The retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the inside of the eye and sends visual messages through the optic nerve to the brain.
The retina is a very important part of the eye that connects the images that the eye interprets to the brain itself. Basically this is how we SEE! The retina is connected via the optic nerve to the brain. If this retina detaches from the optic nerve permanent vision loss can result. Ophthalmologists often worry about diabetic patients because this disease is known to put stress on the retina and optic nerve. In some cases there may be areas of the retina that are torn. These areas, called retinal tears or retinal breaks, can often lead to retinal detachment.
A retinal detachment can occur at any age, but it is more common in people over age 40. It affects White-Caucasian people more than African Americans.
Despite the difficulty with getting to the retina and treating this tough condition over 90 percent of the people diagnosed with retinal detachment are treated successfully according to the National Eye Institute. This visual outcome is not always predictable and patients are encouraged to consult an ophthalmologist about the their specific retinal detachment problem.
The longer a person has had diabetes, the chances of having some form of diabetic retinopathy increases. Retinopathy is present in 90 percent of those who have had the disease for more than 20 years. Research has shown that laser treatment can prevent or delay severe visual loss from diabetic retinopathy, but only if it diagnosed early enough. Annual eye exams are a must for diabetics.
A diabetic can significantly reduce the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy by using common sense and making healthy choices:
If vision becomes blurred, it becomes difficult to do close work such as reading, or if vision becomes spotty or hazy, a diabetic should see his or her eye doctor right away.