Conditions

Retinal Detachment

Overview

The retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the inside of the eye, sending visual messages through the optic nerve to the brain. When detached, the retina is lifted or pulled from its normal position.

Warning Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms include:

  • A sudden or gradual increase in the number of floaters (specks) and/or light flashes in the field of vision
  • The appearance of a curtain over the field of vision
  • A retinal detachment is an emergency and requires immediate medical attention.

Diagnosis

When the eye is dilated as part of an eye exam, the eyecare practitioner can detect a detached retina.

Treatments/Procedures

A variety of treatment options are available to treat retinal detachment, depending on its severity.

  • Scleral buckling places a flexible band around the eye to compress it.
  • Vitrectomy removes the clear fluid from the eye and replaces it with gas or silicone oil.
  • Pneumatic retinopexy is the injection of a small gas bubble into the vitreous layer of the eye to push the tear closed.

Prevention

Retinal detachment often occurs on its own without cause; however it can be caused by trauma or Diabetic Retinopathy. The higher-risk group includes people who are severely nearsighted (myopic).

The best way to prevent retinal detachment is to wear protective eyewear and see your eye doctor in case of injury.