Is My Detached Retina Really Transferred Genetically?
A detached retina is a serious eye condition that if left untreated can cause permanent vision loss and even blindness. The retina is the light sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye responsible for receiving light and sending signals to the brain via the optic nerve to interpret the images you see. When the retina detaches, symptoms include blurred vision, a sudden onset of eye floaters, flashes of light, darkening of the peripheral vision, and a dark or gray curtain-like shadow covering the field of vision.
Risk factors for retinal detachment include trauma or injury to the eye, intraocular surgery (such as cataract surgery), severe myopia, posterior vitreous detachment, retinal thinning, previous retinal tearing or detachments in the other eye, and a family history of retinal detachment. Patients are surprised to learn they could be predisposed to retinal detachment. At Associated Retina Consultants we have been asked “is my detached retina really transferred genetically?” The latest research in eye care shows that genetics not only plays a vital role in eye health, but more than 350 eye diseases can be attributed to hereditary factors including cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and retinitis pigmentosa. Retinitis pigmentosa is credited to variations in 60 genes that impact the retina. The light-sensing cells of the retina gradually die off, resulting in vision loss. As the disease progresses over time, it will eventually cause night blindness and affect peripheral and central vision. Although a detached retina resulting from retinitis pigmentosa is rare, the effect on your ability to see clearly and safely is the same.
Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment, the most common type of retinal detachment, occurs when fluid in the eye called the vitreous travels through a small tear in the retina and collects behind it, eventually pushing the retina away from the back of the eye. Case reports and studies now show ample evidence that retinal disorders related to rhegmatogenous retinal detachment carry a genetic component.
If you carry one of the risk factors of retinal detachment, you may not be able to prevent it, but you can take steps to lower the risk of vision loss or permanent changes to your vision. Education along with an annual comprehensive eye exam will help protect the health of your eyes. Tests can be performed to check your retina and monitor any changes to your vision, including any increase in myopia that make’s one more prone to retinal detachment.
Call Associated Retina Consultants at 602-242-4928 or visit WEBSITE to schedule an appointment. In the meantime, if you experience any signs or symptoms that indicate a detached retina, seek immediate, emergency medical attention to preserve your eyesight.