An Overview of Retinal Detachment
Retinal detachment is painless, but it reasons distress because it affects your vision. If your retina becomes detached, you might suddenly see spots or lights or your vision may become blurred. This situation is a true eye emergency and requires immediate treatment to avoid severe vision loss or blindness.
The trauma of the eye can reason retinal detachment. Aging and nearsightedness can make you more prone to the condition. An eye examination can identify a retinal detachment, and the condition can be treated with interventional procedures.
Retinal detachment typically involves one eye. While it isn’t common, the situation can happen in both eyes at the same time.
You should not expect to feel any pain in your eye during or after a retinal detachment. The visual symptoms are often disturbing, but subtle.
The effects can happen gradually if your retinal detachment is caused by a chronic medical situation. And when trauma causes retinal detachment, the symptoms occur suddenly, often along with other symptoms as well—such as bruising of the face, or pain of the eye, head, or face.
Common visual symptoms of a retinal detachment include:
- Floaters that may appear as grey spots, strings, or spider webs floating in your field of vision
- Flashes of light
- A dark curtain or veil moving over your vision
- Blurry vision
Retinal detachment is often caused by trauma. Some retinal detachments occur spontaneously with no recent trigger due to slow changes that can affect the eye, especially with aging.
Several factors can enlarge your risk of developing a retinal detachment, making it more likely that you could experience a detachment if you experience trauma—or even in the absence of trauma.
Risk factors that increase the likelihood of retinal detachment include:
- Advancing age-related changes in the eye
- Previous retinal detachment in one eye
- History of eye surgery, such as cataract surgery
- A history of eye trauma, even if it didn’t reason retinal detachment
Scleral buckle: This is a procedure in which a small band of silicone is attached to the outside of the eye to hold the retina in place, allowing the retina to reattach to the posterior lining. Once it is placed, the buckle is not visible without a special examination device.
Pneumatic retinopexy: If you have this procedure, your eye would be injected with a gas bubble that presses against the retina, placing it back into the proper position. This may be an option for you if your retina detaches in the upper part of your eye.
Cryotherapy: This procedure uses a freezing method to secure the retina back into place or to repair a tear in the retina.
Lasers: This process uses lasers to create small scars in your eye to repair a tear in the retina.