The retina is the tissue at the back of the eye. It is made up of veins and nerves coming from the brain. In order to examine the retina eye drops are applied that dilate the pupil and then this tissue layer is examined using a special lens and light


What is the Retina?
The retina is the tissue at the back of the eye. It is made up of veins and nerves coming from the brain. In order to examine the retina eye drops are applied that dilate the pupil and then this tissue layer is examined using a special lens and light.

What do Advanced Retina Examinations Involve?
FFA (Fundus Fluorecein Angiography/Eye Angio): A dye is injected into the arm allowing the retina to be photographed. Eye Angio is not a treatment. This photograph is only made for diagnosis purposes.
OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography/Eye Tomography): This procedure is used to examine cross-sections of specific parts of the retina. No dye is needed for this procedure. The picture is taken while the pupil is small.
USG (Eye Ultrasound): If an examination is not possible due to deterioration of the transparent layers in front of the retina an ultrasound scan is carried out. This method gives the doctor a rough idea about the state of the retina.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy or Diabetes Related Retinal Disorder? 
Diabetes damages all the veins in the body. It results in the veins in the retina breaking down and in disruption of blood flow. The veins leak where they are weak leading to edema and light bleeding. In those areas of the retina where blood does not flow the retina becomes starved and deprived of oxygen. Unwanted new veins grow in these areas. These veins are very weak and can bleed profusely. FFA and OCT tests are used to diagnose this condition.

Opthalmoscapy With Diabetes: Diabetics should have their eyes checked regularly whether there are problems or not. This should be done once a year if there is no diabetes-related bleeding or leaks, or every six months if there is light bleeding.
Treatment of Diabetes Related Retinal Diseases:

Laser Therapy: If the areas of the retina that are starved due to poor blood flow in the retinal veins are not treated with a laser, new and unwanted veins can form leading to heavy bleeding.

The aim of laser treatment is not better vision. It is to preserve what vision there is and prevent blindness.
Injections: Leakage from the veins close to the macula(center of the retina) causes edema. This fluid degrades vision. Drugs are injected into the eye in order to dry out this fluid.
Surgical Treatment: If there is so much bleeding that the retinal tissue cannot be seen and if this bleeding has gone on for a long time surgery is carried out to stem this bleeding.

What is Macular Degeneration?

The macula is the center of vision in the retina and is known as the yellow spot. Deterioration of the yellow spot associated with old age is known as "Macular Degeneration" or "Yellow Spot Disease." OCT and FFA are used to diagnose this condition.

Who is Prone to Yellow Spot Disease?
•    The aged
•    People with a family history of yellow spot disease
•    People with unhealthy diets
•    Smokers
•    People with arterial diseases

What are the symptoms of Yellow Spot Disease?
*Seeing objects as broken, twisted or distorted
* Shadows in the center of what is being looked at
* Serious difficulties in seeing things up close
Yellow Spot Disease does not cause blindness. Central vision is affected because the disease only affects the center but peripheral vision remains fine.

What are the Various Types of Yellow Spot Disease?
OCT tests can determine what type of disease is present.
Dry Type: This is the most common type (85%). The disease progresses very slowly in this case.
Wet Type: Rarely seen. Bleeding and edema are evident in the macula. Vision is suddenly reduced.

How is Yellow Spot Disease Treated and Monitored?
Vitamins are given that slow the progress of dry-type yellow spot disease and that inhibit the switch from dry-type to wet-type. The patient is told to test himself/herself using a grid test. Eye examinations every six months are recommended.
In cases of wet-type yellow spot disease drugs are injected into the eye at least three times, each time being a month apart. An eye examination every two months at the latest is recommended.

What Are Flashes and Floaters in the Eye? How are They Treated?
There is a gelatinous layer called the Vitreus in front of the retina at the back of the eye. The retina and this gelatinous layer are attached to one another. With age the gelatinous layer turns to liquid and these two layers detach from one another. This condition is known as Vitreus Detachment. When this detachment is taking place flashes of light in the dark can be sensed. The detached gelatinous layer falls onto the retina. The patient experiences this in the form of floaters in the eye. These floaters resemble flies or spider webs.

The separation of these two layers is a natural process and most of the time causes no damage and requires no treatment.
Sometimes, this separation can cause tears in the retina. Laser treatment is applied around these tears. If laser treatment is not carried out the tears can grow and cause the retina to detach from its place (Retinal Detachment). This is a serious situation and definitely requires surgery.



Ada Eye Clinic and Surgery Unit