Retinal Detachment is a medical emergency that can lead to permanent blindness. There is an increased risk of losing vision if this eye problem is not treated at the right time.
About retinal detachment
Retinal detachment occurs when the retina, which is a thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye pulls away from its correct position.
When the light travels through your eye, the lens instantly centers the image on your retina. In return, the retina transforms the image into signals and sends it to the brain with the help of the optic nerve. Hence, the retina is crucial for normal vision. In Retinal Detachment, the retinal cells get detached from the oxygen and nourishment providing blood vessels that sustain it. That is how the retinal cells are deprived of oxygen, causing partial or complete vision loss, varying according to the extent of detachment
What are the symptoms you may observe in retinal detachment?
- Abrupt presence of many floaters
- The sudden appearance of light flashes in eyes
- Blurred vision
- Progressively reducing side vision
- Dark curtain-like shadow effect around your visual field
General causes of retinal detachment
There are multiple causes for retinal detachment. However, the most basic cause is aging or a history of eye injury.
Types of retinal detachment
You may encounter three different types of retinal detachment,
- Rhegmatogenous detachments are caused by a hole or tear in the retina which makes fluid pass through and collect under the retina, pulling the retina away from the rest of the tissues. The cause is usually aging.
- In Tractional detachment, scar tissue grows on the retina’s surface, causing the retina to pull away from the back of the eye and is common in poorly controlled diabetes .
- Exudative type of detachment is one in which fluid accumulates beneath the retina, but there are no holes or tears in the retina. This can be due to macular degeneration, eye injury, tumors or inflammatory disorders.
When to see a doctor?
Consult a doctor as soon as possible if you are struggling with any sudden eyesight changes. This way, you will be able to save your vision from getting permanently damaged. Ask for immediate medical evaluation if you are undergoing Retinal Detachment symptoms.
How to prevent retinal detachment?
- Consult your eye doctor immediately if you sense any changes in your vision.
- Go for a regular eye checkup, where your retina is also examined under dilatation of the eye
- If you have high blood pressure, you must try to control it. That is how you can maintain the health of blood vessels in your retina.
- Keep diabetes under control
- Make sure you always protect your eyes
What are the Risk Factors of Retinal detachment?
- Prior retinal detachment
- Family history of retinal detachment
- Severe nearsightedness
- Former eye surgery
- Past critical eye injury
- Other eye problems or disorders such as retinoschisis, uveitis or thinning of the peripheral retina (lattice degeneration)
- Diabetic retinopathy (malfunctioning of blood vessels in your retina due to diabetes)
- Posterior vitreous detachment (the vitreous gel in the eye can pull away from your retina)
Possible treatments for retinal detachment
Laser surgery or Cryopexy
Both techniques can fix a tear if the doctor has diagnosed it early enough. In Laser surgery (photocoagulation), laser beam is directed into the eye through the pupil. The laser makes burns around the retinal tear, makes a scar that “welds” the retina to underlying tissue. In freezing (cryopexy), a freezing probe to the outer surface of the eye directly over the tear. The freezing causes a scar that helps adhere to the eye wall.
This technique works well for a tear that is tiny and easy to close. The doctor inserts a gas bubble into your vitreous gel. It compresses against the upper part of your retina, locking the tear. You will have to hold your head in a stable position for a few days to keep the bubble in the right place. As soon as your retina adjusts to its usual space, the doctor gently locks the tear using a freezing rod.
The surgeon stitches a piece of silicone material to the white of your eye (sclera) over the affected area. This procedure reduces some of the force caused by the vitreous tugging on the retina.If you have several tears or holes or an extensive detachment, your surgeon will place a scleral buckle that encircles your entire eye like a belt.
This surgery technique repairs comparatively large tears or detachments. Your doctor extracts the vitreous gel and replaces it with a gas bubble or oil. This procedure is done under anesthesia and may need overnight stay at the hospital.
It becomes necessary to seek medical help as soon as possible to have the best chance of keeping your vision intact. Retinal Detachment is a problematic condition, and it cannot heal it on your own.
Almost 80 to 90% of retina techniques are successful in case of early detection. So, the treatment for retinal detachment works adequately, and you should never delay seeking care .
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. How is the diagnosis of Retinal Detachment done?
- Retinal examination. The doctor may use an instrument with a bright light and special lenses to examine the back of your eye, including the retina.
- Ultrasound imaging. Your doctor may use this test if bleeding has occurred in the eye, making it difficult to see your retina.
Q2. Does the surgical process involve any risks?
Yes, Surgery for Retinal Detachment can lead to:
- Higher pressure in the eyes
- Fogging of the eye lens
Q3. Is there any home remedy to get rid of Retinal Detachment?
No, there is no chance of curing Retinal Detachment. It is recommended that you consult a doctor immediately once you have experienced any of the symptoms.