The retina is a thin tissue that lines the back of the eye. It contains the part of the optic nerve that transmits visual information to the brain. The retina is also the part of the eye that allows us to see color.
The retina does a lot of work. It helps you see. But it also works hard to keep your eyes moist. It relies on the tear film to keep the moisture in your eyes.
The human eye is about 60 times more efficient at seeing than the human brain. That means the eyes need about 60 times more water than the brain to see well.
The retina also has a lot of nerve endings. These are the “point of vision,” or the “retina.” They help us see color.
The retina helps us see colors
The retina is like a piece of glass. The white part of the eye is called the “white of the eye.” It’s made of light-sensitive cells. These cells are called rods and cones.
The rods help us see color. These cells are the same ones that allow us to see green.
The cones allow us to see red and blue colors. These cells are also the same kind of light-sensitive cells that allow us to see the red in red wine.
The light-sensitive cells in our eyes are also called rods and cones. The different colors we can see come from the different combinations of the red and blue light-sensitive cells.
How does liquid retina work to help us see colors?
A person with liquid retina has healthy eyes. But they also have one or more of the following conditions:
- Age-related macular degeneration. This is a group of eye problems that causes the cells in the macula to grow smaller and blur the central part of the field of vision.
- Retinitis pigmentosa. This is a group of eye problems that causes the cells to not work correctly.
- Glaucoma. This is a group of eye problems that causes damage to the optic nerve. It can lead to vision loss.
The liquid retina itself is not a problem. It’s the condition that causes the liquid to leak out of the eye.
A person with liquid retina should see normal color vision. But they may have trouble seeing the colors they normally see.
What is a liquid?
The term “liquid” means that the fluid has a low level of consistency. It’s not solid. It’s not like water.
There are two main types of liquid retina. The first is called central retinal vein occlusion. This is the most common type. It affects the central part of the eye. This is the part that lets us see the colors that we see in the middle of our vision.
The second type is called branch retinal vein occlusion. This type affects the side of the eye. It can cause sudden or gradual vision loss.
Central retinal vein occlusion is a type of ischemic retinopathy. It happens when the blood flow to the retina is blocked by a blood clot. This causes damage to the retina.
Central retinal vein occlusion symptoms
The symptoms of central retinal vein occlusion are:
- Blurred vision
- Eye pain
- Seeing a bright spot in one eye
- Seeing double vision
- Seeing stars in one eye
- Seeing streaks of light in one eye
Central retinal vein occlusion causes
Central retinal vein occlusion happens when the blood flow to the retina is blocked. This can happen for a variety of reasons.
- Blood flow to the retina can be blocked by a blood clot that forms in the retinal vein.
- The vein may be blocked by a blood clot that forms inside the vein.
- Blood flow can also be blocked by a blood clot that forms inside the artery that feeds the retina.
- Blood flow to the retina can also be blocked by other blood clots.
Branch retinal vein occlusion symptoms
The symptoms of branch retinal vein occlusion are:
- Blurry vision
- Vision loss
Branch retinal vein occlusion causes
Branch retinal vein occlusion happens when blood flow to the retina is blocked. This can happen for a variety of reasons.
- Blood flow can be blocked by a blood clot that forms in the retinal vein or artery.
- Blood flow can also be blocked by a blood clot that forms in the retina.
How are liquid retinas diagnosed?
The diagnosis of liquid retina depends on the type of liquid retina you have.
- Central retinal vein occlusion. The doctor will listen to your eye and check for blockages in the central retinal vein.
- Branch retinal vein occlusion. The doctor will take a look at the eye and check for blockages in the side of the retina.
How are liquid retinas treated?
You may need treatment if you have liquid retina. The treatment will depend on the cause.
For branch retinal vein occlusion, treatment will include:
- Eye drops. Your doctor will put eye drops into your eye to reduce swelling.
- Laser photocoagulation. The doctor will use a laser to break up any blockages in the retina.
- Anti-VEGF injections. The doctor may give you an injection that helps break up the blood clot.
Treatment for central retinal vein occlusions may include:
- Eye drops. The doctor may give you eye drops to reduce swelling.
- Laser photocoagulation. The doctor will use a laser to break up any blockages in the vessel.
Central retinal vein occlusions can cause permanent vision loss.
What is the outlook for liquid retina?
The outlook for liquid retina depends on the underlying cause. If the cause is a blood clot, you may be able to manage your condition with treatment.
For branch retinal vein occlusion, treatment may involve:
- Laser photocoagulation
- Anti-VEGF injections
The outlook for central retinal vein occlusions depends on the underlying cause. This includes the type of central retinal vein occlusions.
For example, if you have central retinal vein occlusions that are caused by blood clots, your outlook will depend on how severe the condition is.
If the underlying cause is a blood clot, you may be able to manage your condition with:
- Treatment for the blood clot
- Eye drops
Central retinal veins and branch retinal vein occlusions are different types of retinal vein occlusions.
Central retinal veins are caused by blockages in the central retinal artery. Branch retinal vein occlusion is caused by blockages in the arterial side of the retina.
Central retinal veins and branch retinal vein occlusions can both lead to vision loss.
When to get medical help?
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room immediately:
- Blurred or double vision
- Double vision that gets worse
- Seeing a bright flash in one eye
There are also some symptoms that may mean you should go to the emergency room, but may not require immediate treatment:
- Seeing floaters or flashes
- Seeing starlike spots in one eye
- Seeing streaks of light in one or both eyes
How to prevent liquid retinas?
There are steps you can take to prevent liquid retinas.
- Avoid drinking alcohol.
- If you smoke, quit.
- Keep your blood pressure under control.
- Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, and other NSAIDs.
- Exercise regularly.
- If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar levels.
- If you have high blood pressure, take your blood pressure medicine as directed.
- If you have a heart condition, your doctor may prescribe a heart drug.
Can liquid retinas cause cataracts?
Liquid retinas can sometimes cause cataracts. This is because the retina is in the back of the eye and can be damaged by the liquid.
In some cases, cataracts can be caused by diabetes and other health conditions. Contact your doctor if you have cataracts.
How can liquid retinas be removed?
If your liquid retina is causing you discomfort and vision loss, your doctor may recommend the removal of the retina.
There are several surgical techniques to remove the affected retinal tissue.
For branch retinal vein occlusion, you may be able to have laser photocoagulation to break up the blood clot.
This procedure involves using a laser to vaporize the blood clots.
For central retinal veins, your doctor may suggest a variety of surgical options.
These options include:
- Sclerotomy. This procedure involves making a small hole in the back of your eye. Once the hole is made, your doctor will place a rubber tube inside to help drain any fluid.
- Vitrectomy. This procedure involves removing your liquid retina. Your doctor will then stitch the retina back together.
Liquid retina is a type of retinal vein occlusion. It happens when the fluid leaks out of the eye. It can be a type of ischemic retinopathy.
Other types of retinal vein occlusion are ischemic, nonischemic, and central retinal artery occlusion.
The symptoms of retinal vein occlusions are similar. They include blurred or double vision, seeing stars, and seeing streaks of light.
The liquid retina is usually caused by blood clot. Treatment depends on the cause.
Liquid retinas are usually treated with laser photocoagulation. Anti-VEGF injections may also be used.
In most cases, liquid retina can be managed with treatment. If the liquid retina is caused by a blood clot, it usually isn’t serious. It may get worse over time.
If liquid retina is caused by a blood clot, treatment may involve:
Images by Freepik
Generated by AI