To increase the awareness amongst the people regarding retinal disorders and diseases, World Retina Week will be observed from 23th – 29th September. During this week, there will be various awareness programs conducted to make people aware about diseases such as macular degeneration, usher syndrome and retinitis pigmentosa. During this program, preventions and cures are also explained. The main motive of this awareness week is to alert people to consult their specialist well in time as there are few diseases that are difficult to treat.
What is Retina?
In simple words, Retina is the innermost coating of the eye. This consists of light-sensitive nerve cells and fibers that are connected with the brain through the optic nerve. The pressure of a vitreous gel helps in holding the retina in place within the eye.
Retinal Diseases & Disorders:
- Retinal Tear: Shrink in the clear, gel-like substance (vitreous) in the center of the eye and tugging on the thin layer of tissue that lines the back of the eye, causes a tear.
- Retinal Detachment: presence of fluid under the retina is a very common sign of retinal detachment. This situation generally occurs after retinal tear when fluid passes and lifts the retina.
- Diabetic Retinopathy: Diabetic people should be very alert as their tiny blood vessels in the back of their eye can decrease and at the same time leak a fluid in the retina, later causing swelling of the retina. This situation first blurs the vision and if not treated, vision becomes worse.
- Epiretinal Membrane: Macular Pucker is the other name for Epiretinal Membrane. This is a very fragile tissue-like membrane or scar that gets developed over the retina’s center at the back of Macula. This condition may damage the retina surface resulting in poor vision.
- Macular Hole: In the center of retina, a small defect or macular hole at the back of the eye. Generally, macula’s age-related degeneration is the reason of this disorder. There might not be any specific reason for this disorder. An eye trauma could also result in Mascular Hole.
- Macular Degeneration: In this condition, the retina’s center beings to disintegrate, causing blurred vision or a blind spot in the center of the vision field. Thos disorder could be dry or wet.
- As people age, the vision impairment becomes more common.
- The risk of vision impairment is higher in people suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes.
- Retinal disorders such as diabetic retinopathy, cataract, age-related macular degeneration and glaucoma are the causes of vision loss or complete blindness. There are some refractive errors that could easily be corrected using contact lenses or glasses.
Eight Simple Ways to Protect Your Vision
- Consult your health care provider and get comprehensive dilated eye exams on a regular basis.
- Having knowledge about family’s eye health is important. There are various disorders that are hereditary.
- Eating right is simple and best solution to protect the vision. Spinach, collard greens, kale, fish, etc. are some of the foods to be included in the diet.
- Put a check on your body weight.
- While playing sports or being involved in different activities, make sure you wear protective eye wear.
- Quit smoking or better never start.
- When purchasing sunglasses, make sure that are competent to block 99% – 100% of UVA (ultraviolet A) and UVB (ultraviolet B) radiations.
- Wash your hands properly using an antiseptic before taking out your contact lenses. Do not forget to clean your lenses to avoid infection.
When to Visit Eye Care Professional?
Consult your Eye Care Professional if you have
- Eye pain
- Decreased vision
- Double vision
- Redness or drainage from the eye
You should also visit your Eye Care Professional if you see
- Flashes of light
- Circles, or halos, around light sources
- Floaters (tiny specks that appear to float before your eyes)
There are eye specialists and eye diagnostic centers where treatments of different retinal disorders are available. The solutions range from eye drops to surgical procedures like intraocular injections, vitreoretinal surgery, laser therapy, etc. The main motive of these therapies is to protect the retina and macula that allow us to see the world. Thus, on the occasion of World Retina Week, strive to preserve your vision as that would allow you to continue with the activities you love to enjoy.