The retina is a light-sensitive layer in the back of the eye that contains highly evolved cells called rods and cones. The retina converts incident light energy into signals that are carried to the brain by the optic nerve. The retina is divided into two areas: the central (macula) and the peripheral retina.
The macula has the highest concentration of photoreceptors (cones) and provides the sharpest vision. We use the macula to read fine print and thread a needle. Age -related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the Unite States, causes damage to the macula. The peripheral retina is used for peripheral vision. It is critical for many activities such as driving and playing sports. A retinal tear is the most common disease of the peripheral retina. This can lead to a retinal detachment and loss of vision.