Retina Disease Common Questions Answered

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There are many different types of retinal disease with various possible causes, but they all have some effect on vision.

Retina is a layer of tissue at the back of the eye that contains light-sensitive cells, capturing visual information to send to the brain and allowing you to see. Retinal diseases can damage this ability and impair your vision, even leading to blindness in some cases if left untreated.


What are the signs of retina problems?

Many different types of retinal disease have similar symptoms and signs to look out for. These signs can include:

  • Sudden increase in ‘floaters’ (small specks or cobweb-like strands floating in your vision)
  • Blurred vision or distorted lines and shapes
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Severely reduced vision

It is important to seek medical advice if you notice any changes in your vision, particularly if they happen rapidly.


What causes retina problems?

There are several different risk factors and possible causes of retina damage and disease, with some of the most common including:

  • Advanced age
  • Having diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Eye trauma and injuries
  • A family history of retinal problems


What are some examples of retinal disease?

These are some of the most common retinal issues and conditions:


Macular degeneration

This is when the centre of your retina, known as the macular, deteriorates and causes blurred vision. This can often happen as a result of advanced age.


Retinal Tear

If the gel-like liquid in the centre of your eye shrinks, it can pull on the retina tissue and cause a tear, leading to immediate vision problems.


Retinal detachment

A detached retina can happen when a retinal tear causes fluid to flow underneath the retina, lifting it away from the tissues underneath.


Diabetic retinopathy

Diabetes can cause damage to the small blood vessels inside your retina, leading to blurred or distorted vision.


Macular hole

This is a small defect or hole in the centre of the retinal tissue, known as the macula, and can be caused by injury or abnormal traction within the eye.


Retinal vein occlusion

This is caused by a blockage of a vein in the eye, which can lead to swelling and internal bleeding, damaging the cells of the retina.


Can retina problems be cured?

Treatments and surgery are available to treat various different types of retinal diseases and problems, and can have very positive results in restoring or even improving vision. The type of treatment recommended will depend on the specific issue and the advice of your medical professional, but these are some of the most common retinal surgery options:


Laser surgery

This can repair retinal tears or holes, and can be done fairly quickly and easily.


Photodynamic therapy (PDT)

This is a type of laser treatment that shrinks abnormal blood vessels, preventing them from bleeding into your eye.



Freezing, or cryopexy, can be used to repair a tear by freezing the retina, which later scars the tissue and secures the retina in place.


Pneumatic retinopexy

This treatment involves injecting gas into the eye to repair retinal detachment, sometimes along with freezing or laser treatments to secure the retinal tissue.


Retina surgery at Ramsay Health Care

Find out more about treatments and surgery for retinal disease and the options available at Ramsay Health Care hospitals, or get in touch with us if you’d like more information or you want to book an appointment to see one of our specialists.

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