What is the Retina?

The retina is an extremely thin layer of tissue that lines the inside, back portion of the eye and is often compared to the film in a camera.  Light from objects that we view enters the eye and is focused by the cornea and the lens.  The retina then sends those images to the brain via the optic nerve.  The retina is a very important part of the eye and can be affected by different medical conditions. We are proud to have a team of vitreoretinal specialists on staff to diagnose and treat retinal conditions so that you can continue to see well.

Age Related Macular Degeneration

Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) is a very common disease. It may be important to treat ARMD to maintain your eyesight. Macular Degeneration reduces vision in the central part of the retina. It usually does not affect the side (or peripheral) vision. Macular Degeneration is genetic. Its effects are severe and can be irreversible if ignored. We recommend you meet with a retinal specialist to discuss your risk of the acquiring the condition.

Symptoms include:

  • Words become blurred when reading
  • A dark or empty area appears in the center of your vision
  • When viewing straight lines, they look wavy or crooked

If you experience the onset of these symptoms you should call our office right away so that one of our retinal specialists can diagnose and start treating the condition before severe vision loss occurs.

What is going on in the eye

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
 

What you see

This is an example of how age related macular degeneration can affect your vision.

age related macular degeneration example

Retinal Detachment

A retinal detachment is the separation of the retina from the underlying tissue within the eye.  A retinal detachment is a condition that needs urgent attention and could cause permanent vision loss if ignored. Dr. Traustason performs retinal detachment repair at our surgery center so, together, you can work quickly to try to preserve your vision.

Symptoms include:

  • Bright flashes of light
  • Blurred vision
  • The sudden appearance of many new floaters
  • A dark “curtain like” shadow that obstructs your vision

What is going on in the eye

Retinal Detachment
 

What you see

This is an example of how the symptoms of a retinal detachment could affect your vision.
retinal detachment example

What are Vitreous Floaters?

The vitreous is a gel-like substance that fills the inside of the eye. Floaters occur when the vitreous slowly collapses. As the vitreous collapses, it becomes stringy like the inside of a pumpkin, and the strands can cast tiny shadows on the retina. These shadows are floaters. They are small shapes that can look like dots, thread-like strands, or squiggly lines. They move as your eyes move and usually continue to drift even when your eyes stop moving. Floaters can occur in one or both eyes. They can become especially apparent when looking at something bright, such as white paper or a bright blue sky.

In most cases, floaters are part of the natural aging process and are simply an annoyance. If they are affecting your vision however, Dr. Kristine Traustason can perform a Trans Pars Plana Vitrectomy (TPPV) to remove the floaters by removing the vitreous gel and replacing it with a salt solution that your body will soon replace with its own natural fluids.

What is going on in the eye

Floaters and Flashers
 

What you see

This is an example of how floaters may appear in your vision.
floaters in eye example

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy is a condition resulting from damaged blood vessels of the retina in people who have diabetes. This condition can occur in either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. It is caused by excessively high blood sugar levels.  The blood vessels are damaged by the diabetes, which can cause symptoms. If left untreated, the eye may try to compensate by forming new, abnormal blood vessels, which can leak and create scar tissue that leads to loss of vision. In some cases, diabetic retinopathy does not cause any symptoms so patients suffering from diabetes should have regular eye exams from an ophthalmologist.

Symptoms include:

  • Floaters or dark spots in vision
  • Poor night vision
  • Loss of vision
  • Difficulty seeing the differences in color

What is going on in the eye

Diabetic Retinopathy
 

What you see

This is an example of how diabetic retinopathy can affect your vision.
diabetic retinopathy example

Macular Hole

At the very center of the eye’s light sensitive retina is the macula. The macula provides the sharp, central vision we need for reading, driving, and seeing fine detail. A macular hole is a small break in the macula. The size of the hole may determine how much it will affect a person’s vision. Macular holes often begin suddenly.

Symptoms include:

  • Distortion or loss of central vision
  • Blurred vision when looking straight ahead

What is going on in the eye

Macular Hole
 

What you see

This is an example of how a Macular Hole can affect your vision.
Macular Hole example

Epiretinal Membrane

At the very center of the eye’s light sensitive retina is the macula. The macula provides the sharp, central vision we need for reading, driving, and seeing fine detail. Sometimes, a thin membrane of scar tissue forms which grows across the macula. As the membrane shrinks and contracts, it causes distortion of the retinal tissue and is sometimes referred to as a macular pucker. This affects the vision, particularly for reading but does not cause total blindness. The change in vision caused by an epiretinal membrane may be very gradual.

Symptoms include:

  • Slight distortion of central vision, like looking through a “fun house” mirror
  • Blurred vision
  • A darkened area of vision

What is going on in the eye

Epiretinal Membrane
 

What you see

This is an example of how Epiretinal Membrane can affect your vision.
Epiretinal Membrane example

Retinal Surgery

Retinal surgery is usually painless and performed in our office while you remain awake and comfortable. Orion Eye Center offers both laser treatments, as well as surgery for a wide range of retinal conditions.  

Dr. Kristine Traustason performs retina surgery at Orion Eye to help patients suffering from many different retinal conditions including the ones listed above. Before Dr. Traustason was available in central Oregon, all patients had to travel to Portland for retinal surgery prior to her arrival. We are very proud to offer these retinal surgeries for our patients right here in our community – keeping them close to home to recover in a comfortable and familiar environment.

General Eye information

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Eye Safety
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How to Insert Eye Drops

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How Often to Have Eye Exams

Life is Beautiful.  See Well.

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