It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dr. Rahul Reddy. Click here to read more
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dr. Rahul Reddy. Click here to read more Patient Portal Career Center (602) 242-4928

Can you regain vision after a detached retina

Nothing is more terrifying than a sudden change in vision, especially if it drastically reduces your field of vision. If you have floaters, see flashes of light, or have a curtain-like dark spot obstructing your field of vision, you may be experiencing a detached retina. Can you regain vision after a detached retina? 

Retinal detachment occurs when the retina, a thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye, pulls away from the eye. The retina is responsible for capturing light that enters the eye so that it can be transmitted to the brain through the optic nerve. When the retina detaches, the vision field is impacted. The retina can detach over a period of days or even weeks, so it’s important to see an eye doctor immediately upon noticing any changes in vision. The sooner it is caught, the better the prognosis. 

There are three 3 types of retinal detachment, each with its own cause. Rhegmatogenous detachments occur when a hole forms in the retina, allowing fluid to pool underneath the retina. Like water bubbling under paint, it will eventually push the retina away from the tissue behind it. Age is the most common cause of rhegmatogenous detachment. Tractional detachments occur as scar tissue builds up on the retina; slowly, the scar tissue begins to pull the retina away. Diabetic retinopathy, a disorder associated with diabetes, is the most common cause of tractional detachment. Exudative retinal detachment occurs when fluid builds up behind the retina without any damage or tearing on the retina itself. Tumors, injuries to the eye, and age-related macular degeneration are the most common causes of exudative detachments. 

Treatment for a detached retina depends on the severity of the detachment. For tears that have not progressed into detachment, your doctor may close the hole or repair the tear by freezing the tissue or using a laser to seal the hole. For partial or full detachments, surgery is often necessary. There are two 2 types of surgical repair, and the one that is right for you will depend on the extent of the detachment and its location. Surgery is done as an outpatient procedure. Recovery times vary, but you can expect your vision to improve over the weeks and months that follow. 

While painless, a detached retina is an emergency situation. If not addressed in a timely manner, you can go permanently blind in just a matter of days. The sooner the detachment is treated, the better the prognosis. It’s estimated that about 90% of surgical corrections are successful, with no further problems or surgery needed. For some people, a second surgery may be required. For others, especially those who wait to seek medical attention, vision may never be regained. If you notice changes in your vision, don’t delay in visiting your eye physician.