The Retinal ophthalmology specialists of the Switzerland Eye Research Institute are dedicated to the study, diagnosis and treatment of the diseases of the retina, the optic nerve and the posterior segment of the eyeball.
The retina is a layer of nervous tissue that lines the back of the eye, whose function is to capture light signals, which are subsequently sent to the brain by a special type of nervous cells, called photoreceptors.
The central area of the retina, called macula, is functionally the most important. It provides the sharp vision we need for reading and for seeing fine detail in images. This explains why diseases of the macula have an immediate negative impact upon vision.
Retinal disease (or retinopathy) presents different symptoms according to where the retina is affected. Diseases affecting the centre of the retina, called maculopathies, result in the loss of visual acuity, whereas diseases affecting the periphery of the retina usually affect the field of vision, resulting in a loss of lateral vision.
Some retinopathies are congenital (present at birth), either inherited from the parents as a result of genetic abnormalities or caused by infections contracted during pregnancy. There are also acquired forms of maculopathy that may develop after birth for several reasons, including trauma, exposure to ultraviolet radiation, or severe infections.
In glaucoma, increased intraocular pressure due to aqueous humour accumulation leads to a progressive decrease in visual acuity. The aqueous humour is a water-like fluid produced in the front of the eye to provide firmness to the eyeball.
The eye pressure is regulated by a balance between aqueous humour production and drainage.
A modification in this balance can determine an increase in the intraocular pressure (intraocular hypertonia). This, in turn, can lead to severe damage to the nerve fibres which make up the optic nerve, causing decreased visual acuity, which initially affects the peripheral areas of the visual field and then gradually extends to the others.
Retinal diagnosis at SERI Lugano is extremely thorough, providing a complete picture of the disease based on the latest research and prior surgery. Every effort is made to improve the patient’s visual acuity, including by modifying metabolic and life-style factors, and using pharmacological treatment, laser photocoagulation and the latest intravitreal injection formulations, as required.