Retinal disease

A macular hole, diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment and macular degeneration are widespread eye diseases. A retinal disease targets and attacks a specific part of the retina. The retina comprises millions of light-sensitive rods/cones and nerve cells which gather and organise visual data. The retina sends visual data to the brain via the optic nerve. A retinal disease, however, disrupts these impulses and causes vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetic complication that targets the eyes. Generally, at first, diabetic retinopathy is asymptomatic. But over time, it can lead to severe eye deterioration.


Ageing, eye trauma, obesity, diabetes, smoking and a family history of eye disease increases the risk of degenerative eye conditions. An excess of sugar in one's blood damages small blood vessels that feed the retina. Blood supply to the retina is altered, and as a last resort, the eye develops new vessels. The problem is, these new blood vessels don't grow properly and eventually leak.


  • Flashes and floaters

  • Poor vision

  • Blurry vision


An optical coherence tomography or OCT captures detailed images of the retina which helps with diagnosis of macular holes, epiretinal membranes, oedema and wet macular degeneration.

Other diagnostic tests include:

Indocyanine green angiography:

The ICG utilises a non-toxic dye which brightens when in contact with infrared light. The images from an ICG highlight deep retinal blood vessels within choroid tissue.

Fluorescein angiography:

Similar to an ICG, a fluorescein angiography utilises dye that highlights retinal blood vessels when exposed to a special light. The images from this test locate narrow or leaky blood vessels.


Treatment for retinal disease aims to slow its progression and restore vision. Laser surgery is an effective treatment for retinal disease. Ophthalmologists use laser surgery to limit a hole or tear in the retina. They apply heat via the laser to particular points in the retina. Scarring occurs, which helps bind the retina to nearby tissue.

Other treatments include:

Scatter laser photocoagulation:

Dr Miller uses laser treatments to resolve diabetic retinopathy as well as vascular occlusions. This advanced laser technique shrinks problematic blood vessels that leak fluid into the eye. This type of laser treatment is done at the eye centre instead of theatre.


A vitrectomy aims to remove a jelly-like substance that fills the interior of the eye known as the vitreous. The ophthalmologists then fill the space with air or liquid.

Medication via injection:

Ophthalmologists inject medication into the eye to treat wet macular degeneration and burst blood vessels. The Specialist Eye Centre is unique is in that it is set up for injections to be performed on-site, in the eye centre, instead of in theatre. This allows Dr Miller to treat a variety of inflammatory and retinal conditions easily, with minimal hassle to the patients.


Are retinal diseases curable?
Unfortunately, there are no cures for most retinal diseases, and they can get progressively worse over time. Dr Miller will treat your specific condition, minimise the symptoms, and aim to stabilise your vision.
Are retinal diseases painful?
The simple answer is no. Few retinal diseases cause pain and discomfort. It is essential to seek medical help from a specialist Ophthalmologist to avoid visual loss.
Can retinal disease cause blindness?
Retinal diseases may lead to blindness. With early diagnosis and the correct treatment, you can prevent or delay blindness. Dr Miller will create a treatment plan specific to your individual needs.