What Causes Retinal Damage?

doctor examines eye of patient with retinal damage

What Causes Retinal Damage?

The retina is a thin layer of tissue located at the back of the eye, which is crucial for vision. It contains millions of light-sensitive cells that receive and organize visual information, which is then sent to the brain for interpretation. Retinal damage can significantly impair vision and, in severe cases, lead to blindness.

Retina & Vitreous of Louisiana, a leading retina clinic dedicated to the care and treatment of retinal and vitreous conditions, will explore what causes retinal damage and how to prevent it, providing valuable insights for adults and senior adults who are most at risk. If you’re suffering from eye conditions, don’t hesitate to contact Retina & Vitreous of LA today at 225-768-8833.

What Causes Retinal Damage?

doctor explaining to patient what causes retinal damage

Retinal damage can occur due to a variety of factors, ranging from age-related changes to external injuries. Here are some of the most common causes:

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in individuals over the age of 50. It occurs when the macula, the central part of the retina responsible for sharp, detailed vision, deteriorates over time. There are two types of AMD: dry and wet. Dry AMD is more common and progresses slowly, while wet AMD can lead to rapid vision loss due to abnormal blood vessel growth.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes can lead to a condition known as diabetic retinopathy, where high blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels in the retina. This can cause them to leak fluid or bleed, leading to vision impairment. Diabetic retinopathy is a progressive disease and can eventually lead to blindness if not managed properly.

[Related: What is Geographic Atrophy?]

Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachment is a medical emergency where the retina separates from the underlying tissue. This can be caused by trauma, advanced diabetes, or inflammatory disorders. Symptoms include a sudden increase in floaters, flashes of light, and a shadow or curtain effect over the field of vision.


Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve, often due to high intraocular pressure. While it primarily affects the optic nerve, it can also lead to retinal damage over time. Early detection and treatment are crucial to prevent irreversible vision loss.

Inherited Retinal Diseases

Genetic factors can lead to a range of inherited retinal diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa and Stargardt disease. These conditions cause progressive vision loss and can manifest at different stages of life.

Trauma and Injury

Physical injury to the eye can cause retinal damage. Blunt trauma, penetrating injuries, or exposure to harmful substances can all lead to retinal complications. It’s important to protect your eyes with safety goggles when participating in activities that could lead to injuries.

Exposure to Sunlight

Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun can damage the retina. This is particularly true for “blue light” or high-energy visible (HEV) light, which can penetrate deep into the eye and cause oxidative stress.

As a leader in vitreoretinal care, Retina & Vitreous of Louisiana can help you understand what causes retinal damage so that you can maintain your eye health and vision for years to come. Our highly trained and specialized staff are here to help. Call us today at 225-768-8833 to schedule an appointment.

Preventing Retinal Damage

tests needed to determine cause of retinal damage

While some causes of retinal damage are beyond our control, there are steps we can take to minimize the risk:

  • Regular Eye Exams: Regular check-ups with an eye care professional can help detect retinal issues early on. Retina & Vitreous of Louisiana recommends annual eye exams for adults, especially those over the age of 50 or with risk factors for retinal diseases.
  • Manage Chronic Conditions: Keeping diabetes and hypertension under control can reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy and other vascular-related retinal issues.
  • Wear Protective Eyewear: Sunglasses with UV protection can shield the eyes from harmful rays. Safety glasses should be worn during activities that pose a risk of eye injury.
  • Healthy Lifestyle: A balanced diet rich in antioxidants, regular exercise, and avoiding smoking can contribute to overall eye health and reduce the risk of retinal damage.
  • Know Your Family History: Being aware of any inherited eye conditions in your family can help you take proactive steps in monitoring and managing your eye health.

Early detection is the best way to prevent total vision loss and plan for healthy eyes in the future. Not all retinal damage is due to accident, taking these measures into account can help keep your eyes healthy for years to come.

[Related: What is a Retina Specialist]

Prevent & Understand Retinal Damage with Retina & Vitreous of Louisiana

Retinal damage can have a profound impact on vision and quality of life. Understanding what causes retinal damage is the first step in prevention and early intervention. Retina & Vitreous of Louisiana is at the forefront of providing specialized care for those affected by retinal and vitreous conditions. By staying informed, managing risk factors, and seeking professional care, individuals can protect their vision and maintain eye health well into their senior years.

Remember, the health of your retina is vital for clear, sharp vision, so take the necessary steps to safeguard this essential part of your eyes. Contact our office today at 225-768-8833 to schedule an appointment.

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