Detached Retina Treatment Options
A detached retina is a serious medical condition. If the retina separates from the supporting tissues, you can lose your vision. Fortunately, you can restore your vision by treating the condition quickly. If you think you may have a detached retina, contact an ophthalmologist immediately.
What is a Detached Retina ?
The middle of your eye contains a gel-like substance, called the vitreous. The vitreous attaches to your retina. If the vitreous shrinks, it can pull on your retina. When the vitreous pulls on the retina, you may see flashes of light in your vision.
In some cases, the vitreous can pull the retina until it tears. If fluid passes through the opening, it can lift the retina off the back of your eye. When the retina pulls away from your eye, you have a detached retina.
A detached retina doesn’t work properly. At first, your vision may become blurry. If left untreated, the condition can lead to blindness.
What are the Symptoms of a Detached Retina ?
If you think you may have a detached retina, contact your ophthalmologist right away. Symptoms of a detached retina can include :
- Floaters and flashes.
- Shadows in your peripheral vision.
- Gray spots or curtains in your field of vision.
- Sudden vision loss.
If you have floaters or flashes, it doesn’t mean that you definitely have a retinal tear. If floaters or flashes appear suddenly or become more severe, consult a licensed ophthalmologist.
What Causes a Detached Retina ?
Inflammation and nearsightedness may cause your retina to detach. Other risk factors include :
- Previous eye surgery.
- Eye injuries.
- Previous retinal detachment.
- Family history of retinal detachment.
- Weakened eye structures.
If you have any of these risk factors, schedule a comprehensive eye exam on a regular basis. Always protect your eyes when you’re playing sports or working in a hazardous environment. If you injure your eye, contact an ophthalmologist for an immediate examination.
How is a Detached Retina Diagnosed ?
Your ophthalmologist can determine if you have a detached retina by examining your eyes. Your doctor may need to perform an ultrasound to see the details of your retina. Your ophthalmologist may discover a detached retina during a routine eye exam. Follow the schedule recommended by your ophthalmologist.
How is a Detached retina Treated ?
Detached retinas are repaired via surgery. Your ophthalmologist can recommend a procedure based on the details of your case.
If your retina is torn, your doctor can use laser surgery to seal the injury. This prevents fluid from entering the tear and detaching your retina. Most patients don’t experience any pain during this outpatient procedure.
If your retina is already detached, you will need surgery to reattach you retina. There are several ways to reattach a retina. Your ophthalmologist will use the best treatment for you case.
Your surgeon may use a flexible band to reattach your retina. First, the excess fluid is drained from your eye so the retina can return to its normal position. Next, your ophthalmologist can secure the position with a flexible band.
Your surgeon may also choose to remove the vitreous and replace it with a gas bubble. Over time, your body will replace the bubble with natural fluids. While your eye heals, you may need to keep your head in a particular position. Always follow the aftercare instructions provided by your ophthalmologist.
Approximately 80 to 90 percent of retinal reattachment surgeries are successful. It can take several months to recover your vision. If the detachment was severe, your vision may only be partially restored.
Early detection is key to success. If you’re having problems with your vision, schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist.