Glossary of Retinal Diseases

Macular Degeneration

An eye disease affecting the macula (the center of the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye), causing loss of central vision.

Diabetic Retinopathy

A condition occurring in people with diabetes. It causes progressive damage to the retina, the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye.

Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)

A group of inherited disorders of the retina (the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye), which cause poor night vision and a progressive loss of side vision.


A group of disorders leading to progressive damage to the optic nerve. It is characterized by loss of nerve tissue that results in vision loss.


An age-related vision condition in which the eye gradually loses the ability to focus on near objects

Retinopathy of Prematurity

Affects premature babies. It causes moderate to severe abnormal blood vessel growth in the retina that may require surgery.

Stargardt Disease

Stargardt disease is an inherited disorder of the retina – the tissue at the back of the eye that senses light. The disease typically causes vision loss during childhood or adolescence, although in some forms, vision loss may not be noticed until later in adulthood.

Juvenile Macular Degeneration

An inherited disorder in which the macula, the part of the retina responsible for central vision, breaks down. The most common form is Stargardt disease.

Detached Retina

Occurs when the retina detaches from the back of the eye. It may result from trauma or disease.


An eye cancer that begins in the retina, typically in young children.


​A rare, complex condition that can cause chronic inflammation in the front, middle or back of the eye.

Source: National Eye Institute |