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Retinal Problems


Retinal problems can happen in a variety of different settings. For instance, diabetes can lead to a diabetic neuropathy, uncontrolled high blood pressure to a hypertensive neuropathy.

Common retinal problems


central retinal artery occlusion : from a dislodged blood clot in an artery

central retinal vein occlusion : occurs in older persons. Common with glaucoma, diabetes, high blood pressure and blood clotting disorders

diabetic retinopathy : the longer diabetes has been present , the worse the condition usually is

hypertensive retinopathy : poorly controlled high blood pressure causes this condition. Also in toxemia of pregnancy

macular degeneration : this condition is age-related and leads to progressive loss of vision, more common in whites than blacks; it may be hereditary

retinal detachment : occurs in trauma, with myopia or after cataract surgery (often with a tear); also happens without a tear in diabetics or in patients with sickle cell disease

retinitis pigmentosa : loss of night vision, later also blind spots. Sometimes associated with hearing loss (hereditary form)

retinopathy of prematurity : abnormal retinal blood vessels in prematurely born babies. Depending on the degree, vision ranges from normal to blindness


Aging by itself can lead to loss of sight by the development of age-related macular degeneration. All of these conditions and the ones listed above lead to loss of vision, either slowly (most conditions) or suddenly (retinal detachment), and all of that without any pain. If a prior eye condition such as uveitis or glaucoma exists, pain can be present and comes from the preexisting condition, not from the retinal problem.

 Retinal Problems

Retinal Problems (Retinal Detachment Right, Left Normal)

Signs and symptoms

These are different for the various conditions and can be found in more detail under the various links regarding retinal problems.



1. The Merck Manual: Eye diseases (thanks to for this link)

2. Ferri: Ferri’s Clinical Advisor: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment, 2004 ed., Copyright © 2004 Mosby, Inc.

3. Rakel: Conn’s Current Therapy 2004, 56th ed., Copyright © 2004 Elsevier

Last modified: December 3, 2016

This outline is only a teaching aid to patients and should stimulate you to ask the right questions when seeing your doctor. However, the responsibility of treatment stays in the hands of your doctor and you.