What is Medical Retina?
Medical Retina specialists monitor and treat conditions that affect the lining of the back of the eye, called the retina. Common conditions include age related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macula oedema, retinal vein occlusion and inherited retinal diseases.
There are various different types of medical retina. The most common are:
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
- Gaps or dark spots across your vision (known as a scotoma)
- Reduced central vision in one or both eyes
- Words may be distorted or mixed up on a page
- Straight lines may appear distorted or bent.
- Gradually worsening vision
- Sudden vision loss
- Shapes floating in your field of vision (floaters)
- Blurred or patchy vision.
Retinal vein occlusion
- Sudden change in vision
- Partial or complete loss of vision
- Usually only in one eye.
Inherited retinal diseases
- Blurred vision
- Occur in childhood
- Intense sensitivity to light
- Blind spots in the vision
- Loss of the ability to see colour
- Loss of side or peripheral vision.
Your specialist will initially take an in depth history of your visual problem and use this information to guide the appropriate diagnostics tests. An eye examination will include observing the back of your eye through a magnifying glass and light and administering some visual skill tests which determine your visual acuity in your central and peripheral fields.
Imaging techniques for assessing retinal disorders may assist in diagnosing retinal problems. Imaging techniques to produce 3D photographs as well as accurate images of the blood vessel network around the retina are often requested. These may include:
- Optical coherence tomography
- Fundus photography
- Fluorescein angiography
- Indocyanine green angiography
Normally, a range of diagnostic tests will be requested to adequately reach an accurate diagnosis.
This all depends on the treatment required:
- Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) injections take around 20 minutes for the full appointment.
- Focal laser takes approximately 20 minutes.
- Pan retinal laser takes from 30 to 40 minutes.
- You may have both eyes treated on the same day, in which case the treatment will take longer.
Laser treatment is very safe and risks are very small. You will have the opportunity to discuss any risks with your consultant prior to agreeing any treatment plan.