Your eye works much like the lens of a camera. Light is reflected off an object then passes through the cornea and lens of your eye. The cornea and lens are responsible for bending this light so that it lands directly onto the retina. The retina is the nerve layer that senses light and sends impulses through the optic nerve to the brain about what has been seen.
When you have refractive errors, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, your cornea is irregular in shape and won’t focus light correctly onto the retina. These issues can be corrected with laser vision correction, glasses, or contacts. When you have a problem with your retina, often the vision impairment is much more severe. You may have black holes in your line of sight, a curtain or veil blocking part of your vision, wavy or distorted vision, or even a total loss of vision, depending upon the condition.
Diseases and conditions of the retina are often the hardest to diagnose and treat. The doctors and staff at Colorado Ophthalmology Associates have been treating retina disorders for over 50 years. We understand how anxious and scared our patients can be when dealing with new or previously existing conditions that affect their eyesight. We strive to provide you with the best options and treatments so that you have excellent vision for years to come.
If you think you may be experiencing problems with your retina, please CALL US immediately for an appointment or book your appointment online. With some conditions, early treatment can mean the difference between restoring your vision and losing it permanently.
Over 25% of diabetics have some form of Diabetic Retinopathy.
The retina in your eye is just like any other part of your body, it needs to be supplied with blood and nutrients to remain healthy. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the blood vessels that supply blood to the retina deteriorate due to a complication of diabetes.
Diabetes can weaken the blood vessels behind your eyes, causing them to leak fluid and blood, and fail to provide the nutrients necessary for a healthy retina. Left untreated, retinopathy can result in severe visual loss, including blindness. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among adults with diabetes. The risk of development increases with age and how long a person has been diagnosed with diabetes.
Excellent control of blood sugar will dramatically reduce the risk of developing retinopathy or other serious diabetic problems.
The most important thing to note is; there is no pain associated with diabetic retinopathy. Without regular eye exams, a diabetic patient can develop this disease and not even realize it. Although some patients may experience blurred vision quickly, it often takes a long progression, or a catastrophic event, before a patient realizes the issue.
Retinal detachment is when the retina in your eye detaches itself from the supporting layers of the eye. While this disorder is a result of a retinal break, hole, or tear, it is not necessarily the result of trauma to the eye. Your eye is filled with a vitreous fluid that helps the eye maintain its round shape. As you age, this fluid or gel may start to pull away from the retina of the eye. As this happens, holes or tears can result. Once this break in the retina happens, the vitreous fluid or gel can now get behind the retina. When this happens, the gel forces the detachment of the retina from supporting layers of the eye.
Your eye is filled with vitreous – a fluid or gel-like substance to help your eye keep its round shape. The normal aging process of the eye will find the vitreous shrinking and pulling away from the retina on inner walls of the eye. When this happens, the retina can tear. This may cause a patient to notice flashes or floaters, decreased vision, unexplained shadows in your line of vision.
Retinal tears are a serious problem as they can lead to internal bleeding in the eye or a detached retina. It is important to get a dilated eye exam as quickly as possible after symptoms start.
The macula is a collection of nerve cells found in the middle of the retina. This is where the eye focuses the images that we see. A macular hole is a hole that forms in this collection of nerve cells. Macular holes are created when the vitreous gel, or fluid in your eye, pulls away from the tissue, due to aging. Vitreous is attached to your retina by very fine fibers, and when it pulls away from the wall of your eye, these fibers can cause small holes to form in the retina.
Left untreated, macular holes can lead to retinal detachment.
Treatment of Macular Holes
A vitrectomy is the most commonly used treatment for macular holes. During this treatment, the surgeon will remove the vitreous gel and replace it with a gas bubble. Then the surgeon will repair the damage. Eventually, the gas bubble will dissipate and it will be replaced by the patient’s bodily fluid.
If you have suffered a relatively rapid loss in vision in one eye you should call for an appointment to determine the cause of the vision loss. Call us at 303-320-1777.
Macular Pucker Surgery
The macula is part of the retina, in the back of the eye. It is a collection of nerves where the eye focuses the images that we see. The macula normally lies very flat against the back of the eye. When trauma or surgery happens to an eye, scar tissue or cells can grow within the eye. These cells or scars can pull on the macula and create a wrinkle, or pucker. Diseases can also cause scar tissue within the eye. These additional tissues are known as epiretinal membranes. Often the actual cause of the pucker may not be known.
Some patients with a macular pucker may not notice any impairment of vision. In patients where this is the case, treatment may not be necessary.