What Are the Symptoms of a Retinal Condition? | Shepherd Eye Center

What Are the Symptoms of a Retinal Condition?

The health of your retina plays an essential role in the quality of your vision. The retina is the part of the eye responsible for converting the light entering your eye into information the brain then turns into the images you see.

Developing a retinal condition can have a significant impact on the ability of the retina to properly connect with the brain. These conditions are often painless, so many people are unaware that they have a retinal condition until symptoms start to affect their eyesight.

Keep reading to learn more about retinal conditions, including the most common symptoms!

What Are the Most Common Retinal Conditions?

Some of the most common retinal conditions include:

Retinal Tears

Retinal tears occur when the vitreous, the clear, gel-like substance in the center of the eye, shrinks and tugs on the retina with enough force that it causes the retina to tear or break.

Retinal Detachment

A retinal detachment is a separation of the retina from its underlying supportive tissue in the back of the eye. This can cause permanent vision loss and is considered a medical emergency.

Diabetic Retinopathy

A side effect of diabetes, diabetic retinopathy is a condition in which the tiny blood vessels in the back of the eye deteriorate and leak fluid into and under the retina. The pressure created by this fluid causes the retina to swell, ultimately affecting the quality of eyesight.

Macular Hole

A macular hole is a circular hole that forms in the macula, the round area at the center of the retina that processes central vision. Macular holes can develop due to abnormal traction between the retain and the vitreous or following an injury to the eye.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration occurs when the center of the retina begins to deteriorate. The most common form of macular degeneration, dry macular generation, develops slowly and is often in an advanced stage when it begins to affect the quality of eyesight.

What Are the Most Common Symptoms of a Retinal Condition?

While all of these retinal conditions do not necessarily have the same symptoms, here are some symptoms that could indicate a retinal condition:

Blurred Vision

Blurred vision is the most common symptom of many retinal conditions. Blurred vision may occur suddenly or more gradually, primarily affecting the central or peripheral vision.

Retinal conditions can cause a decrease in visual clarity. A problem with the retina can make it difficult to see at some or all ranges of vision, affecting the ability to see fine details or objects that are far away.


Floaters are tiny specks or spots that seem to “float” across your field of vision. Floaters are the result of changes in the vitreous, which shrinks over time, producing detached clumps of protein that cast shadows on the retina.


Flashes are sudden, brief flashes of bright light that can appear in the central or peripheral vision. They are often described as looking like lightning bolts or fireworks, but they can also appear as bright specks.

Distorted Vision

Certain retinal conditions, like macular degeneration, can cause distorted vision, causing straight lines or surfaces to appear wavy or distorted.

Loss of Central Vision

One of the most telling symptoms of macular degeneration is the loss of central vision. Vision loss from macular degeneration is permanent and cannot be restored.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of a retinal condition, it is essential to contact your eye doctor immediately. If not properly diagnosed and treated, retinal conditions can result in permanent vision impairment or loss.

Are you experiencing changes in vision? Schedule an appointment at Shepherd Eye Center at one of our 5 locations in Las Vegas or Henderson, NV, today!

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