“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” – Jonathan Swift

What is retinal detachment?

Retinal detachment is an emergency situation. The retina is a thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye. If the retina separates from the layer underneath, the person may start seeing bits of debris, called floaters, or flashes of light, or a shadow in the field of vision. Prompt medical treatment is required to save the vision in the eye.

Possible Causes: 

When the retina at the back of the eye pulls away from its normal position, it is known as retinal detachment. Based on the type of detachment, the causes of this condition are:

  • Rhegmatogenous detachments are caused by a tear in the retina that allows fluid to pass through. Ageing is the most common cause of this condition.
  • In tractional detachment scar tissue grows on the retina's surface, causing the retina to pull away from the back of the eye. Diabetes is the primary cause of this condition.
  • In exudative type of detachment, fluid accumulates beneath the retina. Inflammation in the eye, tumours, age-related macular degeneration are some of the causes.

Risk Factors: 

The following factors increase your risk of retinal detachment:

  • Retinal detachment is seen more in people over age of fifty years.
  • Earlier history of retinal detachment in one eye.
  • Family history of retinal detachment.
  • Extreme myopia, severe injury or previous eye surgery.
  • Previous eye disease like retinoschisis, uveitis or thinning of the peripheral retina.

Signs & Symptoms: 

There are many warning signals to indicate that you have retinal detachment:

  • Tiny specks or floaters may appear to drift in front of your eyes.
  • Flashes of light in one or both eyes.
  • Blurred vision and reduced peripheral vision.
  • Darkening of your visual field.

Diagnosis: 

After understanding the signs and symptoms from you, the eye specialist at Medcare may use the following tests and procedures for retinal detachment diagnosis:

  • Retinal examination is done with special lenses to examine the back of your eye, including the retina to locate any retinal holes, tears or detachments.
  • Ultrasound imaging is used if any bleeding happens in the eye.

Both eyes would be examined even if you have symptoms in just one.

Treatment Options: 

At Medcare, you can get the bests surgical procedures for retinal detachment treatment:

  • Photocoagulation means directing a laser beam into the eye through the pupil in order to attach the retina to the underlying tissue.
  • Cryopexy involves applying a freezing probe to the outer surface of the eye to secure the retina to the eye wall.

Depending on the severity of the retinal detachment:

  • In pneumatic retinopexy, the surgeon injects a bubble of air or gas into the vitreous cavity to stop the flow of fluid into the space behind the retina. 
  • In scleral buckling, the surgeon sutures a piece of silicone material to your sclera.
  • In vitrectomy the surgeon removes the vitreous along with any tissue that is tugging on the retina. Air, gas or silicone oil is then injected into the vitreous space to help flatten the retina.
  • Vitrectomy may be combined with a scleral buckling procedure.
FAQs:الأسئلة الشائعة:
  • What kind of trauma can lead to retinal detachment?

    A: Retinal detachment causes the retina to separate from its underlying layer which contains blood vessels that provide oxygen and nourishment to the retina. Physical trauma like a blunt blow to the eye, severe eye injury or concussion of the head may cause retinal detachment and without timely treatment this condition leads to permanent loss of vision.

  • What injuries typically cause retinal detachment?

    A: Severe eye injuries, caused during a motor accident by the bursting of an airbag, chemical entering the eye in an industrial accident, being hurt by gun pellets in the eye or while playing high speed and high impact sports,  may damage  the structures at the back of the eye like the retina and optic nerve. These may cause a vitreous haemorrhage due to retinal tear resulting in a retinal detachment.

  • Is there a way to prevent retinal detachment?

    A: Nothing can be done to prevent retinal detachment other than regular eye check-ups. However, if you observe eye floaters, flashes of lights, blurred vision or gradual reduction in peripheral vision you may have to go in for a laser treatment or retinal detachment surgery.

  • If one eye develops retinal detachment will the other develop it as well?

    A: No, not in all cases. If only one eye suffers a serious injury or requires eye surgery then, the other eye will not develop a retinal detachment. However, if there is lattice degeneration in one eye, the risk of having it in the other eye increases which is associated with retinal detachment.