The retina is the layer of cells lining the back of the eye that senses light and allows you to see.
There are conditions specific to the retina, which if left untreated, can result in vision loss.
Floaters and Flashes:
The inside of the eye is filled with a gel like substance called the vitreous. There may be small clumps of cells inside the vitreous, called floaters, which cast shadows on the retina. These shadows are what are seen in one's vision. There is no treatment for floaters.
As we age, the vitreous continues to thicken and clump and it can pull away from the back of the eye, causing a posterior vitreous detachment, and also causing more floaters and the development of flashes in one's vision. Flashes occur when the vitreous pulls on the retina and the retina interprets this stimulation as light.
In some cases the vitreous may be so firmly attached to the retina that as it pulls away it causes a retinal tear which in turn can cause a retinal detachment. A retinal tear or detachment may also result in the addition of floaters or flashes, so if additional floaters or flashes are noticed you should contact your eye doctor for an examination. A tear in the retina can be repaired with a non-invasive laser procedure which seals the tear. A retinal detachment is more serious and requires a more complex surgery to restore one's vision.