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September 24 to 30 is World Retina Week which is celebrated to raise awareness of the function, importance and care of the retina. Here are some things to know about the important but seldom acknowledged retina.

Where and what it is:

The retina lines the inside of the eye at the back. It receives and converts the light that shines from the lens into neural signals which it sends to the brain. The brain then converts these signals to visual images. This vital role the retina plays on a person’s vision means that damage to the retina can possibly cause blindness.

Usefulness in early sickness detection:

It can help in early detection of diabetes, heart attack, stroke and blindness. A photograph of the retina can be taken with a special camera and the resulting photo can be read to know if any of these diseases are taking root. This knowledge helps the individual fight the disease and possibly reverse the situation far better than if the disease had been allowed to quietly fester and spread in the body. This procedure is known as fundus photography and is taken with fundus camera.

Ways to care for your retina:

  • Regular exercise can help fight diabetes which affects the retina.
  • Drinking enough water can help moisturize the eyes and promote blood flow.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet rich in nutrients that help the retina stay healthy
  • Get regular eye checks.
  • Avoid harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun and wear sunglasses when outside.
  • Avoid smoking which impairs blood flow and thereby can cause severe eye disorders.
  • Avoid the use of hard drugs or abuse of recommended drugs as these can irreversibly damage the retina.

For more information about retina health and care, do contact us. Take care of your eyes which are said to be the windows to the soul.