Retinal diseases can affect any part of your retina, a thin layer of tissue found at the back of the eye. While these diseases vary widely, most of them cause visual problems. Treatment is available for some retinal diseases to slow or stop disease progression. Left untreated, some retinal diseases can lead to vision loss or blindness.
Common retinal diseases include diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment, retinal tears, macular holes and macular degeneration. Now that you know what retinal diseases are, let’s look at the symptoms of possible retinal disease.
The retina is responsible for sending light signals to the brain. When it becomes damaged or diseased, it can send the wrong information to the brain, causing flashing lights. The flashing light phenomenon is most common with macular degeneration and retinal detachment. See your eye specialist right away if this happens.
Double vision is when you see duplicates of things. The second version is often blurry and less clear than the original. The two objects could be overlapping, layered or blurry, making it uncomfortable to use your eyes. People who experience double vision often suffer from headaches and light sensitivity as well.
Not all cases of double vision indicate a problem with the retina. It’s possible that the problem lies within the cornea, lens, muscles, nerves or brain. However, if the retina surface is not perfectly smooth, it can cause double vision. A qualified retinal specialist can determine the underlying cause of double vision.
Another symptom to watch for is “dimmer vision.” Dim vision occurs when things look dark or muddied, much like when you wear sunglasses. If you notice a dark curtain in your field of view, schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist. This could be caused by retinal detachment, which happens when the retina separates from the blood vessels. Without immediate help, you could suffer permanent vision loss.
It’s normal to have some specks or lines in your vision for a few seconds, but if these lines don’t disappear, it’s possible that you have something bigger going on. Damaged or diseased retinas send incorrect signals to the brain, which is why random dots can appear. If you have a sudden onset of eye floaters that don’t go away, schedule an emergency appointment with a retinal eye doctor. You could have retinal detachment.
One last symptom to pay attention to is blind spots. If you notice increasing blind spots, shadows or a “curtain” blocking your view, contact your ophthalmologist. Shadows or dark curtains may point to a detached or torn retina. This is a serious problem that can lead to permanent blindness if not treated right away.
Notice these Signs? See Your Retinal Specialist ASAP!
If you notice any of the signs above, schedule an appointment with Empire Retina Consultants. With prompt treatment, you can avoid long-term damage and permanent vision loss. And, don’t forget to schedule regular eye exams because we can assess your risk for retinal disease.