Retinal diseases vary widely, but most of them cause visual symptoms. Retinal diseases can affect any part of your retina, a thin layer of tissue on the inside back wall of your eye.

The retina contains millions of light-sensitive cells (rods and cones) and other nerve cells that receive and organize visual information. Your retina sends this information to your brain through your optic nerve, enabling you to see.
Treatment is available for some retinal diseases. Depending on your condition, treatment goals may be to stop or slow the disease and preserve, improve or restore your vision. Untreated, some retinal diseases can cause severe vision loss or blindness.
Common retinal diseases and conditions include:

Many retinal diseases share some common signs and symptoms. These may include:

You may need to try looking with each eye alone to notice these.
When to see a doctor
It's important to pay attention to any changes in your vision and find care quickly. Seek immediate medical attention if you suddenly have floaters, flashes or reduced vision. These are warning signs of potentially serious retinal disease.
Risk factors
Risk factors for retinal diseases might include:

To make a diagnosis, your ophthalmologist conducts a thorough eye exam and looks for abnormalities anywhere in the eye.
The following tests may be done to determine the location and extent of the disease:

The main goals of treatment are to stop or slow disease progression and preserve, improve or restore your vision. In many cases, damage that has already occurred can't be reversed, making early detection important. Your doctor will work with you to determine the best treatment.
Treatment of retinal disease may be complex and sometimes urgent. Options include:

Coping and support
Vision loss from retinal disease can affect your ability to do things such as read, recognize faces and drive. These tips may help you cope with your changing vision:

Preparing for your appointment
To check for retinal disease, a dilated eye exam is usually necessary. Make an appointment with a doctor who specializes in eye care — an optometrist or an ophthalmologist. He or she can perform a complete eye exam.

What you can do
Before your appointment:

For retinal disease, questions to ask your doctor include:

What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:

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