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Retinal Disorders

Sierra Nevada Eye Center offers evaluation of numerous retinal disorders, including diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, vitreous detachment and floaters, and retinal tears. State-of-the-art optical coherence tomography (OCT) technology enhances diagnosis of various retinal problems.

The eye is made up of many different parts that work together to help us see. The retina is arguably the most important part, as a healthy retina is essential to having clear vision. As we grow older the retina becomes more susceptible to disease, which increases your risk of age-related retinal disorders such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal tears and retinal detachment.

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Sierra Nevada Eye Center offers comprehensive eye exams to help diagnose and treat retinal disorders in Reno and Carson City. Our state-of-the-art optical coherence tomography (OCT) technology enhances diagnosis of various retinal problems.

Schedule an appointment through our patient portal to meet with our retina specialists and discuss the best treatment for retinal disorders in Nevada.

What is the Retina?

The retina is a paper-thin, light-sensitive patch of tissue at the back of the eye. Similar to film in a camera, the retina’s purpose is to receive light through the cornea and translate it into electronic signals for the brain to “read.” The signals travel from the retina to the optic nerve, a cord-like bundle of fibers that carries information to the brain about the objects you see.

Common Retinal Diseases

A healthy retina is crucial for crisp, clear vision. Unfortunately, the retina is sensitive to many different diseases and conditions that affect the eye over time. Common retinal disorders include:

  • Macular Degeneration. The macula is located near the center of the retina and is responsible for sharp central vision. Macular degeneration occurs when the macula begins to deteriorate. As macular degeneration progresses, parts of central vision can be permanently lost.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy. Diabetes has been known to affect many parts of the body, and the retina is one of them. In people with diabetes, high blood sugar can cause blood vessels in the retina to swell and leak fluid, which results in blind spots in your vision. If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can progress and cause serious damage to both central and peripheral vision.
  • Flashes/Floaters. Flashes and floaters are often a harmless and normal sign of aging eyes. These small spots or squiggly shapes are usually nothing to worry about, but can sometimes be symptoms of a larger issue, such as a retinal tear or retinal detachment.
  • Retinal Tears. The vitreous, a jelly-like substance attached to the retina, reduces in size and becomes more liquified with age. As the vitreous shrinks and pulls away from the retina, it can cause tears that affect retinal blood vessels. Leakage from the blood vessels can result in an increase in flashers and floaters, or worse, retinal detachment.
  • Retinal Detachment. If a retinal tear is not promptly treated, it can lead to a complete detachment of the retina. Signs of retinal detachment include a sudden or gradual increase in flashes or floaters, or the appearance of a “curtain” over your field of vision. Due to the risk of permanent blindness, retinal detachments are considered a medical emergency.

If you experience a sudden increase in flashes or floaters, or notice changes to your central or peripheral vision, promptly contact your eye doctor for a full evaluation. Comprehensive eye exams are crucial for detecting early signs of retinal disease and building a treatment plan.


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