What is Retinal Detachment?
Retinal detachment term describes an emergency condition in which a thin layer of the retina at the back of the eye pulls away from its normal position.
Detached Retina separates the retinal cells from the layer of blood vessels which provides oxygen and nourishment. Untreated retinal detachment increases the risk of permanent vision loss in the affected eye.
The retina is the light-sensitive, delicate membrane in the human body which is located at the back portion of the eye.
When light passes from the eyes, the lens of the eyes helps to focus an image on the retina. The retina then converts such image to respective nerve signals that are transmitted to the brain via the optic nerve.
Working together in coordination with the eye’s cornea, brain, and other important parts of the eye, the retina helps in producing normal vision.
The Retinal detachment occurs when the retina separates itself from the back portion of the eyes. This can result in the loss of vision that can be complete or partial which is depending on the amount of retinal detachment.
When the retina from the eyes gets detached, the cells of the retina may become significantly deprived of oxygen. Thus, It turns out to be a form of medical emergency.
Warning indication of retinal detachment can include one or all of the following: the sudden appearance of floaters and flashes as well as decreased vision.
How does Retinal Detachment Occur?
The cause of retinal detachment is depending on its type.
Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment:
This condition is the most common which signifies the availability of holes or tears in the retina of the eyes. The retinal tear symptoms allow the fluid of the eye to slip through and accumulate behind the retina which is responsible for separates the retina and causing it to detach.
Tractional Retinal Detachment:
This condition occurs when the scar tissues present on the surface of the retina contracts and lead to the retina pulling away from the eyes back.
Exudative Retinal Detachment:
In this condition, there are no tears or breakage within the retina. Certain types of major retinal diseases can lead to this type of detachment such as cancer behind the retina, an inflammatory disorder leads to the accumulation of fluid behind the retina, Coats’ disease, and few others.
Symptoms of Retinal Detachment
Detached retina itself is painless, however, warning signs and symptoms almost always appear before it occurs, such as:
- The sudden appearance of floaters (appear as particles of dust before the eye)
- Flashes of light in one or both the eyes (i.e Photopsia)
- Blurred vision
- Gradually decreased (peripheral) vision
- A curtain-like shadow at your visual field
- Sudden flashes of light which appears while looking towards the sides
- Partial loss of vision along with dark shadowing effect.
Risk factors of Retinal Detachment?
The retinal damage risk factors can be:
- Previous severe eye injury
- Trauma in the eye
- The family history of retinal detachment
- Posterior vitreous detachment –verycommon amongst the elderly
- Age-related factors
- Extreme nearsightedness (myopia) causing more strain to the eye
- Diabetes mellitus
- Complications receive because of cataract removal surgery
- Previous history of detached retina
Diagnosis of Retinal Detachment
An eye specialist will perform the thorough examination of the eyes to check your vision, and the overall eye pressure, He also may undergo the following tests or procedures to diagnose the retinal detachment:
In this examination, The doctor can use an instrument with a bright light and special lenses to examine the back of your eye, including the retina.
Such type of device provides a highly detailed view of the whole eye, allowing him to see any retinal holes, tears or detachments if present in the eye.
An eye specialist can recommend this test if bleeding has occurred in the eye, making it difficult to see your retina.
The doctor can also test the ability of the retina to pass impulses to the brain. As well as he can check the flow of blood throughout the eyes especially in the retina.
Your doctor can examine both eyes even if you have symptoms in just one Eye. If a tear is not found at this visit, your doctor may ask you to come back within a few days or weeks to confirm that your eye has not developed a delayed tear as a result of the same vitreous separation.
Complications of Retinal Detachment
- Partial or complete loss of the vision
- Difficulty in differentiating between the colors
- Development of extreme nearsightedness
Treatment for Retinal Detachment
In most of the advanced cases of Detached Retina, surgery is the only option. Some of the most common treatment procedures implemented by the eye specialists can include:
In the cases of a hole or tear in the retina, photocoagulation is performed by the doctor with the help of laser light.
This treatment is referred to as the freezing of the probe outside the eye along with intense cold conditions.
For repairing the minor retinal detachments, the surgeon can put a gas bubble in the eye that can help in putting the retina back into its original place.
For the cases of severe retinal detachments, eye surgery requires to be carried out. This procedure involves the placement of a band surrounding the eye for pushing the wall of the eye to get retina back into original place.
This procedure is helpful for treating the larger retinal tears, in which the abnormal scar or vascular tissues are removed.
Home Remedies and Support for Retinal Detachment
Some of the home remedies to preventing retinal detachment by controlling the blood sugar levels, wearing protective glass while using specific tools, and getting your eyes checked up at regular intervals.
A detached retina may cause partial or permanently lose vision. Depending on the degree of vision loss, your lifestyle may change significantly.
You may find the below-listed ideas useful as you have to learn to live with impaired vision:
- Get glasses to optimize your vision.
- Brighten your home with proper lighting for better vision.
- Make your home safer by eliminate throw rugs and placing colored tape on the edges of steps.
- Get the help of others in case of severe vision problems.
- Get help from technology such as digital talking books and computer screen readers.
- Take care during transportation.
- Talk to other peoples with impaired vision.
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