A detached retina is considered an urgent eye condition that requires immediate treatment to preserve vision. At Retina Associates of Middle Georgia, our eye doctors have the experience and knowledge to diagnose and treat retinal detachments if and when they occur.
What is a Retinal Detachment?
The retina, a layer of photosensitive cells responsible for sending signals to the brain to form an image, is located at the back of the eye. This layer is essential for the proper functioning of vision.
A retinal detachment occurs when this layer detaches from the back wall of the eye. It can cause serious and potentially permanent vision damage if left untreated.
When the retina is detached, vision will become blurry and requires immediate attention from your ophthalmologist or retinal specialist. To determine if you have a detached retina, your eye doctor will instill eye drops in your eyes to enlarge your pupils.
When your pupils are large enough, they will be able to determine if a retinal detachment causes your symptoms. If so, they will likely begin treatment immediately to preserve your vision.
What Causes a Retinal Detachment?
The most common cause of a detached retina is age. Certain parts of your eyes and body begin to change as you age.
The gel that fills most of your eye, called the vitreous, begins to shrink as you age. This may not automatically cause any problems or damage to your eyes.
However, the vitreous may tug and pull on the retina, causing it to come detached from the back of the eye. Sometimes, as the vitreous pulls the retina, fluid can accumulate behind the retina in between the layer and the eye’s wall, causing it to become detached further.
What Are the Symptoms of A Retinal Detachment?
Symptoms may vary from person to person, depending on the severity and location of the detachment. However, many people experience similar symptoms.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek treatment right away:
- Seeing repeated and consistent flashes of light
- Seeing new floaters at once, especially if in a large quantity
- Seeing a curtain, veil, or shade coming across your vision
- Noticing changes in your peripheral vision
Although a retinal detachment can happen to anyone at any time, certain factors may put you at higher risk.
You are more likely to experience a retinal detachment if you:
- Have had previous eye surgery
- Are very nearsighted
- If you have certain eye conditions like cataracts or glaucoma
- If you have had a retinal detachment previously in the other eye
How Do Eye Doctors Treat Retinal Detachments?
Your retinal specialist at Retina Associates of Middle Georgia will perform surgery to repair a retinal detachment. Your eye doctor will choose from a few different surgical options to produce the best visual outcome in your specific case.
They may remove the vitreous gel inside your eye and replace it with a gas, air, or oil bubble. This procedure is called a vitrectomy.
In this procedure, the air bubble aims to help the retina tissue adhere to the back wall of the eye once again. Another method is called cryotherapy, where eye doctors use a freezing probe to create scar tissue that will also help the retina tissue reattach.
A scleral buckle is another common retinal detachment repair procedure, where your eye doctor uses a small band around your eye. This small band helps the retina re-adhere to the wall, thus improving visual symptoms.
In some cases, your eye doctor may perform a laser procedure to treat a retinal detachment. These options are effective ways of managing a retinal detachment, and depending on your specific scenario, your eye doctor will choose the best option for you.
Are you experiencing symptoms of retinal detachment? Schedule an appointment at Retina Associates of Middle Georgia in Warner Robins, GA, today!