What Is a Retina Specialist and What to Expect When Visiting One

August 8, 2023

When it comes to our eyes, it’s essential to understand the different types of specialists available to ensure we receive the best possible care. Louisiana Retina is an eye clinic with board certified ophthalmologists who are also fellowship trained Retina Specialists. Let’s explore who retina specialists are, what they do, the difference between them and ophthalmologists, the training they must undergo, the conditions they treat, and what to expect when visiting a retina specialist.

What Is a Retina Specialist?

A retina specialist is a medical doctor and surgeon who focuses on diagnosing and treating conditions that affect the retina, macula, and vitreous. This type of specialist typically sees patients who are referred to them by an ophthalmologist or optometrist when a patient is experiencing symptoms or is at risk of developing retinal and vitreous diseases. Retina specialists have undergone specialized training to become experts in this field.

Retina Specialist vs.Ophthalmologist

Retina specialists differ from ophthalmologists in their areas of expertise. While ophthalmologists are eye doctors who can diagnose and treat many eye conditions, including cataracts, glaucoma, and corneal diseases, retina specialists concentrate solely on the retina, macula, and vitreous.

Retina specialists have the same medical degree as ophthalmologists but with additional fellowship training on top of the degree. Their heightened focus on retinas allows them to develop an in-depth understanding of these eye layers and provide the most advanced and specialized care for conditions affecting the back of the eye.

The Education Backing Retina Specialists

To become a retina specialist, one must complete medical school, an internship, an ophthalmology residency program and retina fellowship all of which take a minimum of 10 years after undergraduate degree.

What Does a Retina Specialist Treat?

Retina specialists treat diabetic retinopathy, a complication of diabetes that affects the blood vessels in the retina. They also provide care for patients with Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss in individuals over 50. Additionally, they can treat retinal detachments, macular edema, macular holes, inherited retinal diseases, floaters, and other retinal abnormalities.

What to Expect When Seeing a Retina Specialist

When visiting a retina specialist, they will review your medical history and conduct a comprehensive eye examination. This will involve dilating your pupils to examine the back of your eye, including the retina and macula. The specialist may also perform additional tests, such as optical coherence tomography, to obtain detailed images of your retinal layers.

Based on their findings, the retina specialist will discuss your diagnosis, available treatment options, and the potential risks and benefits of each treatment option. Depending on the condition, they may recommend treatments like laser therapy, intravitreal injections, or surgery.

Louisiana Retina Specialist

At Louisiana Retina, our board-certified retina specialists focus on diagnosing and treating diseases affecting the retina, macula, and vitreous. They undergo extensive training to become experts in this field and manage all types of retina-related conditions, including diabetic retinopathy, AMD, and retinal detachments.

You can expect to receive a thorough eye exam and personalized treatment plan when visiting either of our clinics. By seeking care from Louisiana Retina, you’re investing in your eyes for a lifetime of healthy vision. Contact us to schedule an appointment for an in-office retinal treatment or learn more.

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