About Retina Diseases and Treatments
at Hudson Eye Physicians
& Surgeons, LLC
All of our eyes have neurosensory retinal tissue, essentially an extension of the brain, which transmits signals from the eye to the visual processing area of the brain. The retina is not only delicate, but it can also reveal problems caused by other diseases elsewhere in your body. If you have been recommended to see a retina specialist, you should make that appointment without delay. Many serious and vision threatening conditions may be able to be treated by a retina specialist.
A retinal tear occurs when the clear, gel-like substance in the center of your eye (vitreous) shrinks and tugs on the thin layer of tissue lining the back of your eye (retina) with enough traction to cause a break in the tissue. It’s often accompanied by the sudden onset of symptoms such as floaters and flashing lights.
Book your consult with our ophthalmologists today at one of our New Jersey offices conveniently located in Bayonne, Millburn, and Jersey City.
A retinal detachment is defined by the presence of fluid under the retina. This usually occurs when fluid passes through a retinal tear, causing the retina to lift away from the underlying tissue layers.
Book a consult today with one of the HEPS retina specialists and ophthalmologists at our Bayonne, Jersey City, or Millburn, NJ offices.
Floaters are what you may see when you notice small specks or clouds moving in your field of vision. You can often see them when looking at a plain background, like a blank wall or blue sky. Floaters are actually tiny clumps of cells or material inside the vitreous, the clear, gel-like fluid that fills the inside of your eye.
When the vitreous gel pulls on the retina, you may see what looks like flashing lights or lightning streaks. These are called flashes. You may have experienced this same sensation if you have ever been hit in the eye and saw “stars.” The flashes of light can appear off and on for several weeks or months.
As we grow older, it is more common to experience floaters and flashes as the vitreous gel changes with age, gradually pulling away from the inside surface of the eye.
Usually, the vitreous moves away from the retina without causing problems. But sometimes the vitreous pulls hard enough to tear the retina in one or more places. Fluid may pass through a retinal tear, lifting the retina off the back of the eye — much like wallpaper can peel off a wall. When the retina is pulled away from the back of the eye like this, it is called a retinal detachment. You should have your eyes checked by your eye doctor if you experience sudden floaters or flashes.
Book a consult today to discuss your options for treatment with a skilled ophthalmologist in our Bayonne, Jersey City, or Millburn, NJ offices.
Central Serous Retinopathy (CSR)
Central Serous Retinopathy (CSR) occurs when fluid builds up under your retina, the nerve layer that lines the back of your eye. This fluid buildup causes blurred or distorted vision.
The causes of CSR are not completely understood, but high levels of corticosteroid – a hormone – can cause the condition to worsen. Stress can increase this hormone, as well as other factors including pregnancy, high blood pressure, and certain medications, such as steroids used for asthma, allergies, or arthritis.
To determine if you have CSR, your eye care professional will perform a noninvasive scan of the retina, called an OCT to see a cross-sectional view of the retina. Another test called fluorescein angiography will take pictures of the blood flow through your retina to look for sources of fluid leakage.
The fluid buildup usually goes away after 3 to 6 months, but if it persists or comes back, more in-depth treatments should be pursued. These options include laser treatment, photodynamic therapy, intravitreal injections, or simple oral medications. Regular checkups and using the Amsler grid at home are key to monitoring the progress of your eye health. Should you have CSR, be sure to schedule regular visits with one of the skilled ophthalmologists at HEPS.
While the center of the retina is what provides our sharpest vision, the periphery of the retina is also important. One of the conditions that can affect the peripheral retina is called lattice degeneration. It consists of spots, or strips of increased dark pigmentation, that are crossed by fine white streaks like a lattice.
Lattice degeneration may never cause any problems, but sometimes a small hole can occur in the area of the lattice, and this hole may lead to a detachment of the retina. Symptoms of a hole in an area of lattice degeneration include flashes, like lightning streaks, in the field of vision, or new floaters. Retinal holes associated with lattice degeneration may or may not require treatment, but the only way to be sure is to speak with an eye doctor promptly, especially if you notice any new floaters or flashes.
Lattice degeneration without holes can be monitored routinely at your eye doctor’s discretion.