eventually lead to a potentially blinding disorder known as diabetic retinopathy.

Recent statistics from the UK say almost100 placespeople with type 1 diabetes will develop diabetic retinopathy within 20 years of initial diagnosis. People with type 2 diabetes have a 60 percent risk of developing this eye disease within the same time frame.

As with many of the other conditions listed above, visual symptoms associated with diabetic retinopathy do not appear until the disease is significantly advanced. The NHS now recommends that all diabetics aged 12 and over have an eye examination at least once a year.

There is no cure for itdiabetic retinopathy, but doctors can relieve symptoms with laser surgery, dietary changes, and medication.

Ways to improve retinal health

The chemicals lutein and zeaxanthin have recently gained a lot of popularity in eye care. These healthy nutrients are mainly found in dark green vegetables and act as antioxidants in the retina and prevent tissue damage. For this reason, people who get more lutein and zeaxanthin in their diet often have a lower risk of developing diseases such as AMD.

While you can take lutein and zeaxanthin in supplement form, most doctors recommend including these nutrients in your daily diet. The best dietary sources of lutein and zeaxanthin are:

• Kale
• Chard
• Spinach
• Broccoli
• Green necklace

While these vegetables are by far the best source of lutein and zeaxanthin, trace amounts of these compounds can also be found in corn, eggs, and pumpkin.

Stop smoking

The statistics are clear: smokers are much more likely to develop a disease such as AMD or glaucoma than non-smokers. Actually,recent researchsuggest that smokers have at least three times the risk of developing AMD compared to non-smokers. The sooner you quit smoking, the more likely you are to have a clear outlook on life.

UK residents trying to quit smoking should know that the NHS now offers a 'Smokefree' programme. Those interested in participating in this program should visit this officialportal.

Retina: the key to perfect vision health

The retina may not be the center of attention, but it is essential for healthy vision. While there are practical steps you can take to strengthen your retina, the best thing you can do is schedule regular checkups with a board-certified ophthalmologist. Optometrists can spot warning signs of retinal problems long before they cause vision problems.

Author:John Dreyer Optometrist dipl.ing. (Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
Created: May 11, 2023, Last Modified: May 18, 2023

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