Learn about a detached retina and how it is treated.
The retina is a thin layer of tissue lining the back of the eyeball that allows us to see. It is responsible for converting light into electrical signals, which get sent to the brain and converted into visual information. A detached retina disrupts one’s vision entirely.
Though a rare condition that affects less than 200,000 people per year in the USA, it does happen, even to those who have an adequate vision. When retinal detachment occurs, it is a serious issue that must be addressed by a retina specialist immediately.
What Is Retinal Detachment?
Retinal detachment is a medical problem that occurs when the eye’s retina separates from its normal position near the back of the eye. This separation disrupts the nerves and blood flow which causes problems seeing and eventually leads to blindness if left untreated.
Causes of Retinal Detachment
According to the National Eye Institute, the two most common causes of retinal detachment are aging and eye injuries.
As we age, the vitreous (gel-like fluid) in our eyes shrinks and thins. When the eye moves, the vitreous also moves against the retina and can stick to it, causing a tear. Fluid can then pass through the tear and lift the retina away from where it’s supposed to be. Similar to wallpaper in a room tearing and falling off the wall.
Additionally, systemic illnesses, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and sickle cell disease may also be the cause of a detached retina.
Common Retinal Detachment Symptoms
Some symptoms of retinal detachment may start to appear quickly, and in cases of small tears, you may not notice any symptoms at all. However, these are the common early warning signs of a detached retina. Contact an ophthalmologist if you experience:
- Sudden increase in eye floaters
- Gray curtain over part of your field of vision
- Shadows appearing in your peripheral vision
- Randomly seeing flashes of light or “stars” in one or both eyes
Retinal Detachment Treatment Options
Most of the time the treatment options for retinal detachment involve surgery. The type of surgery varies depending on the type of retinal detachment you’re experiencing, the time of onset, and any other ocular or systemic comorbidities
Laser surgery or cryopexy (freezing) may be used if your retina has only a small tear or break. This can usually be done in the office.
Outpatient surgery will be necessary in most cases. Pneumatic retinopexy, scleral buckle, or vitrectomy surgeries may be used for treatment. Your doctor will discuss the risks, benefits, and alternatives to help you choose the best option for your particular situation.
See a Retina Specialist in Baton Rouge
Contact our clinic today if you need to see a trusted retina specialist in Baton Rouge, LA.