Medical & Surgical Retina Services

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Closeup of retina

What is the Retina?

The retina is the layer in the very back of the eyeball that plays the role of triggering nerve impulses that pass along the optic nerve to the brain. Essentially, this gives your brain the ability to visual perceive what you are looking at. There are many different retinal conditions that can have a serious impact on your vision that you may miss without a yearly eye exam. The easiest and best description of a retina is that it is the very back layer of the eyeball that uses rods and cones that piece together visual elements as well as dictate our perception of color. 

What are the most common retina conditions? 

Common retina conditions include retina detachments, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, retinal vein occlusion, uveitis and many more!  Many of the common retina conditions can seriously hinder your everyday life.


Happy older couple embracing

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is the most common reason for vision loss for Americans over the age of 50. It is an eye disease that impacts the macula. The macula is responsible for light sensitivity and is located at the very back of your eyeball. The common symptoms for macular degeneration include gradual vision loss, the shape of objects that can start to appear distorted, straight lines that look wavy and your ability to differentiate contrast in colors will begin to fade. 

Can I prevent Macular Degeneration? 

It has been proven that a good diet and exercise can slow the growth of macular degeneration as well as prevent it all together. Keeping things like your hypertension, cholesterol levels and no tobacco use also plays a big role in keeping a healthy macula. 

What are the most common treatments for Macular Degeneration? 

Outside of keeping a healthy overall lifestyle, other treatment options include laser photocoagulation, anti-VEGF therapy medication, and intravitreal injections. The best treatment options for you can be discussed with our specialist. Like many retina disorders, you may not notice any symptoms until there is serious damage done to your vision.


Diabetic Retinopathy 

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of vision loss in middle-aged adults. Diabetic retinopathy results from having diabetes and a high blood sugar count which can cause damage to the retinal blood vessels in the back of the eye. If these conditions are left untreated for an extended period of time, it can lead to permanent blindness in individuals.

Diabetic retinopathy and normal eye retina.

Are there different kinds of Diabetic Retinopathy? 

There are two different stages of diabeic retinopathy. The first is non-proliferative, in which the blood vessels in the retina can become enlarged and blocked. The second is called proliferative. Proliferative is the most advanced stage, this can lead to breaking of the blood vessels which can cause considerable vision loss.  

How is Diabetic Retinopathy diagnosed? 

The most common way to diagnose diabetic retinopathy in the early stages is by a dilated eye exam. The other most common way to detect diabetic retinopathy is an Optical Coherence Tomography for mild cases. For the more serious cases, a fluorescein angiogram will be necessary to detect the seriousness of this disorder. 

Like most retinal conditions, early detection and proper treatment are very important when it comes to saving your vision. If you believe you are experiencing diabetic retinopathy symptoms, visit one of our retina specialists today. 

Get Started with Chicago Eye Institute Today

Chicago Eye Institute

5086 N. Elston Ave
Chicago, IL

773-282-2000
Illinois Masonic Medical Center

836 W. Wellington Ave
Chicago, IL

773-296-8000
St. Elizabeths Professional Building

1431 N. Western Ave
Chicago, IL

773-342-8000
Hyde Park

1525 E. 53rd St, Ste 1002
Chicago, IL

312-236-6575
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