Why Your Eye Doctor Wants to See Your Retinas
General eye exams are often mistaken for basic vision exams. The basic vision exam is one that children used to have done at school or one that is done at the DMV when you renew your driver’s license. Covering one eye and reading letters on a board is a way to evaluate vision, yes, but there is much more to eye health than this. A thorough eye exam looks at all of the parts of the eye to carefully monitor, from one visit to the next, how well the eyes are functioning. These exams are integral to long-term healthy vision. One of the areas that is critical to vision is the retina. Here, we discuss why your eye exams should include observation of this part of the eye.
What is the Retina?
The retina is a small area of tissue that is at the back of the eye. It is behind the lens, the cornea, and an area filled with a gel-like fluid called the aqueous. The retina is an important part of the eye because it is here where light lands after passing through the front of the eye. The retina transfers light to the brain through the optic nerve. If this part of the eye is not healthy, the light rays that enter the eye cannot be adequately translated into clear vision.
The retina can be damaged by various health conditions, including diabetes. It can also be damaged by light, particularly the blue light that gets absorbed from digital devices. Because of this, periodic exams are necessary. Retinal exams and imaging can help detect the warning signs of a number of conditions, including:
- Diabetic retinopathy. People with diabetes, whether controlled or not, are strongly encouraged to visit their eye doctor yearly or as otherwise recommended. Diabetes can cause damage to the tiny blood vessels in the eye, causing bleeding and swelling that lead to vision loss.
- Retinal tears or detachment. The retina is attached to the back wall of the eye. This piece of tissue can pull way partially or fully, leading to vision loss.
- Glaucoma. This condition is related to the pressure within the eye. When pressure is excessive, it can compress the optic nerve behind the retina, leading to irreparable damage.
- Age-related macular degeneration. The macula is the center of the retina. It is where central vision is formed. This tissue can break down with age, leading to blood or fluid leakage that damages central vision.
Pasadena Eye Associates offers comprehensive care to keep your eyes as healthy as possible. To schedule a visit with us, call 713.473.5715.