What is Retina and Why is it necessary to get retina checkup done?
You all must have heard or read this popular proverb, "Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder". But for you to see the beauty, the two most amazing god gifted cameras must be healthy. Especially, the film of this camera, because unless you resolve what you see in this world in high definition, you'll not be able to gauge the beauty of it. Lets understand why retina consultations are necessary to live a content life.
Retina is the back part of the eye which acts like a screen where the light entering the eye is projected. Although it is the brain that processes the image that helps us see, the quality of the image reaching the brain should be clear. The images projected on the retina will be clear only if the retina is healthy and in its normal anatomical shape.
Conditions that can cause Retinal damage:
There are a myriad of conditions that can affect the retina, depending on the which geographical location you are located in. Some common retinal diseases are described below:
- Diabetes Mellitus (Diabetic Retinopathy): With increasing ageing population, diabetes has become a highly prevalent non communicable disease in India. Diabetes, particularly affects the small blood vessels in the retina. Due to uncontrolled diabetes, the oxygen supply to the retina is altered and in advanced cases, reduced. This causes, formation of new blood vessels that do not have strong anatomical support, meaning, they can burst easily causing hemorrhages (bleeding in the retina), a condition knowns as "Diabetic Retinopathy". This can make your vision blurry. Along with bleeding, another common complication of diabetes is "Diabetic Macular Edema", in simpler terms, swelling of the central part of retina that is responsible for almost 95-99% of our daily activities. The risk of diabetic retinopathy is more in patients who have long standing diabetes and in patients with uncontrolled high sugar levels for prolonged period of time. Thus, since the diagnosis of Diabetes, a yearly retina check up is advised to pick any changes of diabetic retinopathy at early stage and restrict it to prevent permanent vision loss.
- Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD): As the name suggests, this condition is caused due to ageing process and is seen mostly in elderly patients beyond the age of 55. Macula, is the central area of the retina that gives us central vision which helps us see this world in high definition. This exact area is affected in this condition, and thus the central vision is reduced. There are two types of ARMD, "Dry" where in there is no bleeding in the retina, and just the degeneration of the retina, thus the vision loss is insidious. The "Wet" form of the disease, on the other hand is notorious for its sudden onset of decreased vision, due to the bleeding in the retina. In both of these condition, there is a common non - controllable factor, i.e., the age of the patient, thus ARMD is a progressive disease. So, regular retina consults are advised so that, your eye doctor can start certain medicines that can prolong the progression of the conditions.
- High Spectacle Prescriptions: Myopia, has become a hot topic since a couple of years due the advent of specialized myopia control spectacle lenses and contact lenses. People having high minus numbers particularly are at a risk of retinal damage. What happens in myopia is that the length of your eyeball increases, which stretches the ocular structures including the retina. If your prescription is more than -5.50, there is a risk of retina developing few weak spots, or even small holes due to stretching of the eyeball. These occur in the periphery of the retina an not in the center thus a lot of patients do not have any symptoms. It is only when it turns into something serious like a "Retinal detachment" that they realize that there is a problem with their retina. Thus, yearly routine retina checkups are advised to avoid the retinal detachment.
- Eye Injury: There are two types of eye injuries, one where the source of impact enters the eyeball which immediately grabs the victim's attention and they report to the hospital. Another type of injury is when it is blunt trauma to the eye, which means, nothing enters the eyeball, such as cricket ball, someone's fist, etc. Here, due to the impact of the trauma, there is sometimes a delayed swelling in central part of the retina which caused blurred vision. This is why, after an eye injury even if it wasn't directly to the eye, it is recommended to visit a retina specialist to make sure the retina is normal.
What does Retina Consultation Entail?
Eye solutions strives to provide the best in class retinal care which is provided by highly qualified retina consultants. Our Eye care team provides both medical and surgical care to the patients. Following are the battery of tests that are included on your retina consultation:
- Vision test: Here, the quantity of your vision is measured by asking you to read some letters/numbers on a chart that is placed at a certain distance from you. Additionally, if you have blurry vision, your numbers are also checked to know much improvement can be achieved by glasses.
- Slit - Lamp Biomicroscope: Here, we examine the front part of the eye and try to see if there is anything that can obstruct our view of the retina, in which case you will redirected accordingly to do tests that will help us visualize your retina.
- Dilation of Pupil: There is a small opening called pupil in the centre of the colored part of the eye called, iris. This pupil constricts when bright light enters the eye and dilated when in dim light room. Since, retina examination involves shining a bright light into the eye, by instilling certain eye drops the pupils are dilated. This, dilation generally stays for the next 4-5 hours, thus it is prudent to have someone along with you while retina checkup because you'll not be able to drive if you're dilated.
- Fundus Photographs: This test is done for the documentation in case you are on some ongoing retinal treatment. On each visit, the eye doctor will compare and track the progress. This test also helps us to decide whether further treatment is required or we can keep observing.
- OCT Scanning: This test is a specialized scan of the retinal layers to measure the swelling in the retina. This scan is repeated on regular intervals to keep a track of the disease and to monitor the treatment progress.
Best Retina Specialist in Mumbai:
Eye Solutions is proud to have a team of well qualified retina specialists: Dr. Chinmay Nakhwa, Dr. Urmi Shah and Dr. Shreyansh Doshi.