Retinal Detachment

Retinal Detachment
Retinal detachment is a condition where the retina gets pulled away from its central position within the eye. If the condition is not treated immediately, the patient can suffer from permanent blindness. Even if a small region within the retina gets torn away, it will result in retinal detachment.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The major symptoms of this condition are floaters since the retina is unable to capture light correctly. The patient will also see flashes of light and the manifestation of a dark region from any corner of their field of view, leading to vision loss. The rate and speed of progression also varies from individual to individual.

This disorder is most common among patients who are over the age of 40. People with certain disorders such as lattice degeneration, retinoschisis, degenerative myopia or inflammation can be susceptible to retinal detachment. As well, those with high refractive errors or a family history of retinal detachments are more at risk. If you have had a past retinal detachment or cataract surgery, this may cause this condition later in life.

Laser surgery - can treat the tears that lead to retinal detachment by “welding” the retina; making tiny burns surrounding the gap to put the retina back into position. Cryopexy then proceeds to freeze the region around the tear hole, which reattaches the retina.

Gas injection - a gas bubble is injected into the eye, which holds the retina against the eye wall while the doctor works on the areas that need to be treated with laser or cryopexy.

Scleral buckle – A scleral buckle is used when the detachment has spread through a larger area of the retina. This procedure involves placing a miniscule band on the outer side of the eyeball. The band exerts pressure on the eye so the inner wall comes close to the detached retina. Over time, natural pumps reattach the retina to your eye.

Vitrectomy – The vitreous gel is a substance inside your eye giving it shape and structure. When the vitreous gel has separated from the back of the eye, the vitreous needs to be removed to release the pressure and traction on the retina. In a vitrectomy procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision in the white part of your eye to remove the vitreous. The eye is then injected with a harmless gas which exerts pressure and pushes the retina towards the eye’s inner wall so it can naturally reattach itself.

Sometimes doctors cannot predict the visual outcome among individuals or the rate at which it will deteriorate. The visual outcome after the surgery might be inconclusive even after several months post-surgery.

Retinal detachment has many symptoms including floaters (spots) spreading on the retina surface, which can spread within the field of vision. The rate and speed of progression also varies from individual to individual. The patient will also see flashes of light and the manifestation of a dark region from any corner of vision and causing the loss of vision.

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