Facts about Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachment is a condition where the retina of the eye gets pulled away from its central position within the eye. If the condition is not treated immediately, the patient can suffer from permanent blindness. Even if a small region within the retina gets torn away, it will result in retinal detachment.

Retinal detachment has many symptoms including floaters (spots) spreading on the retina surface, which can spread within the field of vision. The rate and speed of progression also varies from individual to individual. The patient will also see flashes of light and the manifestation of a dark region from any corner of vision and causing the loss of vision.

Types of Retinal Detachment

There are three main types:

    • Rhegmatogenous: There is unusual leakage of fluid seeping under retinal layer because of a tear, which makes it detach from the eye. This type of retinal detachment is common and is also the most dangerous, because it progresses at an exponential rate.
    • Tractional: In this condition, scar tissue causes the scar tissue on the retina to shrink and squeeze, causing it to be detached from the Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE). Patients with diabetes are at a risk of this.
    • Exudative: Due to damage, breakage or tear, fluid drains under the retina similar to Rhegmatogenous. This type of retinal detachment is caused by retinal diseases; injury or trauma to the eye.
Symptoms of Retinal Detachment

The major symptoms of this condition are floaters since retina is unable to capture light correctly. Other symptoms include experiences sudden flares or light and eventual loss of vision. People who are tremendously near-sighted or have a history of retinal detachment in their family, they are particularly susceptible to it.

If you have had a past retinal detachment or cataract surgery, they may cause this condition later in life. People with certain disorders such as lattice degeneration, retinoschisis, degenerative myopia or inflammation can be susceptible to retinal detachment.

Treatment

This disorder is most common among patients aged over 40, but it can happen at any stage. There are many options to treat retinal detachment. Laser surgery can treat those tears mentioned above by “welding” the retina; by making tiny burns surrounding the gap to put it (retina) back into position. Cryopexy then proceeds to freeze the region around the tear hole, which reattaches the retina.

Gas injection is also an option, a method where the doctor injects a gas bubble into the eye, which holds the retina against the eye wall while the doctor works on the areas that needs to be treated with laser or Cryopexy.

Sometimes the doctors cannot predict the outcome of how the vision is affected among individuals and the rate at which it will deteriorate. The visual outcome after the surgery might be inconclusive even after several months post-surgery.

Surgical Options
  • Scleral Buckle – It is simple procedure which involves placing a miniscule band on the outer side of the eyeball. The band exerts pressure on the eye so the inner wall comes close to the detached retina. Overtime, natural pumps reattach the retina to your eye.
  • Vitrectomy – It is a type surgery by which the vitreous is removed and replaced. The vitreous gel is a substance inside your eye giving it shape and structure. In this procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision in the white part of your eye to reach and take out the vitreous. The eye is then injected with a harmless gas which exerts pressure and pushes the retina towards the eye’s inner wall so it can naturally reattach itself.

Sometimes the doctors cannot predict the outcome of how the vision is affected among individuals and the rate at which it will deteriorate. The visual outcome after the surgery might be inconclusive even after several months post-surgery.

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