Retinal Diseases

The retina is one of the most important structures of our visual system. The retina is a light-sensitive tissue lining the inner surface of the back of the eye.

About The Retina

RetinaThe retina serves a similar function to the film in a camera. The optics of the eye create an image of the visual world on the retina. Light striking the retina initiates a cascade of chemical and electrical events that trigger nerve impulses. The photoreceptor cells, the rods and cones, are involved in this complex process. The retinal impulses are then carried through the optic nerve to the brain.

There are many diseases of the retina, which can affect eyesight. Some common diseases such as diabetes and hypertension can directly affect the retina and cause poor functioning of the retinal cells. Other common retinal disease processes include macular degeneration and retinal detachments. All of these retinal diseases can result in significant loss of vision.

Tennessee Retina Eye Doctor: Donny Reeves, MD

Donny Reeves, M.D.Dr. Donny Reeves has the expertise, knowledge, and experience to help guide you through your best options for treatments for retinal diseases. Dr. Reeves is a board certified ophthalmologist who had extensive exposure at the University of Wisconsin, which is well known for establishing protocols for retinal disease management.

At The Reeves Eye Institute, we are committed to preventing blindness from retinal disease and to providing you with retinal care. To learn more about the retina, the diagnosis of diseases, medical treatments, and injections for retinal diseases, please contact us for your exam at 423-722-1311.

Retinal Diseases


Keratoconus is a condition of the eye, which causes the cornea to thin out, resulting in a protrusion of the cornea.  Due to the protrusion, the front of the eye appears cone shaped, causing the light passing through to be distorted. If the cornea is not smooth, the images passing through to the retina will not appear properly. These distorted images can cause halos, starburst surrounding lights, blurred vision, multiple images, and ghosting. Keratoconus is a progressive condition that often develops in the teens and into early adulthood, gradually worsening overtime.

Corneal Dystrophy

A corneal dystrophy is a rare genetic eye condition in which one or more parts of the clear outer layer of the eye (the cornea) lose their normal clarity as a result of a buildup of cloudy material. The general term corneal dystrophy refers to a group of corneal diseases. There are many types of corneal dystrophies, and they are distinguished by the specific part or parts of the cornea affected.

Fuchs' Dystrophy

Fuchs' dystrophy is one of the more common corneal dystrophies. Fuchs' dystrophy is an inherited condition that affects the delicate inner layer (endothelium) of the cornea. The endothelium functions as a pump mechanism, constantly removing fluids from the cornea to maintain its clarity. Tennessee Fuchs Dystrophy patients gradually lose these endothelial cells as the dystrophy progresses. Once lost, the endothelial cells do not grow back, but instead spread out to the fill empty spaces. The pump system becomes less efficient, causing corneal clouding, swelling and eventually, reduced vision.