Each of your eyes is a complex system of components that interact with each other to, under the best circumstances, allow you to see the world clearly and efficiently.
At the office of Dr. Sheldon J. Cowen, we believe that our patients’ basic understanding of how the eye works can be quite helpful in recognizing the symptoms of serious disease.
The retina, one of the most important parts of an eye, is the light-sensitive cell layer at the back of the eye. The macula is the “heart” of the retina. It’s responsible for central vision, most color vision and the ability to perceive delicate visual details.
As with every other body part, the retina is susceptible to disease. Knowing the symptoms of these three common disorders will let you know that it’s time to seek immediate attention from an ophthalmologist. He or she will address the condition and then do whatever it takes to prevent the situation from worsening.
Retinal Detachment: It happens when the retina lifts off the back wall of the eye. This stops the flow of blood and oxygen to the retina, resulting in the death of cells. Once retinal cells die off, vision loss is not treatable. A retinal detachment is a medical emergency. Symptoms include a sudden increase in floaters (spots in your field of vision), flashes of light and a darkening of your peripheral vision.
Diabetic Retinopathy: This occurs when uncontrolled blood sugar levels damage the retina’s tiny blood vessels. The blood vessels begin to swell and leak fluid and blood, which can get into the eye cavity and obscure vision. Signs include floaters, blurred vision, impaired color vision and vision loss.
Macular Degeneration: It arises when the macula begins to break down, which causes blind spots in your central vision. Macular degeneration alone cannot instigate complete blindness, but it can cause total loss of central vision. Indications are blurry central vision, distorted straight lines, or difficulty reading or distinguishing details.
Report any changes—especially if they’re sudden or involve vision loss—to an ophthalmologist immediately.
At the office of Dr. Sheldon J. Cowen, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of expert care of the retina. To learn more about our practice and the many services we provide, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
By Dr. Sheldon J. Cowen
June 21, 2021