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Retina Disease, Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment

Retinal disease is a disorder of the retina in the eye that adversely affects a person's vision. The retina itself is a thin layer behind the eyes and contains millions of cells that are sensitive to light and nerve cells that receive and regulate visual information in the brain through the optic nerve. In the middle of the neural network, there is a macula which acts for sharp and focused vision, such as to read or see things in detail. Retinal disease can interfere with vision, even if very severe can lead to blindness. Some types of retinal diseases that occur include macular degeneration, macular hole, retinitis pigmentosa, retinal detachment, torn retina, and epiretinal membrane.

If you experience a change when you see it, such as reduced vision, spots or bright light when you see it, get medical attention immediately so that the retinal disease does not get worse. Treatment is carried out depending on the type of retinal disease and symptoms caused.

Retina Disease, Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment

Symptoms of Retina

Many types of retinal disease exhibit the same symptoms, namely blurred vision, such as floating spots or cobwebs that block vision, or disruption of the edge field of view.

Causes of Retinal Disease

Causes can be seen from the type of illness suffered, including:

  • Diabetic retinopathy, which is a complication of diabetes mellitus which results in damage to the retinal blood vessels. This condition makes the retina swollen or there is a negative blood capillary that ruptures so that the view becomes blurred or disturbed.
  • Retinitis pigmentosa is a degenerative disease that can affect the retina of the eye. The change in retinal response to light makes the patient's ability to see less and less over time, but will not be completely blind.
  • Macular degeneration, which is damage to the center of the retina, which makes the view blurred or there are parts that are not accessible to vision. There are two types of macular degeneration, namely dry and wet degeneration. The initial symptoms usually begin with a dry form, then develop into one or both eyes.
  • Macular hole, which is a small defect in the macula that is formed due to abnormal pulls between the retina and vitreous, or because of an injury to the eye.
  • Retinal tears can occur in the shrinking of the vitreus, which is a gel-shaped tissue on the inside of the eyeball so that the layer on the back of the eye is attracted. In this area, there is a retina, which can be attracted and torn if the pull is quite large.
  • Retinal detachment, which occurs in the retinal tear, where there is seepage of fluid through the gap of the tear and pushing the retina up from the supporting tissue. This condition is indicated by the appearance of fluid under the retina.
  • Retinoblastoma, which is a rare eye cancer that is generally diagnosed at the age of the child.
  • Epiretinal membrane is fine scar tissue, looks like a thin transparent membrane that wrinkles and attaches to the retina. This membrane causes pulling on the retina so that the view becomes blurred or twisted.

Diagnosis of Retinal Disease

Determination of the diagnosis is made based on a thorough eye examination, family history of illness and other illnesses suffered, and a history of injury to the eye. In addition, the diagnosis needs to be supported by several other examinations to determine the location and severity of the retinal disease. Some of the checks that can be done include:

  • Ultrasound, CT scan, and MRI. These three examinations can give a clearer picture of the retina, to help determine the diagnosis and treatment, including checking the possibility of an injury or tumor in the eye.
  • Optical coherence tomography (OCT). This examination can show a picture of the retina, which is used to detect the presence of macular holes, epiretinal membrane, macular swelling, and observe the area affected by macular degeneration.
  • Amsler grid test, tests conducted to test the sharpness of the central view.
  • Angiography with contrasting substances. Angiographic examination using fluorescent contrast fluid will fill and mark the retinal blood vessels at the time of scanning. Through this examination, it can be seen if there are blockages, leaks, and abnormalities in the blood vessels or the back of the eyeball. Whereas to get a picture of a blood vessel that is difficult to see in choroidal tissue located behind the retina, the contrast fluid used is indocyanine green (ICG), which can glow when illuminated by infrared light.

Treatment of Retinal Disease

Treatment for general retinal diseases is through surgery. Some of the techniques carried out in this case are:

  • Injecting the drug in the eye. This injection is mainly directed at the vitreous or clear gel in the eye. This action is used to overcome the degeneration of wet macules, broken blood vessels in the eye or diabetic retinopathy.
  • Vitrectomy, which is the operation of replacing the gel in the vitreus by injecting gas, air, or liquid into it. This action is done to treat the separation of the retina, macular hole, trauma, or infection of the eye.
  • Cyropexy, which is freezing of the outer wall of the eye to treat torn retinas. The goal is to slow down the damage caused by injuries and restore the retina to remain on the wall of the eyeball.
  • Scatter laser photocoagulation. This procedure can be done to shrink new abnormal blood vessels or bleeding that is harmful to the eyes. This action is useful for treating diabetic retinopathy.
  • Pneumatic retinopexy, which is the injection of air or gas in the eye to overcome certain types of retinal separation. This action can be combined with cyropexy or laser photocoagulation.
  • Scleral buckling or repair of the eye surface to overcome retinal separation. This action is carried out by adding silicon outside the eye surface (sclera) and can be done with other actions.
  • Implantation of the retinal prosthesis is done for people who have difficulty seeing or suffering from blindness due to retinal disease.
  • Laser surgery is performed to repair tears or holes in the retina. In addition to repairing retinal tears, warming up with a laser beam on the torn part will also cause the formation of scar tissue that can bind the retina with its supporting tissue. If this operation is immediately performed in cases of retinal tears, it will reduce the risk of retinal detachment.

The main goal of all the above treatments is to stop or slow down the progress of the disease and maintain, repair or restore vision.
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