Retinal detachment is a serious eye condition that can lead to total vision loss. Your retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of your eye that captures images and passes them to your brain through the optic nerve. If the retina starts to detach from the layer of supportive tissue beneath it, it can move away from its natural position, potentially causing permanent vision loss.
If you are noticing spots, “floaters,” or flashes of light in your vision, call us at (972) 736-9347 to set up an appointment as soon as possible. One out of every seven people who notice the sudden onset of floaters and flashes will experience a retinal tear or detachment.
Signs and Symptoms of a Detached Retina
Some of the most common symptoms of retinal detachment include:
- Floaters and flashes
- Blurry vision
- A shadow or “curtain” that appears to close in from the top or side of your eye
These symptoms can occur gradually as your retina continues to pull away from its natural position, or suddenly if the retina detaches immediately. Retinal detachment is not painful, but it needs to be treated quickly in order to save or restore your vision.
Causes of Retinal Detachment
An eye or face injury can result in retinal detachment. High levels of myopia (nearsightedness) can also lead to retinal detachment since extremely nearsighted people have thinner retinas that are more prone to tearing and coming loose.
Sometimes, the growth of new blood vessels beneath the retina – which happens in diseases like diabetic retinopathy – can also push the retina away from its support network.
Treating a Detached Retina
If your retina has already detached, it may be possible to repair it through surgery. The odds of success depend on the location of the retina, the underlying cause, and the severity of the detachment. There are several different approaches to retinal detachment surgery, including:
- Scleral buckling surgery – A small band of silicone is attached to the outside of the eye in order to compress it inward, allowing the retina to re-attach to the eye’s interior wall. The scleral “buckle” is invisible after the surgery.
- Vitrectomy – The clear vitreous fluid in your eye is removed and the retina is repaired internally with instruments. Often clear silicone oil is injected in the eye which can push the detached section of the retina back into place.
- Pneumatic retinopexy – A small amount of gas is inserted into the vitreous part of your eye in order to push the detached section of the retina back into place.
If you have further questions about retinal detachment, or if you are experiencing floaters and flashes, please contact Brooks Eye Associates or call (972) 736-9347 today to schedule an appointment. We serve patients in North Texas, including Plano, Frisco, and Dallas.