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The Retina’s Function, Anatomy Related Diseases

giving eye exam

Have you ever heard of the word retina? Sure you have; it’s something to do with the eye. Yes, it is a very important part of the eye, so this week’s article will be dedicated to the retina’s function, anatomy, and related diseases. We hope after you read this week’s blog post, you will be more knowledgeable on what the retina does. Happy reading!


What Is The Retina’s Main Function?

The eye is made up of a number of layers and these layers all help with communicating information. The retina is located in the back of they eye, its position can be seen below.

The retina is similar to a camera, in that it captures an image. Its function is to help the eye communicate with the brain. Or in essence, allow our brains to understand what we are seeing. So how exactly does this all work? Our eyes interpret images through light rays. Light rays enter the cornea, through the iris opening called a pupil. The lens then focuses this light onto a specific part of the retina. The retina has light-sensitive cells called photo-receptors, which transforms these into light rays into electrical impulses. The electrical impulses travel down the optic nerve fibers and into the brain. The brain then decodes these signals and we ‘see’ an image. You could think of the retina’s electrical impulses like a camera reel, which the brain can understand and from which produces an image (or picture).

What are the parts of the eye


Retinal Related Eye Diseases

The retina is a crucial part of the eye, as I mentioned earlier, it allows for communication between the eye and the brain. So, if the retina is damaged in any way, it inhibits our ability to see. In some cases, it may make a person blind. Some eye diseases and conditions relating to damage of the retina include:

  • Retinal detachment occurs when the retina moves from its proper place, hence the term retinal detachment. It is an eye emergency, and immediate treatment is necessary or else permanent vision loss could result.
  • Macular degeneration occurs when the center portion of the retina referred to as the macula is affected.
  • Diabetic retinopathy can occur in those who have type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The light-sensitive cells in the retina are affected, which can cause blindness.


Don’t Miss Your Regular Eye Exam

To ensure your overall eye health is a-okay it is critical you do not miss your regular eye exam. It is an opportunity for an eye professional to take a look at your eyes, including the very important retina, and ensure no issues are present. When it comes to our eyes, being proactive is the best course of action against eye issues and diseases. And remember, an eye exam can also help diagnose non-eye related issues too.


Dr. Sharma and the whole team at Inner Harbour Optometry strongly believe an eye exam is more than just getting new specs. We love educating our patients on an ongoing basis. If you need a trusted local Victoria, BC eye care professional, give us a call or book online.

We would love to help you see your very best.