The retina is a complex biological structure located at the back of the eye. Every day, it continually performs an intricate set of tasks to provide us with the sense of vision. The neuroretina encompasses neuronal type of cells including the light-sensitive photoreceptors, which sense the incoming light and trigger the conversion of the visual stimulus information to a neural response relayed to our brain where images are created. This article focuses on the physiological processes occurring in the retina and the exquisite interplay between photoreceptors and the adjacent cell monolayer called the retinal pigment epithelium, which underpins the key visual processes of phototransduction, visual cycle and phagocytosis of spent photoreceptors’ outer segments. We also present examples of functional defects in the retina and how they lead to impaired vision or blindness, and discuss some emerging treatment options for retinal diseases.