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Retinal Detachment Causes

Retinal detachment is the separation of the retina from the choroid, a membrane dense with blood vessels that is located between the retina and the sclera (white of the eye). The retina is a thin layer of light sensitive tissue that lines the back portion of the eye. When light passes through the eye, the lens focuses an image on the retina. The retina converts the image to signals that it sends to the brain through the optic nerve. The retina works with the cornea, lens and other parts of the eye and the brain to produce normal vision. When the retina detaches, it is deprived of its blood supply and source of nourishment and loses its ability to function. This can impair vision to the point of blindness, depending on how much of the retina is detached.

The Most Common Retinal Detachment Causes:

Types and Causes of Retinal Detachment:

There are three types of retinal detachment:

  • Rhegmatogenous
  • Traction
  • Exudative

Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment: If you have a rhegmatogenous retinal detachment, you have tears or holes in your retina. These tears or holes allow fluid from within the eye to slip through the openings and get behind the retina. The fluid separates the retina from the membrane that provides it with nourishment and oxygen. The pressure from the fluid can push the retina away from the retinal pigment epithelium, causing the retina to detach. This is the most common type of retinal detachment.

Traction Retinal Detachment: Traction retinal detachment occurs when scar tissue on the retina’s surface contracts and causes the retina to pull away from the back of the eye. This is a less common type of detachment that typically affects people with diabetes. Diabetes can lead to issues with the retinal vascular system and cause scar tissue in the eye that could cause detachment.

Exudative Detachment: In exudative detachment, there are no tears or breaks in the retina. Retinal diseases such as an inflammatory disorder or Coats’ disease, which causes abnormal development in the blood vessels behind the retina, cause this type of detachment.

Retinal detachment is a serious ocular emergency. If you suspect that you may have retinal detachment, contact one of our doctors in Phoenix right away. If retinal detachment is left untreated or if treatment is delayed, there is a risk of permanent vision loss. Our doctors have several treatment options available depending on the type and severity of your condition. Contact Associated Retina Consultants at 602-242-4928 or to schedule your appointment.