What is a Retina Specialist?
A retina specialist is an ophthalmologist who has undergone additional training to become an expert in the diagnosis, management and treatment of diseases and surgery of the vitreous body of the eye (watery gel between the lens and the retina) and the retina. Retina specialists are highly trained doctors whose post graduate work includes 4 years of medical school, 1 year of internship, 3 years of residency in Ophthalmology, and 1 to 2 years in a sub-specialty retina-vitreous fellowship. Retina specialists treat conditions ranging from age-related macular degeneration and retinal detachment to cancers of the eye. They also treat patients who have experienced severe eye trauma as well as children and adults with hereditary diseases of the eye.
Your first course of treatment in eye care should be a visit with an ophthalmologist. After a comprehensive exam, your doctor will then determine if it is necessary to refer you to a retina specialist. The most common reasons for referral include risk of a vitreous or retinal conditions, to evaluate a tear or break in the retina, for treatment of diabetic retinopathy with high-risk characteristics, macular edema, age-related macular degeneration, endophthalmitis, eye cancers, and eye floaters. In cases of trauma, a retinal specialist can provide an emergency treatment plan, including retinal detachment surgery. If you experience any trauma to the eye or vision-related crisis, do not hesitate to contact your eye doctor as soon as possible.
The retina is light-sensitive layer of tissue, lining the inner surface of the eye responsible for sending a signal to your brain from your optic nerve registering the image of what you see. The retina contains millions of tiny photoreceptor cells called cones and rods that determine how to tell the difference between light and dark as well as colors. Given the significant role the retina plays in your vision, ensuring the health of the retina is vital to preserving, improving, or restoring vision. Annual eye exams provide doctors with the opportunity to catch retinal problems or conditions early. If you are experiencing an of the following symptoms, contact your eye doctor immediately as it may be necessary to meet with a retina specialist:
- Sudden onset of floaters (small to large dark spots blocking your vision)
- Flashes of light in one or both eyes
- Blurred vision
- Gradual reduction in peripheral (side) vision
- Curtain-like shadow over your visual field
Associated Retina Consultants has a team of board-certified physicians including retina specialists. Our office has the skill, expertise and technology you can trust with your routine eye care needs as well as complex retinal disorders and diseases. To book an exam online, visit WEBSITE or call 602-242-4928.