What is Retina & Why are diseases of Retina is very Important to Understand?
Retina is the layer of an eye on which images are formed. It is akin to photograph film on which photos are formed. Photos are formed on film but these have to be developed after exposure to get a clear picture .Our brain acts as that developer. Once the image is formed on retina it is sent through nerves to the brain and in our brain these get processed to form final image. For proper functioning of eyes these bunches of nerves are very important.
Retina is very sensitive part of eye in which many nerve endings are there. We can see in the light as well as dark because of this adaptation which occurs in retina. There are many diseases of the retina that were earlier undiagnosed and no treatment were offered. Now with the advancement in technology, the diseases of the retina are identified and treated.
The first and most common retina disease is retinopathy due to diabetes or uncontrolled sugar. Slowly the retina becomes ischemic. In this disease, many changes occur which are not reversible. Slowly person loses vision which can not be reversed.
AMD( Age-related macular degeneration) is another disease of the retina which is becoming increasingly common due to the increase in the life expectancy of people. As a result of increasing age debris of the cells of retina get stuck in between the layers of the retina and slowly diminishes the vision. There is the formation of layer (CNVM) in between layers of retina which further decreases the vision.
There are other diseases of retina which are caused by infections such as CMV retinitis or caused by systemic problems like hypertension. Auto-Immune diseases also cause many diseases in the retina.
There are other subsets of disease which are congenital (right from birth). These types of retina diseases have no treatment except for early detection of disease and lifestyle modification according to diseases. Retinitis pigmentosa is a very distressing disease of the retina in which the patient cannot see at night. In later years patient loses his vision and has to be supported by low vision aids. There are many dytrophies of the eye which do not have any known cause and treatment.
Thus retina is a very important layer of the eye. Diseases of this layer are sometimes subtle and regular check-up of retina is the only way for early detection of the problems