Vitreoretinal and Laser Surgery, Pharmacologic Retinal Treatment

Retinal Conditions

The anatomy of the eye and retina lining the inner wall

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Learn about retina conditions by selecting from the Retinal Diseases menu on this page.

Retinal Diseases

Understanding how the eye and retina work

A healthy retina is necessary for good vision.  Rays of light are focused onto the retina by the cornea and lens. The amount of light reaching the retina is controlled by the iris.  The retina is a thin membrane lining the inner wall at the back of the eye.  It is light-sensitive nerve tissue like film in a camera.  The retina is composed of millions of light-sensitive rod and cone cells that generate electrical signals when stimulated by light.  The macula is a very small area in the center of the retina.  The macula has tightly packed cone cells that allow fine pinpoint vision needed for reading and fine visual activities. The peripheral retina also has rod cells and is responsible for the peripheral and night vision. The retina cells are connected to the brain via nerve fibers in the optic nerve transmitting these signals to the brain where they are interpreted as images.

Diseases and conditions of the retina

To examine the retina, an ophthalmologist will dilate, or widen, your eyes during a comprehensive examination using eye drops. A retina specialist then uses a special magnifying lens to exam your retina. The dilation will blur your vision and make you light sensitive but reverses after several hours.