Common Retinal Problems to Look Out For

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Posted on Friday, February 4th, 2022 by Dr. Robert Mack
Retinal Disease Specialist Hoffman Estates, Palatine & Schaumburg

The retina converts light into signals that are sent to and processed by the brain. Certain eye problems may be signs of a damaged or diseased retina. Here the doctors at Mack Eye Center explain symptoms that may indicate retinal issues.


Floaters or cobwebs in your field of vision may occur as part of the aging process. However, these spots or strings are sometimes a result of serious eye conditions.

Floaters are sometimes associated with retinal tears. When caught early, retinal tears are repairable via laser treatment. If the tear has progressed, retinal surgery may prove necessary.

Flashing Lights

Migraine sufferers often experience flashing lights. However, if you have never had an issue with migraines, seeing flashing lights may be a sign of a retinal problem. It’s the retina’s job to send light signals to the brain. If your retina is not functioning properly, it sends the wrong signals, which can result in flashing lights.

As with floaters, flashing lights may indicate a retinal tear. Seeing many floaters at once along with flashing lights can be a sign of retinal detachment, which means the retina is pulling away from the back of the eye. This is an emergency, as a detached retina can lead to blindness without prompt surgery.

Distorted Vision

Visual distortions, such as straight lines appearing wavy or the appearance of random dots, are connected with retinal damage. The same holds true for blurry or double vision, and objects in your vision appearing crooked. For instance, if the normally straight edge of your table now appears wavy, you could have retinal damage.

Vision Dimming

Is everything starting to appear darker? Is there less contrast between objects? Dimming vision is indicative of retinal issues. The effect is comparable to wearing sunglasses indoors. Vision continues to gradually deteriorate.

Such dimming could indicate retinitis pigmentosa. This disease leads to retinal degeneration and vision loss.

Blind Spot

Blind or black areas in the vision may result from a macular hole. That’s a defect in the center of the retina, known as the macula.

Macular degeneration is one of the most common eye conditions in older people. Besides a blind spot, other symptoms include blurred vision or changes in color perception.

Sudden Vision Changes

Over time, visual acuity declines. It’s simply a part of aging. However, when vision changes occur suddenly, that’s a red flag.

Contact Us

If you are experiencing symptoms indicative of retinal problems, contact Mack Eye Center today and schedule a consultation. We will discuss your treatment options and answer your questions.

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