The retina is the light sensitive layer at the back of the eye. It is a very delicate structure derived during fetal development from brain tissue. If damaged it has limited capacity to repair itself. Over the last 10 years there have been huge developments in the treatment of age related macula degeneration and retinal vascular diseases with the discovery of pharmacological agents that can be injected into the eye. The most common retinal diseases are described below:
Diabetes is a common disease with an increased risk of retinal involvement with time. All diabetic should have an annual retinal screening. Treatment may be necessary if there is leakage from damaged blood vessels into the retina, or if these is abnormal growth of blood vessels.
Retinal vein occlusion is a blockage in the veins at the back of the eye. This can result in reduced vision. There are now various pharmacological or laser treatments for this condition.
There are two main types of Age Related Macula Degeneration, “Wet” and “Dry”. Wet macula degeneration requires prompt treatment, vision can be stabilised or improved in over 80% of cases if treated early. Vitamin supplements may reduce the risk of progression in some sub types of dry macula degeneration.