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Retina Education


The board-certified retinal specialists at Retina Associates of New York specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions affecting the vitreous choroid and retina. Retina Associates serves the NYC community from three locations: Upper East Side, Manhattan; Forest Hills, Queens, and New Rochelle. There's also a state-of-the-art surgery center near the Manhattan office for your convenience. You'll find the same personalized care and advanced technology available at each facility. When you need expert retinal care, call the Retina Associates of New York office of your choice or book your appointment online.

What is the retina?

The retina is a thin layer of light-sensitive nerve cells that lines the back of your eyeball. It’s part of the central nervous system and links to the brain via the optic nerve. Specialized photoreceptor cells called rods and cones receive the light that travels through your pupil and the lens of your eye onto your retina.

Other neurons of the retina then transform the light into electrical impulses that travel along the optic nerve to a portion of your brain that interprets the signals and provides images you can identify. This necessary interaction between light and vision is why it’s harder to see at night or in a dark environment.


What else is part of the retina?

Despite its relatively small size, the retina contains several components that are vital to clear vision. Along with the specialized photoreceptor cells, the retina includes the:

  • Peripheral retina, which provides side vision and night vision
  • Macula, a small area at the center of the retina that provides central or “straight-ahead” vision
  • Fovea, a small depression in the center of the macula where eyesight is sharpest

A gel-like fluid called the vitreous humor fills the eye cavity that houses the retina, and small blood vessels supply necessary oxygen and nourishment to the tissue structures.


What conditions can affect retinal health?

Damage to any part of the retina through injury or disease can affect retinal health and the vision it provides. Common issues include:

  • Retinal tears or detachment
  • Diabetic retinopathy, which damages the blood vessels that feed the retina
  • Macular degeneration, that’s often related to aging and impairs central vision as the macular tissue thins and blood vessels supplying the structure weaken
  • Uveitis, an inflammatory process that can affect eye pressure, damage the optic nerve, and cause injury to the tissue layer sandwiched between the retina and the white of your eye

A host of other conditions can affect your retina and lead to partial or total vision loss. The specialists at Retina Associates of New York have received extensive training and have years of clinical experience in accurately diagnosing and effectively treating conditions that affect the complex but delicate structure of your retina.

You can rely on these experts to provide personalized, advanced care that helps protect your retina and your eyesight. Call the nearest office for an appointment or schedule your visit online.   

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