It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dr. Rahul Reddy. Click here to read more about Dr. Reddy

What Are The Warning Signs of a Detached Retina?

If your retina becomes detached, you must seek immediate medical attention. Because of the urgency necessary to save vision, it is important to be aware of the warning signs of a detached retina. For prevention, before the worry of retinal detachment, Associated Retina Consultants recommends an annual comprehensive eye exam where we offer a variety of tests to check the health of your eyes, assess the clarity of vision, and evaluate the retina, optic disk, and underlying blood vessels via a visual field test, fundus photography, or optical coherence tomography. 

The retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye. The photoreceptor cells in the retina receive the light that passes through the lens of the eye and sends those signals to the brain to interpret the images that you see. The retina is vital to your vision. Retinal detachment is when the retina pulls away from its normal position. Typical causes of retinal detachment are normal aging or eye injury. Retinal detachment can happen to anyone. Sometimes retinal tears, meaning small rips in the retinal tissue, can be a precursor to retinal detachment. Retinal tears can take days or even weeks to progress to retinal detachment. 

What are the warning signs of a detached retina? Retinal detachment is generally painless. The sudden appearance of eye floaters, tiny specks that drift through the field of vision, are a common warning sign of a detached retina. Other signs and symptoms include flashes of light in one or both eyes, blurred vision, gradual reduction in peripheral vision and a gray or dark curtain-like shadow covering the field of vision. 

Three causes of a detached retina are rhegmatogenous, tractional and exudative. Rhegmatogenous is the most common cause that begins with a small tear in the retina. Vitreous, the fluid in the eye, passes through the tear and collects behind the retina, pushing it away from its proper place at the back of the eye. As one ages, the vitreous shrinks and thins, pulling on the retina causing it to tear. The tractional type of detachment is scar tissue typically brought on by diabetes. Scar tissue forms, due to prolonged high blood sugar that damages blood vessels in the eye, pulling on the retina causing it to detach. Exudative cause is when fluid builds up behind the retina without a tear in the retina but rather caused by leaking blood vessels or swelling behind the eye. 

If you experience any of the warning signs of a detached retina, contact a medical provider right away. Retinal detachment can significantly impair vision causing long term damage and even blindness. Associated Retina Consultants can assess your risk factors for a detached retina and check for early warning signs of a detached retina such as a small tear in the retina. Treatment for a retinal tear can prevent the tear from progressing into a detached retina. Contact our office today by calling 602-242-4928 or schedule your appointment here WEBSITE.

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