What is a retinal specialist?
A retina specialist is a medical doctor and surgeon (MD), who has completed an extensive training program after medical school to diagnose and treat the full range of diseases which affect the retina, macula, and vitreous.
What are the retina and macula?
The structure of the eye is similar to that of a camera. The front of the eye consists of the cornea and lens which focus light into the eye, which is similar to the lens of a camera. The light is then absorbed by the retina, which is similar to the film of a camera. It is a thin membrane-like structure that lines the inside of the eye. The retina processes the light, and then sends a signal through the optic nerve, which is similar to a wire that connects the eye to your brain.
The macula is a special area in the center of the retina that is responsible for the best central vision. It allows us to read, drive, and recognize faces. The most common conditions that affect the macula include age-related macular degeneration, diabetic macular edema, epiretinal membrane, among others.
What is the vitreous?
The vitreous is a jelly-like substance that fills the middle part of the eye. As one gets older, the vitreous turns to liquid and separates from the back wall of the eye, called posterior vitreous detachment. This can result in symptoms of floaters and flashing lights. Occasionally, the separation may cause a retinal tear or retinal detachment.