What is a Retinal Specialist?
A retinal specialist is an ophthalmologist, an eye physician and surgeon, who has taken additional post-residency retinal fellowship training of at least one year. With this extra training, a retinal specialist limits himself to diagnosing, treating, and performing surgery on the retina, macula and vitreous.

What is the Retina and the Vitreous?
The Retina lines the inside of the eye in the same way that wallpaper lines the inside of a room. It has the thickness and consistency of a single sheet of wet Kleenex. The retina works like the film in the camera, in that when light hits the retina, a picture is developed and transmitted by the optic nerve to the brain resulting in the visual object being seen.

The central part of the retina, the macula, is the part of the retina that allows us to read and see sharply. The rest of the retina is concerned with peripheral vision. The retina is nourished by a multitude of small blood vessels. Immediately in front of the retina, filling the inside of the eye is a clear, jelly-like substance called the vitreous.


What can happen to the retina and vitreous to reduce my vision?
Usually, the retina is very thin and compact. If the retina swells with blood and fluid, your vision will be reduced. Usually, "leaky" blood vessels are responsible for this swollen state. Various diseases may cause these leaks including diabetes, vascular diseases and macular degeneration.

If a tear develops in the retina, fluid may leak under the retina and peel the retina off the back of the eye. This is called a retina detachment and can result in total blindness if left untreated.

The vitreous, which is normally clear, may become cloudy because of inflammation from bleeding. Floaters, which are tiny opacities in the vitreous, are common. Occasionally, however, an increase in the amount of floaters may be the first symptom of a retinal tear or other problems.