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Posted on 08-22-2018

Brimhall Eye in Las Vegas, NV Discusses The Retinal Pigment Epithelial Layer and Your Sight

Your eyes contain layers that all work together to send visual signals to your brain. You are most likely familiar with the retina and possibly the macula, but another layer, the retinal pigment epithelial layer (a.k.a. the retinal pigment epithelium) is also one you should know. This layer sits right behind the retina and can be a flashpoint for a number of eye issues. Our ophthalmologist at Brimhall Eye in the Las Vegas region in Nevada can help you deal with any problems.

Woman getting an eye examination

What Does the RPE Do?

This layer feeds both the retina and carts out waste cells. It controls hormones and other immune factors that the retina needs. It also allows light to pass from the retina to the choroid, a layer of blood cells at the outer portion of the back of the eye.

What Problems Can Occur?

The RPE sounds pretty passive; it sits there and does its job. But occasionally it can become inflamed (known as sterile inflammation), and that can make it harder for the layer to remove waste from the retina. It may also be the real starting point for macular degeneration. If the RPE starts to malfunction, then any degeneration already happening in the macula could get worse. In other words, the regulation that keeps the macula and retina in good shape breaks down and lets degeneration take over.

Another problem is the potential for a condition called hypertrophy. This is a thickening that can occur at birth or later in life and doesn't really cause symptoms. However, the thickened spots can become tumors, requiring surgery.

Contact Our Brimhall Eye in Las Vegas, NV to Schedule an Appointment!

The best way to keep that RPE healthy is to have an eye exam. An ophthalmology doctor at Brimhall Eye can give you an exam and help you further if any problems appear to be present. You can contact us at any of our locations at (702)-263-2020

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