There is a thin layer covering most of the inside of the back of your eye called the retina. Because the retina receives light, encodes it, and transmits it to the brain, problems with the retina’s function can interfere with vision. There are over a handful of different diseases and conditions that can affect the retina, some of which present an emergency situation requiring prompt treatment from someone like our Denver retina specialists.

Retinal Conditions and Diseases

The most common conditions and diseases impacting the retina include:

  • retinal tear
  • retinal detachment
  • macular degeneration
  • diabetic retinopathy
  • macular hole
  • retinitis pigmentosa
  • epiretinal membrane

Despite the variances between these conditions, the symptoms produced are usually the same.

Fellowship-Trained Experts

With decades of combined experiences, ICON’s Denver retina specialists provide industry-leading care using the latest, advanced technology and techniques.

Risk Factors

You might be surprised to hear that you can reduce your risk of retinal disease by making good choices today: maintain a healthy weight by exercising and eating well and stop smoking if you smoke (and don’t start if you don’t smoke).

Some factors of retinal issues aren’t within your control: age, family history of retinal disease, and eye trauma.

Be sure to discuss risk factors with your provider and follow your eye doctor’s recommendation for annual or more frequent preventative examinations.


Symptoms of retinal diseases and conditions are relatively consistent despite the diagnosis: new floaters, loss of vision, changes in peripheral vision, and wavy or blurred vision.


There are over a dozen treatments for retinal conditions. Your eye doctor will help you choose the treatment that offers the lowest risk and the greatest benefit. Potential treatment options may include:

  • laser surgery
  • freezing
  • injecting gas or air into the eye
  • shrinking blood vessels
  • injectable medications
  • removing and then replacing the fluid inside the eye

Request a preventative or diagnostic appointment with one of our local retina specialists for evaluation of your specific symptoms and concerns, like retinal detachment or other complications.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in people over 65 years old in the U.S. It is a condition involving the macula, which is the center part of the retina, and leads to loss of detailed vision. When the macula is affected, you may have difficulty reading, driving, and seeing faces. You may find it significantly harder to do near-work, such as threading a needle, or you may not be able to distinguish small objects, like salt crystals in a salt shaker. Other symptoms include distorted vision and “photo-stress response” (such as “snow blindness”) as a reaction to bright light.