Retina: Abnormal Findings and Their Causes – Ophthalmology Example

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"Retina: Abnormal Findings and Their Causes" is a well-written example of a paper on ophthalmology. In a normal retina, the blood vessels originate from the nasal side of the disc. In addition, the arteries are thinner compared to the veins (Hartnett, 2014). A normal retina also has a cup-to-disc ratio of not less than 0.8, with a physiologic limit of at least 0.5. Abnormal Findings and Their Causes Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) This condition occurs when the macula is damaged. Although AMD is one disease, it manifests in two forms: wet and dry.

Dry AMD is caused by the degeneration of light-sensitive cells in the macula (Bandello, 2012). Over time, these cells gradually obstruct central acuity in the affected eye. Wet AMD is caused when abnormal blood vessels located behind the retina begin to grow underneath the macula. Diabetic Retinopathy It occurs when the blood vessels in the retina become damaged. It is the number one cause of blindness among working-age Americans (Bandello, 2012). Non-Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (NPDR) This is the formative and less severe variant of diabetic retinal damage. It is characterized by enlargement of blood vessels in specific areas (microaneurysms).

In addition, blood vessels can become blocked and there may be limited bleeding and edema (Fineman & Philadelphia, 2012). Macular Edema This condition occurs when blood vessels in the retina start to leak fluids. The functionality of the macula is limited by swelling. Vision loss could be mild to extreme, but the peripheral vision is not affected in most cases (Hartnett, 2014). This condition is a complication caused by diabetic retinopathy, and it is usually the most dominant type of vision loss for diabetics, especially if it is not attended to. Macular Plucker There are situations where cells can develop inside the eye, resulting in contraction and pulling of the macula.

Sometimes, a medical condition or trauma leaves strings of scar matter (epiretinal membranes) in the eye. These membranes can tag at the macula, causing it to wrinkle. Retinal Tear It is caused by an alteration in the shape of the vitreous, a gel-like substance that occupies the eyeball. When such change occurs, it may tag a part of the retina alongside, causing a retinal tear (Hartnett, 2014).

The tear allows vitreous fluid to seep between the back corridor of the eye and the retina, resulting in retinal detachment. Retinal Detachment It is the disconnection of the retina from the tissues below it. It is often caused by a hole or tear in the eye, and could lead to blindness if left untreated (Fineman & Philadelphia, 2012). Surgery is the most common treatment method for this condition. Vitreous Floaters Vitreous floaters are caused by the filling of around 80% of the eye by the vitreous. In most cases, this condition is often a product of the natural aging process and a bother at most (Dowling, 2012).

At first, they can be distractive, but ultimately they settle on the floor of the eye, becoming less annoying. Vitreous Detachment   As people age, the existing vitreous liquefies and eventually disintegrates or detaches from the retina (Bandello, 2012). It is normal in most people between the ages of forty and seventy. However, it can occur in younger people who are shortsighted or undergone cataract operation.


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Dowling, J. (2012). The retina: An approachable part of the brain (rev. ed.). Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Retrieved from

Fineman, M., & Philadelphia, P. (2012). Retina (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Retrieved from

Hartnett, M. (2014). Pediatric retina (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Retrieved from

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