Why Retinal Exams are Necessary

  • Posted on: Oct 15 2020
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An eye exam may be more comprehensive than you imagine. Many people think that when they see the eye doctor, they will read letters on a board and have a small light shone in their eyes. These are basic screenings that are commonly performed but they are just the beginning. A more thorough examination is necessary to create an accurate history of eye health and to detect the early warning signs of common eye diseases. One of the structures that an ophthalmologist wants to evaluate is the retina. Here, we discuss why.

What is the Retina?

The way that vision is formed is through light. Light enters the front of the eye, passing through the lens and cornea. These structures shape light and focus it so it passes through the vitreous (the center of the eye) and lands on the retina. The retina is a small piece of tissue that connects to the optic nerve. When light hits the retina, it is transferred through the nerve to the brain, where images are formed. This part of the eye is susceptible to damage from blue light, injury, and health conditions such as diabetes. For this reason, periodic examinations are necessary.

Retinal exams and imaging help an eye doctor detect and monitor various conditions, including:

  • This is a condition that is created by too much pressure inside the eye. This is called intraocular pressure. In addition to measuring pressure with a specific test, the doctor will observe the optic nerve behind the retina to ensure there is no compression impairing its function.
  • Age-related macular degeneration. This relatively common condition occurs when the macula, the center of the retina, weakens. This part of the eye is where central vision is formed. Without effective management, macular degeneration could lead to vision loss.
  • Diabetic retinopathy. Dysregulated blood sugar causes problems in veins throughout the body. The eyes have tiny blood vessels that could weaken as a result of diabetes. This weakness allows blood to leak into the area around the retina, potentially causing irreparable damage.
  • Retinal detachment. The retina is attached to the optic nerve and the back wall of the eye. Under certain conditions, it could pull away partially or entirely. Retinal tears and detachment can be treated with specialized procedures.

The retina is a crucial part of the eye that must be monitored throughout adulthood. To schedule your comprehensive eye exam with us, call our North Canton, Alliance, or Canfield office today.

Posted in: Eye Exams, Ohio Eye Care, Retinal Disease

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