What is the retina?
The retina is located at the back of the eye and is a thin film of light sensitive tissue. This layer of tissue is connected to the optic nerve, and is responsible for processing images projected onto it; from there the optic nerve transmits these images to the brain.
When examining the retina, the doctor puts special drops in the eye to dilate the pupil. Through the dilated pupil, the doctor is able to see the retina clearly using an ophthalmoscope (a tool that shines a light through a magnifying lens and into the back of the eye).
Why are eye exams important?
The retina is an extension of the brain. Much like the brain tissue, retinal tissue cannot regenerate. Diseases of the vitreous and retina can cause permanent blindness, therefore getting regular eye exams is critical for long term eye care. Our eye doctors will spend a lot of time looking through your pupil at the vitreous, retina and other structures located inside the back portion of the eye. Early and adequate treatment can stop further damage to the retina and result in better outcomes. Retina eye exams allow early detection and treatment of retinal disorders.