Retinal Detachment

Posted by: Invision Optometry in Category Retinal Detachment

Woman experiencing eye pain

A retinal detachment can occur at any age and is considered a medical emergency. A detached retina is a serious sight-threating event. In fact, if not treated promptly, a retinal detachment can cause permanent vision loss. The retina is a light sensitive layer of tissue that lines the back of the eyes. When light passes through the eyes, the retina converts it into impulses that travel through the optic nerve to the brain, where they are interpreted as the images we see. Needed for reading, driving, and seeing fine detail, a healthy, intact retina is key to clear vision. A retinal detachment is when the retina pulls away from the tissue around it, which supplies it with oxygen and nutrients. The retina cannot function when these layers are detached, and unless reattached promptly, it can result in permanent vision loss. The most common cause of retinal detachment is age-related shrinkage of the vitreous gel, which may lead to tearing at the weak points in the retina. In some cases, there may be small areas of the retina that are torn. These retinal breaks or tears, can eventually lead to a retinal detachment. Far too often, people put off having an eye exam until they detect a change in their vision or decide it is time for a new pair of glasses. Comprehensive eye exams help spot potentially serious problems early on when treatment can still slow or prevent vision loss.

Annual Eye Exams Are An Important Part Of Maintaining Your Eye Health, No Matter How Old You Are…

What Is Retinal Detachment?

A retinal detachment occurs when the retina becomes separated from its underlying supportive tissue. When a retina detaches, it is lifted or pulled from its normal position. It can occur gradually over time, or suddenly if the retina detaches immediately. There are three types of retinal detachment: rhegmatogenous, tractional, and exudative. Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment is the most common type of detachment. It is caused by breaks in the retina which are known as retinal tears. These tears allow fluid from the middle of the eyes to pass through them and settle on the retina. Overtime, as the fluid builds up under the retina, it pushes the retina away from the layer beneath it. The most frequent cause of this type of retinal detachment is posterior vitreous detachment. Posterior vitreous detachment is a normal part of aging and usually harmless. However, in some cases the vitreous gel can pull so hard that it tears the retina. Tractional retinal detachment occurs when scar tissue grows on the surface of the retina. This scar tissue contracts and causes the retina to separate from the layer beneath it. The leading cause of tractional retinal detachment is proliferative retinopathy, a condition caused by diabetes. Diabetic tractional retinal detachment is the most advanced form of diabetic retinal disease. Finally, an exudative retinal detachment occurs when blood or fluid leaks into the area underneath the retina, but there are no tears or breaks. It is frequently caused by retinal diseases, including inflammatory disorders and injury or trauma to the eye. An exudative retinal detachment is most often a complication of other diseases or conditions. These can include severe high blood pressure, severe macular degeneration, eye tumors, and inflammation in the choroid or the retina.

A Retinal Detachment Is More Common In People Over The Age Of 40…

What Causes Retinal Detachment?

While a retinal detachment can occur at any age, they are more common in people over the age of 40. The most common cause of retinal detachment is age-related shrinkage of the vitreous gel, which may lead to tearing. It is more likely to occur in people who have had a retinal detachment in the other eye, have a family history of retinal detachment, have had cataract surgery, have had an eye injury, are extremely nearsighted or have other eye diseases or disorders. These include, retinoschisis, uveitis, degenerative myopia, or lattice degeneration. An injury to the face or eye can also cause a detached retina.

Prompt Medical Attention Can Often Save Vision In The Eye…

dark vision simulation

What Are The Symptoms Of Retinal Detachment?

Symptoms of a detached retina can occur gradually or suddenly. Symptoms include the appearance of many bits of debris (floaters), sudden flashes of light, or a shadow in your field of vision. Warning signs of a detached retina include blurry or poor vision, or noticing a shadow or curtain descending from the top, bottom or across the side of the eye. These signs can occur gradually as the retina pulls away from the supportive tissue.

If you have a detached retina, you may experience:

  • Blurred vision
  • Inability to see in dim light
  • Partial loss of vision
  • Seeing flashes of light
  • Seeing spots
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Temporary loss of vision in one eye
  • Tunnel vision
  • Vision Loss

NOTE: This Information Only Describes What Usually Happens But Does Not Apply To Everyone And Is Not Intended To Be Used As Medical Advice. Seek Attention Immediately If You Think You Have A Medical Emergency…

Treatment For A Detached Retina

Surgery is required to repair a detached retina, which is considered a medical emergency. A detached retina is serious and can threaten your eyesight. The sooner the retina is reattached, the better the chance your vision can be restored. The surgery can be performed by a retina specialist, which is a physician specializing in diseases of the retina. Retinal detachment surgery involves reattaching the retina to the back of the eye and sealing any holes or breaks. According to the American Academy Of Ophthalmology (2016), “Most retinal detachment surgeries (80 to 90 percent) are successful, although a second operation is sometimes needed” (Para. 11).

Annual Comprehensive Eye Exams, An Important Part Of Maintaining Your Eye Health…

Annual Comprehensive Eye Exam

To enjoy a lifetime of good eyesight, it is essential to keep your retinas functioning properly. Regardless of your age or physical health, an annual comprehensive eye exam will help to detect any eye problems at their early stages when they’re most treatable. During our comprehensive eye exam, we will determine your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses, and check your eyes for common eye diseases. Additionally, we assess how your eyes work together as a team and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health. If you have questions about our eye exam or need more information, call us today at (619) 222-2020 to learn how we can help.

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