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.
Signs and symptoms
1. The Merck Manual: Eye diseases (thanks to www.merckmanuals.com 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