There are a great many complex structures in the human eye that are essential to clear vision. When it comes to turning light into images of what is in front of us the retina perhaps the most important component of the eye because its light sensitive cells focus the light coming into the eyes into clear images of the outside world that then go to the brain. When something goes wrong with the retina or a disease is inflicted on a related eye structure, our Columbia retina doctor at The Retina Group of Washington has the training, experience and technology to correct the problem.
Among the disorders that can affect the retina and the surrounding structures include diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, retinal detachment or retinal vein occlusion. The unfortunate thing is that many of these eye diseases often exhibit no symptoms until they have reached advanced stages with irreparable vision damage. Only a retina exam by our Columbia retina doctor can detect the early presence and development of these conditions. During a retina exam our doctor will dilate the eyes and use a special magnifier to look for signs of these conditions. If there is an indication that the disease is present our doctor may do other tests including a fluorescein or indocyanine green angiogram, which uses an injected dye in the blood system to look for leaks in the blood vessels of the retina. Another test often used during a retina exam is an ocular coherence tomography, which uses a device similar to an ultrasound to non-invasively check for diabetic macular edema.
A retina exam is not only the best way to detect diseases affecting the retina the tests involved can also pinpoint which stage the disease is in, which is crucial information to prescribe the best treatment option. Depending on the degree of advancement of the specific disease detected our Columbia retina doctor can treat the condition with medication, or using lasers to stop the leakages. Call our office for an appointment for a comprehensive examination.