Understanding the Retina
The retina is a neurosensory tissue that lines the inner aspect of the back wall of the eye. As light passes through the more anterior visual system (the cornea, the pupil, and the lens), rays are focused onto the retina. The retina converts the light rays into impulses that then travel through the optic nerve to the visual-processing portions of the brain. A healthy retina is critical to having clear vision. The macula is the central portion of the retina and is especially important for tasks such as reading.
The following symptoms may be concerning for an underlying retinal problem:
- Distorted vision (i.e., lines that should appear straight look wavy)
- Decreased vision, particularly near vision
- A dark spot in the central portion of the vision
- New flashes and/or floaters
If you are experiencing any such problems in your vision, please call our office at 301-657-5700 to make an appointment for evaluation. At Washington Eye Physicians and Surgeons, our retinal specialist is dedicated to helping patients with a variety of retinal problems and setting the standard for diagnosis and treatment of retinal disease.
At Washington Eye Physicians & Surgeons, our retina specialists treat a variety of retinal conditions including:
- Macular Degeneration
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- Flashes and Floaters
- Retinal Tears and Retinal Holes
- Retinal Detachment
- Retinal Artery and Retinal Vein Occlusions
- Macular Pucker
- Cystoid Macula Edema
At Washington Eye Physicians & Surgeons, we perform comprehensive dilated eye examinations. We also offer the latest in-office diagnostic tests such as spectral domain OCT (optical coherence tomography), fundus autofluorescence, color photography, fluorescein angiography, and ultrasound of the eye. In-office procedures such as intravitreal injections and retinal laser surgeries are also routinely performed.
Your First Visit:
Due to the specialized nature of retinal eye exams, please consider the following:
Your first visit will include a comprehensive examination and evaluation of your retina. This requires dilation of both of your eyes. Dilation of your pupils can result in blurred vision and sensitivity to light for a period of approximately four hours. You may wish to bring sunglasses with you and arrange to have someone drive you home after your office visit.
Prior to seeing the retina specialist, you will first meet with an experienced ophthalmic technician who will take your medical history, check vision, perform other screening tests, and administer drops to dilate your pupils. Please bring a list of your medications for us to review. It may be necessary to perform retinal photography such as an OCT or a fluorescein angiogram to assist in diagnosis and/or monitoring changes in your condition. This may require additional time in the office.
Following a diagnosis and a thorough explanation of your condition and treatment options, you may require medical treatment on your first visit for any urgent retinal conditions.
Your initial evaluation with our retina specialists may take one to two hours due to the complex nature of some retinal diseases. Subsequent visits may be significantly shorter depending on the time needed for the necessary diagnostic tests or treatments.