Read here about other possible retinal diseases and disorders.
A macular hole is a tiny hole, usually less than half a millimetre across, which results from a small tear or shrinking in the vitreous behind the eye. It does not matter that it is small in size, because the central macula houses the scarce cone photoreceptors that are responsible for all your detailed central vision, this condition used to be a common cause of legal blindness. This can significantly affect the vision, particularly centrally. Sometimes, if the other eye is unaffected, this might not be noticeable. A macular hole is more likely to occur in those aged over 60 years and is more common in women than men. In most cases, vitreoretinal surgery is required and more than 9 out of 10 of all macular holes are closed successfully in experienced Vitroeoretinal surgeons’ hands. Please note: some doctors are only trained to treat non-surgical retina conditions, but macular holes require fully trained vitreoretinal surgeons’ expertise and surgical techniques.
This can occur as a result of a PVD, where the vitreous gel pulls on the retina, creating a tear. This tear is usually U-shaped (a horseshoe tear). The vast majority of patients with a retinal tear develop a detached retina if left untreated. Typical symptoms are flashes and floaters. A retinal tear will require treatment to prevent a detached retina. Depending on the specific tear, laser treatment, freezing treatment (cryo) or both will be required. There are exceptions, however, which must be discussed with a retinal ophthalmologist.
This is a blockage of the tiny veins that carry blood away from the retina. Blockage of these smaller, branch veins often occurs as the result of arteries that have been thickened or hardened and place extra pressure on the retinal vein. There are several causes, which increase with age, including high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, diabetes and several other eye conditions. The condition can cause a sudden blurring or vision loss and requires careful management to avoid complications. Many patients can often regain useful vision if the condition is controlled.
This condition occurs when blood vessels in the retina are leaking fluid, causing a thickening or swelling of the macula. This will affect the central vision. The cause varies, and can sometimes occur after cataract surgery, but there are many other potential causes. Currently there are several treatments available, including injections and laser treatment. The appropriate treatment depends on the specific condition. Early intervention and treatment will provide the best outcome.
This occurs when the vitreous (the jelly-like fluid behind the eye) is filled with blood, which preventing light entering the eye. Patients can experience anything from seeing a few floaters, dots or blobs to complete vision loss. Regardless, of the severity of symptoms, any such case requires urgent attention. There are several potential causes, including diabetic retinopathy, retinal vein occlusion, retinal tear or detachment, age related macular degeneration and retina macroaneurysm. Some vitreous haemorrages may clear themselves, and in severe cases vitrectomy surgery may be required. Please note: some doctors are only trained to treat non-surgical retina conditions, but non-clearing vitreous haemhorrhages require fully trained vitreoretinal surgeon’s experience and surgical techniques.
Floaters are located in the vitreous humour (the gel that fills the eye). They can appear as dots, hair, threads, shapes etc. Most likely, they are imperfections or debris within the vitreous. Floaters are common, and if they’ve been present for a while and don’t cause any visual disturbances, there is most likely no need to worry. However, if floaters (or flashes) appear suddenly, or the number of floaters suddenly increases, it’s important to see an ophthalmologist urgently as this could be a sign of a vitreous or retinal detachment.
There are a number of less common retinal disorders. If you’re unsure, see your GP or optometrist, who will refer you to an ophthalmologist if necessary.