What Are Retinal Disorders?

Your retina, which is the back layer of your eye, can develop diseases that require treatment to prevent loss of sight or visual clarity. Retinal disorders in Jacksonville FL affect light-sensitive tissues located at the back of your eyes. Photoreceptor cells in your retina receive and convert light into electrical signals that help your brain make sense of what you are seeing. Electrical messages received by the retina pass through your optic nerve to your brain.

Common Retinal Disorders

We treat a wide range of retinal disorders here at Stam & Associates Eye Care. Below are brief descriptions of two of the most common retinal disorders we see in our patients.

Diabetic retinopathy

Any person with diabetes can develop this condition if their blood sugar remains consistently high over a period of time. High blood sugar levels cause the blood vessels in your eyes to weaken and can make vision less sharp. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include:

  • Blurry or distorted vision
  • Colors appear faded
  • Difficulty seeing clearly at night or when viewing objects at a distance
  • Floaters in your line of vision

Macular degeneration

This common eye condition typically affects people over age 50 and causes problems with central vision. When you have macular degeneration, seeing objects in front of you clearly becomes challenging. The macula is the central part of your retina. Symptoms of macular degeneration include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Colors appear faded
  • Dark or blank spots in your field of vision
  • Difficulty seeing clearly in low light
  • Straight lines appear wavy or curvy

Please schedule an exam with us as soon as possible if you notice symptoms of either of these conditions. We also treat retinal detachment and tears, macular holes, and several other retinal disorders in Jacksonville, FL. Treatments include prescription medication and/or glasses, surgery, and lifestyle changes.

What Causes Sparkles?

If you start seeing sparkles in your vision, it isn’t cause for celebration. Sparkles only appear in your field of vision when something is amiss. It’s not necessarily time to panic, but you should visit yourJacksonville, FL, optometrist and let the eye doctor know the circumstances when you see sparkles. The sooner the underlying cause can be determined, the earlier treatment can begin. Here are some of the potential causes of sparkles:


Many migraine sufferers report seeing sparkles before the migraine comes on. The migraine itself may be short-lived, but if it causes problems with vision, you should avoid activities such as driving. You should also get an eye exam to determine if something is happening inside your eyes that causes the migraines.

Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD)

As people age, the vitreous humor inside the eye can shrink and pull away from the retina, leading to PVD. This condition can cause flashes of light or sparkles, particularly in the peripheral vision. While PVD is usually not serious, it can sometimes lead to retinal detachment, which is a medical emergency. This is why you should always contact your eye doctor if you see sparkles.


Diabetes can cause the person to see sparkles in their field of vision, too. In fact, it’s sometimes an early warning sign of the onset of diabetes. Visit your eye doctor in Jacksonville, FL, for a diabetic eye exam. Unmanaged diabetes can lead to partial or full vision loss, so the sooner you have it diagnosed, the better your odds.

Retinal Detachment

This is a severe condition where the retina peels away from its underlying layer of support tissue, and symptoms include sudden flashes of light or sparkles. The condition often happens suddenly after eye trauma from a sports injury or auto accident. Retinal detachment requires immediate medical intervention to prevent permanent vision loss.

Sparkles are also a warning to get checked out by an eye doctor. Hopefully, the reason will be something that is easily treated. To book your appointment, contact us today.