Learn More About Retina Specialists
What does a retina specialist do?
Retina specialists diagnose a variety of diseases that affect the internal structures of the eye, called the called the retina and the vitreous. Diagnosis is provided through a detailed eye examination using highly technical equipment and testing. Treatment of these vision threatening eye conditions, can vary depending on the diagnosis, but may include: injections, surgery, laser therapy, cryotherapy or anti-VEGF therapy.
Vitreoretinal surgeons work on very delicate tissue in incredibly small spaces of the eye cavity. Microscopes and lasers are vital tools used by retina specialists for procedures in both the office and surgery center settings.
Why does retinal disease occur?
Retinal diseases can affect any part of your retina, the thin layer of tissue on the inside back wall of your eye.The retina is generally protected by the outer eye wall and by its location in the back of the eye. Unfortunately, it can still be damaged, often by its surrounding support structures in the eye. These include degeneration of the pigment layer under the retina or pulling by the vitreous jelly that fills the eye. Different medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension can also affect the blood flow to the retina and lead to vision loss.
Ophthalmologist vs. Optometrist
An Ophthalmologist — is a medical doctor (MD) who specializes in eye and vision care. Ophthalmologists differ from optometrists and opticians in their levels of training and in what they can diagnose and treat. As a medical doctor who has completed college and at least eight years of additional medical training, an ophthalmologist is licensed to practice medicine and surgery. An ophthalmologist diagnoses and treats all forms of eye disease, is able to perform eye surgery, injections and rigorous therapy and prescribe proper medications for treatment.
Optometrists are healthcare professionals who provide primary vision care ranging from sight testing and correction to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of vision changes. An optometrist is not a medical doctor. An optometrist receives a doctor of optometry (OD) degree after completing four years of optometry school, preceded by three years or more years of college. They are licensed to practice optometry, which primarily involves performing eye exams and vision tests, prescribing and dispensing corrective lenses, detecting certain eye abnormalities, and prescribing medications for certain eye diseases.