Detached Retina

The retina of our eyes is the interior lining on the back of the eye. It contains million of light-sensing nerve endings, known as photoreceptor rods and cones. When light enters the eye it is focused on the retina. The retina then perceives those images and nerve impulses are sent through the optic nerve to the brain. The brain takes the information and creates a visual image of what the eye is seeing.

Various problems and diseases can affect the retina. One of those is retinal detachment.

What is retinal detachment?

If you develop a tear in your retina, the inner vitreous pulls away from the retina. If liquid passes through the tear and settles under the retina, this can cause the retina to separate, detach, from the back wall of the eye. Retinal detachment is a medical emergency.

What are the symptoms of a retinal detachment?

If your retina has detached, you will have various symptoms:

  • Seeing light flashes
  • Wavy or watery vision
  • Appearance of a curtain over your field of vision
  • A sudden decrease in vision
  • A sudden increase in the number of floaters in your field of vision

Who is most at risk for retinal detachment?

Certain people are more likely to have retinal detachment. These are the risk factors:

  • People who are very nearsighted
  • Elderly people
  • People with a family history of detached retinas
  • People who have had cataract surgery
  • People with diabetes or other eye conditions

How is a detached retina treated?

We treat retinal detachments with surgery. In pneumatic retinopexy, a gas bubble is injected into the vitreous space. The bubble pushes the retinal tear against the back of the eye, which is then treated with laser or freezing therapy to close the tear. This basically “welds” the retina back into its proper location. A “scleral buckle” may be used. In this procedure a tiny silicone band is attached to the outside of the eyeball to gently push the wall of the eye against the detached retina and hold it in position. Finally, we may use a vitrectomy, where we remove the vitreous and replace it with a gas bubble or a clear sterile solution.

Do you have symptoms of a detached retina? This is not something to ignore. Call us at Central Valley Eye Medical, (800) 244-9907, immediately.

Posted in: Retinal Detachment


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