A detached retina is a condition wherein the retina gets separated from the underlying supportive tissue. Find out more about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for this ailment in the following article.
A detached retina is a serious condition in which the retina loses its ability to function, and if it is not reattached soon, it can result in permanent loss of vision. Proper knowledge of this condition can help one to prevent it, or prepare for the treatments in an appropriate way.
This ailment can be caused by various factors such as:
- A high degree of nearsightedness. The eyeballs in people with extreme nearsightedness are longer, accompanied by thinner retinas, which are more susceptible.
- An injury to the face or eye.
- LASIK surgery performed on very nearsighted people. However, this is rare, according to a study conducted on over 1,500 patients who had LASIK surgery, just four of them suffered from this problem.
- Systemic diseases like sickle cell disease and diabetes, or eye diseases, tumors in the eye, and cataract surgery.
- New blood vessels growing under the retina, which can occur in diseases like diabetic retinopathy.
- The movement of fluids in the eye can also result in detachment.
Signs and Symptoms
- Sudden occurrences of flashes of light, floaters, and spots in the eyes.
- The vision might get poorer or become blurry.
- Seeing a curtain or a shadow coming across from the side of the eye or coming down from the top.
These symptoms may occur all of a sudden, or it may be a more gradual process depending on the speed of detachment. This condition does not cause any pain. Hence, if the above symptoms occur, an ophthalmologist, or eye doctor, needs to be consulted immediately. Prompt treatment increases the chances of regaining vision.
The retina can be reattached by an eye surgeon. Laser photocoagulation, a technique by which leaking blood vessels can be sealed off and at the same time destroy the growth of new blood vessels, is another method of treatment.
Silicone oil is also injected in the eye by some eye surgeons so that the detached retina can be kept in place. Pneumatic retinopexy, which is a treatment that is similar, involving a bubble of gas being injected in the vitreous humor, which is the clear and colorless gel that fills the posterior portion of the eyeball, can also be used. This achieves the purpose by the gas bubble expanding and pressing against the retina, thereby holding it against the supportive tissue. After that, photocoagulation or cryosurgery can be used for permanent treatment.
Vision can sometimes be regained after treatment. The faster the reattachment procedure is carried out, the higher the chances of recovery.
Disclaimer:This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.