Support Groups

RETINOPATHY OF PREMATURITY

In order to help premature babies survive, medical intervention sometimes includes administering high levels of oxygen through their incubators. These high levels can affect vision. Formerly known as retrolental fibroplasia (RLF), the etiology of this disease is still unclear.

RETINITIS PIGMENTOSA (RP)

This hereditary disease affects the retina of the eye. Usually diagnosed in childhood or early adolescence, the disease typically impairs peripheral and night vision, leaving the person with tunnel vision. Some individuals may retain limited vision for years, while others will experience total vision loss. There is currently no cure for this disease.

CATARACTS

Cataracts The lens of the eye, which focuses light onto the retina, is located behind the pupil. Cataracts are formed when the normally clear lens becomes clouded. Cataracts are generally removed surgically and replaced with an artificial lens, contact lenses or glasses. In an otherwise healthy eye, cataract surgery is usually successful, and individuals regain most of the lost vision.

DETACHED RETINA

The retina is a thin membrane which lines the back of the eye and acts as a kind of "movie screen". This is where the image or picture is formed and is then transmitted to the brain for interpretation. If the retina is detached, no image is "seen". The detachment can be partial or total. Detachment can occur in a variety of ways, but most commonly happens through trauma or accident. Re-attachment is performed surgically, usually on an outpatient basis. In most cases, in an otherwise healthy eye, full vision is restored.

GLAUCOMA

Glaucoma Glaucoma occurs when the pressure within the eye increases, causing damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve, located in the back of the eye, is the main nerve to the eye. In most cases, the person does not experience discomfort, but will notice a decrease in peripheral and night vision. Treatment usually consists of either medication or surgery to decrease pressure. The person's remaining vision is usually saved, although whatever vision has been lost generally cannot be restored.

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