What is medical retina?

Medical Retina specialists monitor and treat conditions that affect the lining of the back of the eye, called the retina. Common conditions include age related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macula oedema, retinal vein occlusion and inherited retinal diseases.

What are the symptoms for medical retina?

There are various different types of medical retina. The most common are:

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

  • Gaps or dark spots across your vision (known as a scotoma)
  • Reduced central vision in one or both eyes
  • Words may be distorted or mixed up on a page
  • Straight lines may appear distorted or bent.

Diabetic retinopathy

  • Gradually worsening vision
  • Sudden vision loss
  • Shapes floating in your field of vision (floaters)
  • Blurred or patchy vision.

Retinal vein occlusion

  • Sudden change in vision
  • Partial or complete loss of vision
  • Usually only in one eye.

Inherited retinal diseases

  • Blurred vision
  • Occur in childhood
  • Intense sensitivity to light
  • Blind spots in the vision
  • Loss of the ability to see colour
  • Loss of side or peripheral vision.

When should I seek treatment for my condition?

The main goals of treatment are to stop, or slow disease progression and where possible preserve, improve or restore your vision. The earlier you are referred from your optometrist the better the outcome will be. In many cases, damage that has already occurred cannot be reversed, making early detection important. Your doctor will work with you to determine the best treatment.

What does medical retina treatment involve?

The treatment, for medical retina disorders, depends on the condition you have. Click here for Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) treatments.

Diabetic Retinopathy – laser treatment to treat the growth of new blood vessels at the back of the eye. This is known as pan retinal laser photocoagulation or PRP.

Retinal vein occlusion – Focal laser therapy provides laser to areas of fluid (oedema) to improve retinal function by reducing the oedema.

Inherited retinal diseases – We currently do not offer treatment for this.

How long does medical retina treatment take?

This all depends on the treatment required:

  • Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) injections take around 20 minutes for the full appointment.
  • Focal laser takes approximately 20 minutes.
  • Pan retinal laser takes from 30 to 40 minutes.
  • You may have both eyes treated on the same day, in which case the treatment will take longer.

What are the results of medical retina treatment?

Treatment will either stop or slow down any disease progression. This may take many appointments to achieve.

What are the risks and complications of medical retina treatment?

Laser treatment is very safe and risks are very small. You will have the opportunity to discuss any risks with your consultant prior to agreeing any treatment plan.

Pre-operative assessment:

A pre-operative assessment is our opportunity to ensure that the procedure for which you have been referred is right for you. We’ll explain your treatment to you and makes sure that you are well enough to go ahead with it. It is also your opportunity to meet the team who will care for you and to ask any questions.

Our locations

Our locations

You can find us at the Croft Shifa Health Centre in Rochdale, or at a number of mobile sites across the region.


NHS referral

All NHS patients benefit from short waiting times at our hospital. Ask your GP for a referral.

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