How Serious Is a Detached Retina?
Retinal detachment is the separation of the retina from its normal position at the back of the eye. The retina cannot function properly when out of place. The retina is the light-sensitive layer of nerve tissue at the back of the eye that receives images and sends those images via the optic nerve to the brain to determine what we see. The retina contains millions of photoreceptor cells called cones and rods that work together to provide distinction between light and dark as well as colors. When the retina detaches, vision is blurred. A detached retina is serious and requires immediate emergency attention to preserve vision and prevent blindness.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may be experiencing a retinal detachment: sudden onset of floaters, flashes in one or both eyes, blurred vision, gradual reduction in peripheral vision (side vision) or a curtain-like shadow covering the field of vision. Part or all of the retina may be detached given these symptoms. In some cases, the retina may tear but not fully detach. These are referred to commonly as retinal tears. The rate of progression from a tear to a retinal detachment can vary from days to weeks. Given that the symptoms for both present in the same way, it is best to take the warning signs seriously and seek immediate attention.
Causes for a detached retina include severe myopia (nearsightedness), previous cataract surgery, an eye injury, thinning or scarring of the retina, family history, medical issues or diseases that are known to affect the retina such as diabetes, and natural aging. The most common type of retinal detachment is rhegmatogenous, in which the vitreous, the gel-like substance in the center of the eye, shrinks, causing the retina to pull away from the back of the eye and tear. This type of detachment is typically related to age or eye injury. Treatment options for a detached retina include laser treatment, pneumatic retinopexy, vitrectomy and scleral buckle.
At Associated Retina Consultants our goal is to slow eye disease progression and preserve, improve or restore your vision. Some eye conditions develop quickly, such as a detached retina, which require urgent treatment as soon as possible. If left untreated, you may experience permanent vision loss. Our board-certified retinal specialists offer the latest in technology and will work with you to find the best solutions for your unique vision needs. Call today at 602-242-4928 or schedule your next appointment online here WEBSITE.