The subspecialty of medical retina is an area of ophthalmology dedicated to the study and follow-up of retinal pathologies whose treatment is not surgical.

Our visual system is quite complex and the human eye is composed of several structures that work in a symbiotic way. The ophthalmologist can specialise, over time, in a particular area within ophthalmology, in this case the medical retina, which allows the patient to have a differentiated diagnosis and follow-up in pathologies of this structure. 

The subspecialty of medical retina is an area of ophthalmology dedicated to the study and follow-up of retinal pathologies whose treatment is not surgical.

The retina is a fine structure made up of 10 different layers, it makes up the innermost part of the eye (fundus) and is extremely important. Its function is to receive the light stimuli captured by our eyes and to transform this light information into nerve information, which is then processed by our brain.

In the first approach, the fundus should always be analysed by fundoscopy and/or retinography. If any retinal alteration is suspected it will be important to perform other complementary tests such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) or angiography.

A medical retina is dedicated to the study of retinal pathologies, with particular emphasis on Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a Diabetic Retinopathy and vascular occlusions, pathological myopia (high myopias, usually greater than 6D), central serous chorioretinopathy and other retinal dystrophies.

Today Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of sight loss in people over 55. It is a disease that affects their most central area and, as its name indicates, is related to ageing. In this the patient may have difficulties in central vision and thus in the execution of some daily tasks such as watching television, reading a book or writing. The peripheral vision is not affected and in this way the patient's movement is not compromised.

There are also other systemic diseases that can influence your eye health and have retinal complications. These include Diabetes Mellitus and Arterial Hypertension, which, if not controlled, can lead to Diabetic Retinopathy (mentioned above) and Hypertensive Retinopathy.

A Diabetic Retinopathy affects 1 in 3 people and is considered to be the leading cause of avoidable blindness in the working age population between 20 and 64 years of age. Early diagnosis is key to preventing vision loss. That said, if you are diabetic, it is recommended that you have a periodic ophthalmology consultation, preferably with a medical retina specialist.

In situations of retinal disease complicated by neovessels and/or retinal oedema, some treatments are proposed, whose objective is to diminish the growth of these abnormal vessels and to control the complications associated with these diseases. These treatments include:

  • Anti-VEGF Injections: intravitreal injections of anti-angiogenic molecules. 
  • ArgonRetinal photocoagulation laser
  • Photodynamic Therapy
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