Retinal Diseases/Health Series

Want to learn more about retinal diseases? 

The ASRS Foundation’s Retina Health Series offers a collection of webpages with understandable facts about causes, symptoms, risk factors, diagnostic testing, treatment, and prognosis of an array of retinal conditions. Each webpage also offers a printable PDF version of the information for your convenience. 

Check out the rest of the series by selecting from the Retinal Diseases dropdown menu on this page.

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Understanding retina health

A healthy retina is necessary for good vision. The eye is composed of light-sensitive cells connected with nerve fibers that allow light entering the eye to be converted to nerve impulses that reach the brain. The amount of light entering is controlled by the iris and is then passed to the retina. The retina is a thin membranous lining at the back of the eye.

It is light-sensitive nerve tissue that controls how images are viewed. The images are focused here and converted to electrical impulses which are carried to the brain by the optic nerve. 

Diseases and conditions of the retina

To examine the retina, an ophthalmologist will dilate, or widen, your eyes during a comprehensive examination using eye drops. A retina specialist then uses a special magnifying lens to exam your retina. The dilation will reverse after several hours.