Retinal Detachment


A retinal detachment is characterized by the displacement of the retina off the back wall of the eye. Retinal detachments occur when the sticky vitreous gel inside of the eye pulls on the retina in an aging eye and creates a tear in the “fabric” of the retina. The natural fluid of the eye then pours through the tear and creates a large pocket of fluid under the retina. When the retina is out of its normal position, it cannot work and vision is lost.

While a retinal detachment is not preventable, yearly exams can help detect when this condition might be present. Treating this condition quickly is the best course of action to prevent further damage to your eye.

Symptoms of Retinal Detachment?

Often peripheral, or side vision, is lost first. People often describe vision loss as a curtain coming down over their vision. Once the macula, the center of the retina, detaches, central vision is lost as well. Since there are no pain fibers in the retina, no pain, discomfort, or redness occurs as a result of the retinal detachment itself. Frequently, the vision loss is preceded by a rapid onset of floaters and flashes of light in the same eye. These particular symptoms usually are indicative of the tear in the retina.

Treatments for Retinal Detachment

Almost all patients suffering from a detached retina will need surgery to repair the condition. The specific treatment will depend upon the level of detachment. If there is no presence of detachment, then the holes and tears can be repaired with a laser.

The outcome of treatment is dependent largely upon the degree of separation and the duration of the retinal detachment. The majority of cases are solved with the first treatment. However, more severe cases require an additional treatment before vision is can be restored. Each and every case is different and unique in its own way and the retina specialist at MedEye Associates will talk with you at length about your specific case, course of action to be taken, and prognosis.

Pneumatic Retinopexy

During this treatment, an anesthetic injection is placed behind the eye. Then cryotherapy (freezing) or laser is placed around the tear. A gas bubble is then injected to push the retina back into place and seal the tear. Strict face down positioning of the head for one week is required to help achieve success. The procedure is done in the office and is often successful for simple small retinal detachments.

Vitrectomy

While a retinal detachment is not preventable, yearly exams can help detect when this condition might be present. Treating this condition quickly is the best course of action to prevent further damage to your eye.

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