What is the Retina?

Your eyes are working hard from the minute you wake up until the moment you close them to go to sleep. They take in all of the visual information from the world around you. Light rays enter the eye through the cornea, pupil, and lens. These light rays are focused directly onto the retina, the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye. The retina converts light rays into impulses; sent through the optic nerve to your brain, where they are recognized as images.

RetinaThe retina is a thin yet extraordinarily complex layer of tissue lining the posterior portion of the eye. The retina contains photoreceptor cells and other specialized nerve cells that convert light energy into a neural signal that can be recognized by the brain. When light enters the eye it travels through the cornea, the lens, and the clear vitreous gel before reaching the retina. Our retina uses energy all day long and this is supplied by a delicate network of retinal blood vessels and also by a deeper vascular layer called the choroid. Injury to the retina directly affects the quality of vision and can occur by numerous mechanisms including retinal detachment, aging, infection, cancer, and problems with circulation.

The retina is a sub-specialty of ophthalmology. Retina specialists have additional fellowship training that follows medical school and completion of an ophthalmology residency training program. The practice of a retina specialist includes both the medical and surgical management of diseases and injuries to the posterior segment of the eye. Lasers are frequently used to treat retinal tears and to reduce leakage from retinal blood vessels. We also perform surgeries in the case of ocular trauma, retinal detachment, vitreous hemorrhage, macular hole and scar tissue on the retina.