The retina is a layer that lies in the back part of the eye. This area contains light-sensitive cells. The retinal cells trigger nerve impulses that move between the optic nerve and the brain, where the visual images are created. If the retina becomes damaged, vision may be impaired as well.
Retinal damage may happen for a number of different reasons. These reasons can include, but are not limited to, sudden injury, chronic illness, or the natural aging process.
A floater is a cobweb, string, or speck that floats in the field of vision. Floaters are typically black and can float in and out of vision. Floaters may indicate that the vitreous (the gel-like material connected loosely to the retina) is starting to liquefy. Liquefying of the vitreous is a common part of aging. However, the floaters may be present for other reasons such as eye inflammation due to allergies, bleeding inside the eye, or a systemic disease.
Retinal detachment happens when the retina pulls away from its usual position at the back of the eye. Retinal detachment can be caused by holes in the retina or retinal tears, which allows the vitreous to leak through. The vitreous pools beneath the retina, peeling it from the tissues where it is needed. In the area where the retina has become detached, blood supply is lost and this can result in vision loss.
Conjunctivitis (pinkeye) is an inflammation in the tissues that line the eyelids and cover the whites of the eyes. High tear production, eye redness, itchiness, blurry vision, light sensitivity, and other symptoms may occur. It may be caused by viruses, irritants, or allergies.
Blepharitis is an inflammatory eye condition that impacts the area around the eyelash roots. Blepharitis has symptoms similar to pinkeye, but it also causes a crust at the base of the eyelashes. In most cases, blepharitis is the result of bacterial infection, excess oil gland secretion, or both.
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