We were challenged and delighted when Dr. Sharon Solomon, guest editor of this Retina Supplement, invited us to reminisce about caring for patients with common retinal disorders before there was access to the diagnostic and therapeutic tools that are readily available today. We agreed to confine our remarks to 3 common, but serious, conditions: age-related macular degeneration (Dr. Fine), diabetic retinopathy (Dr. Goldberg), and retinal detachment (Dr. Tasman). Each of us completed our ophthalmology training about half a century ago. At that time, a patient who received any 1 of the 3 diagnoses was at considerable risk of severe and irreversible loss of vision. Most readers today will have little if any experience in evaluating and treating such patients without access to a plethora of diagnostic and therapeutic technologies, including intravenous fluorescein angiography, laser photocoagulation, optical coherence tomography, ophthalmic ultrasound, angioinhibitory drugs, vitrectomy, intraocular gases, and many others. We are both pleased and privileged that each of us has practiced our profession long enough to enjoy what the enormous technological developments of the past half century, as described in this article, have meant for our patients.
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