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Retinal Detachment


Retinal detachment is an extremely serious eye condition that if left untreated can result in permanent vision loss. Since it causes no pain and initially produces no dramatic problems, it is important to be aware of even seemingly harmless retinal detachment symptoms. That way, treatment can be sought as soon as possible.

Retinal Detachment Causes

Retinal detachment may result from an injury causing trauma to the eye, complications following surgery (e.g., LASIK, cataract surgery), eye and other diseases, and unusually high levels of nearsightedness. It occurs most often in middle or advanced age. After a qualified eye specialist carefully reviews the retinal detachment symptoms, an appropriate treatment program will be determined.

Retinal Detachment Symptoms

Retinal detachment produces symptoms such as light flashes, a sudden decrease in sight, curtain- or veil-like obstructions, and an increase in the number of cobweb-like floaters that sometimes track across the field of vision. Symptoms can appear suddenly or slowly over time. This depends on whether the condition is triggered by an accident or during surgery, or instead results from the gradual decay of the bond between the retina and the supporting tissue. Because of the potentially vision-threatening consequences of untreated retinal detachment, it is vital that any of these symptoms be reported to a qualified ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

Retinal Detachment Diagnosis

The first and most important step in detecting retinal detachment occurs when patients report symptoms to their eye doctors. Doctors can then use an ophthalmoscopy and ultrasound imaging to examine the eye. They will be able to see whether the retina is completely or partially detached, which will largely determine the course of retinal detachment treatment to be pursued.

Retinal Detachment Treatment

The course of retinal detachment treatment that a doctor will follow depends largely on what kind of damage the retina has sustained. Diagnosis will determine whether it is punctured, torn, or partially or completely detached from the rest of the eye. The degree of retinal detachment has a major impact on how successful surgery will be. When relatively minimal separation involving holes or tears is present, laser surgery or cryopexy (a freezing technique) may be used to weld the damaged portion of the retina back in place. When part or the whole of the retina is detached, more rigorous surgery may be required. Sometimes doctors insert gas bubbles to help press the retina against the wall of the eye while healing occurs. In other instances, a small synthetic attachment (a scleral buckle) is placed permanently on the eyeball to press the outer eye and the retina together.

Schedule an Eye Exam

A potentially vision-threatening condition, retinal detachment requires immediate treatment. If you are suffering from retinal detachment symptoms like decreased vision, light flashes, excessive floaters moving across your field of vision, or curtain-like obstructions of your sight, seek an expert diagnosis as soon as possible. Use DocShop to locate a qualified ophthalmologist specializing in retinal detachment treatment.

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