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What Does Vitreoretinal Mean?

While one of the smallest organs in the body, the eyes are the second most complex organ in the body, after the brain. The eyes are highly productive and capable of processing 36,000 pieces of information an hour. The retina plays a vital role in your vision specifically to how your eyes recognize and organize these bits of information. As light enters through the eye and lands on the retina, the retina sends electrical bursts through the optic nerve to the brain turning those signals into the images you see.  

Given the significance the retina plays in vision, it is important to have routine examinations to be sure your retina is healthy. When discussing conditions or diseases that may affect the retina, you may hear your doctor reference the word vitreoretinal. What does vitreoretinal mean? Vitreoretinal simply encompasses anything related to the vitreous body and the retina. The retina is the thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye that focuses on images and transmits them to the brain to interpret those pictures. The vitreous is a clear gel that fills the space between the lens at the front of the eye to the retina at the back of the eye. Vitreoretinal conditions include age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, flashes or floaters, macular holes, macular pucker, retinal tear, retinal detachment, retinitis pigmentosa, retinoblastoma, Stargardt disease and uveitis. 

At Associated Retina Consultants, we offer retinal imaging that includes a dilated eye exam and photographic assessment of the retina. Typical retinal tests include digital fluorescein angiography and optical coherence tomography. Our ophthalmologists are highly skilled at medically and surgically treating vitreoretinal conditions. Some procedures include anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) therapy, cryotherapy, laser therapy, photodynamic therapy, vitrectomy and traditional surgery. 

Warning signs of vitreoretinal problems should be assessed as soon as possible by your eye doctor. Common signs and symptoms that will alert you that there may be a retinal problem include flashing lights, dim vision, double vision, distorted vision, wavy lines or dark specks in vision, blind spots in peripheral vision. If you are experiencing any of these issues, call Associated Retina Consultants at 602-242-4928. 

For a comprehensive exam that includes retinal testing, we suggest patients choose an appointment that allows for extra time for the additional testing, and it may be necessary to have someone drive you home as your eyes will be dilated as part of the examination. To book your appointment, contact our office by 602-242-4928 or select a date online at WEBSITE

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