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Medical Definitions

Back of the Eye

The back of the eye is the part of the eye that one can’t see when looking at a person’s face.

Branch Retinal Artery Occlusion

This is a blockage in a single branch of the main (or central) retinal artery.

Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion

This is a blockage in a branch of the main (or central) retina vein.

Central Retinal Artery Occlusion

This is a “blockage” in the main artery that is responsible for carrying blood to the retina. It can be thought of as a stroke to the retina and often results in irreversible visual loss.

Central Retinal Vein Occlusion

Think of this as a “blockage” in the main vein that ordinarily drains blood from the retina. It can be low grade and cause little change in vision, or very pronounced so as to cause severe visual loss. Normally, hemorrhage and fluid are seen in the back of the eye.

Diabetic Retinopathy

This is a broad term which includes any and all of the abnormalities seen in patients with diabetic eye disease. Some examples include retinal hemorrhages, retinal fluid or edema, vitreous hemorrhages, retinal detachments.

Epiretinal Membrane or Macular Pucker

This refers to a layer of fine scar tissue which lays itself down on the macular (center of the retina) surface. It generally occurs with aging, but can also be seen as a consequence of many disease states. It may be mild and cause no symptoms, or it may be more advanced and cause distortion or blurring of vision.


The macula is the center part of the retina. It is responsible for our reading vision.

Macular Cyst

A cyst is a bubble of fluid that collects in the center of the macula. This can be seen as a result of many disease states (for example, diabetes), or can occur following some ocular surgical procedures.

Macular Edema

This is fluid in the center of the retina.  It can arise from a variety of disease states.

Macular Hole

This is literally a hole in the center of the macula. It occurs more commonly with advancing age, as a result of tractional forces that the vitreous jelly exerts on the center of the retina.

Optic Nerve

The optic nerve is the structure which connects the eyeball to the brain.


The retina is the largest component of the back of the eye.

Retinal Tear

A retinal tear is a “rip”in the retina. It is generally preceded by a posterior vitreous detachment.

Retinal Detachment

This is a separation of the retina from the back wall of the eye. It is most commonly preceded by a rip in the retina, but detachments can occur from other causes as well. Patients often notice opaque shadows where the retina is detached. Surgical procedures are generally required for repair.


The vitreous is the jelly that fills the back of the eye.

Vitreous Hemorrhage

This is blood within the vitreous jelly. It fills the cavity of the back of the eye. There are many possible causes of vitreous hemorrhage.


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About Us

Saralyn Notaro Rietz MD is a top rated “Back of The Eye MD.” She specializes in treating diseases of the retina or “back of the eye” which include macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal tears and detachments, retinal blood vessels diseases, uveitis and much more.




Erie County
4476 Main Street, Suite 114
Snyder, NY 14226
Phone: (716) 839-9009

Niagara County
525 Wheatfield Street, Suite 15
North Tonawanda, NY 14120
Phone: (716) 839-9009


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