Retinal detachment is the separation of the light-sensitive membrane in the back of the eye (retina) from its supporting layers.
What Is The Vitreous?
It is a jelly-like material that fills most of the space inside the eye. As we age, the vitreous often liquefies and may collapse. When this happens, the vitreous separates from the retina.
What Is The Retina?
The retina is a thin sheet of light-sensitive nerve tissue lining the inside of the eye. It is the tissue that turns light into an electrical signal to send to the brain.
What Is Retinal Tear?
When the vitreous separates from retina, in some eyes this may result a tear in the retina. These tears are often small and located near the front of the retina. The only symptoms produced by the retinal tear are flashes and/or floaters or loss of a part of your visual field. Retinal tears are treated with laser in a procedure called Barricade Laser where laser is applied around the tear to seal it.
What Is Retinal Detachment?
A retinal detachment is a separation of the retina from the back wall of the eye. When there is a tear of the retina, liquid from the vitreous may pass through the tear, and detach the retina. As the fluid accumulates, the fluid detachment becomes larger. Detached areas of the retina loses its function and is damaged.
- Aging process (those over 50 years)
- Severe diabetes
- Inflammatory disorder
- Retinopathy of prematurity (abnormalities of the retina associated with being premature)
- Family history
- Uncontrolled diabetes
Signs & Symptoms
- Bright flashes of light, especially in peripheral vision
- Translucent specks of various shapes (floaters) in the eye
- Blurred vision
- Shadow or blindness in a part of the visual field of one eye
- Use protective eye wear to prevent trauma
- Control your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes
- See your eye care specialist yearly
- Laser surgery can be used to seal the tears or holes in the retina before retinal detachment occurs
- Cryopexy is the application of intense cold with an ice probe leading to the formation of scar that holds the retina to the underlying layer. This technique is used in combination with the injection of a gas bubble and the maintenance of a specific head positions to prevent the accumulation of fluid behind the retina
- Surgical reattachment involves indentation of the sclera to relieve pressure on the retina, allowing it to re-attach.
- Scleral buckling is a procedure where the causative retinal tear are located and treated. A flexible piece of rubber is then sewn to the sclera to support the area od tears and detachment. Fluid may be drained from under the detached retina.
- Vitrectomy is used for detachments with unusual or difficult featured, such as very large tears, scar tissue on the retina, excessive blood in the vitreous, or detachments that failed by other methods
- Pneumatic retinopexy is not suitable for all types of detachment. A bubble of a special gas is then injected into the eye. The gas is used to push against the area of the retinal tear
The outcome depends upon the location and extent of the detachment and early treatment. If the macula has not detached, the results of treatment can be excellent.
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