primary eye care

Why The Retina Is Important For Sight

January 23rd, 2019

Your eye has many different parts that are important to your vision.

There is the cornea that focuses most of the light in your eye, the pupil where light passes into the lens, and more.

Another crucial part to having good vision is having a healthy retina. The retina is inside the eye on the back interior wall.

It is a thin, delicate tissue comprised of ten retinal layers. Each retinal layer has a distinct purpose and function. The retina’s job is simple: to sense light and convert it into information.

The retina accomplishes this task using photoreceptive cells called rods and cones. These names come from their physical shape. They are both light sensitive, but only cones are responsible for detecting color.

Another difference is that rods detect low level light. For cones, they work only for high level light. Rods and cones are then divided into 3 groups based on what wavelengths they detect.

There are about 1 million cone receptors in the retina. Wave receptors focus in the center of the retina. Compare this to the 120 million rod receptors spread out all over the eye.

When the retina absorbs light, it sends electrical signals to the brain. These electrical signals get sent through the optic nerve. This information then becomes an image.

Retinal Problems

While the retina is well protected, it is still susceptible to many problems. Common retinal disorders include:

  • Macular degeneration in which the center of the retina, the macula, becomes diseased. It causes blood vessels to grow and leak beneath the macula. These leaky blood vessels damage the sensitive tissue permanently. Central vision is at risk from macular degeneration.
  • Retinal detachment when the retina begins to peel away from or gets torn off the back of the interior eye wall. This is a medical emergency. The retina can be reattached with surgery, but this needs to happen as soon as possible. Left untreated, retinal detachment leads to permanent vision loss.
  • Retinopathy can be a symptom of diabetes or from other unknown causes. Diabetic retinopathy also causes blood to grow and leak. It can lead to problems like glaucoma, general vision loss and retinal detachment. Central serous retinopathy does not have a distinct cause. Some researchers claim that stress plays a big role in retinopathy. It is a common condition, especially in young and middle aged adults. When central serous retinopathy occurs, it causes a cyst to form in the central retina.

With the proper treatment and detection, many retinal problems are manageable! It’s important to see your eye doctor as soon as possible if you notice any problems with your vision.

Even if there is nothing wrong with your eyes, it’s always safer to find out! There’s always a chance that your next eye exam could detect something.

These disorders can be treated or prevented with early detection! This is why it is important to schedule regular eye appointments with Vision Care of Maine in Bangor. Start today!

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