What is retinal detachment?

Retinal detachment arises once the thin layer in the rear of the eye or retina starts to tug away from the blood vessels supplying it with essential nutrients and oxygen. As long as immediate treatment is started, it can result to blindness in the affected eye.

What are the indications?

In most cases, there are warning signs that indicate that the retina is at risk for detaching before losing sight such as the following:

  • Abrupt appearance of floaters – specks, black dots or streaks that float across the field of vision
  • Cobweb effect of several small-sized floaters
  • Blurring or visual distortion
    Retinal detachment

    Sudden brief flashes of light in the affected eye that lasts only for a second.

  • Sudden brief flashes of light in the affected eye that lasts only for a second

Without treatment, vision in the affected eye will start to deteriorate. Many describe this as a shadow that spreads across their vision. Retinal detachment typically occurs in one eye.

What are the possible causes of retinal detachment?

The retina is positioned at the rear part of the eye and transmits signals to the brain, thus allowing one to see. The lack of blood supply will cause the nerve cells to die, thus resulting to loss of sight.

Retinal detachment is often the result of the thinning of the retina and becoming more brittle with age and eventually pulling away from the underlying blood vessels. In addition, it can also be caused by eye injuries but this is uncommon.

Management

If prompt treatment is started for retinal detachment, there is a reduced risk for permanent vision loss in the affected eye.

In most cases, the retina can be effectively reconnected with the help of surgery. There are various forms of surgery available contingent on the case of the individual. It might take months to fully recover from eye surgery. During this period, the individual has diminished vision.

The eyesight of some individuals do not fully return after surgery and might end up with reduced peripheral or central vision permanently. This can occur even if the retina was successfully reattached. This risk is higher if the disconnection was left untreated.

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