Vitreoretinal Diseases and Uveitis
Vitreoretinal specialists at USF eye institute treat patients with a variety of conditions that affect the vitreous and retina such as macular degeneration, retinal tears or holes, retinal detachment, diabetic eye disease, eye cancer (choroidal melanoma), retinal vein occlusion, floaters, flashes, and eye inflammation (uveitis). USF eye institute also offers clinical trials involving new drugs for treatment of macular degeneration and uveitis.
What is the retina?
The retina is a light-sensitive layer that forms the interior lining of the eye and is made up of photosensitive cells called rods and cones. Retina is like the film in a camera and detects light and converts it into signals that are transmitted to the brain by the optic nerve to form a visual image. The macula is an important area of the retina and contains the cells that are responsible for the eye’s sharpest vision. This is the reason why patients with macular degeneration have difficulty reading. Other symptoms that may indicate a problem with the retina includes sudden onset of flashes and floaters, a shadow or curtain over part of your visual field, or painless sudden loss of vision.
What is the vitreous?
Vitreous is a clear, gel-like substance that fills the space of the eye between the lens and the retina. Normally, the back surface of the vitreous is in direct contact with the retina. But overtime, vitreous becomes more liquefied and can separate from the retina and collapse in the central hollow area of the eye. This is called a posterior vitreous detachment and is a normal aging process of the eye.
What is Uveitis?
Uveitis is inflammation of the uvea, the middle layers of the eye that consists of the iris, ciliary body, and choroid. However, inflammation of the uvea can affect many parts of the eye such as the sclera, cornea, vitreous, retina, and choroid. Uveitis can occur due to many different causes and can also be associated with other conditions that affect the body such as rheumatoid arthritis and tuberculosis. The most common symptoms include eye pain, redness, light sensitivity and blurred vision.
Vitreoretinal specialists evaluate and treat the following conditions:
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
Flashes and floaters
Retinal vein or artery occlusion
Retinal dystrophies (retinitis pigmentosa)
Retinopathy of prematurity