Retinal detachment, which is considered an emergency situation, is an eye disorder in which the retina, a sensitive layer of tissue in the eye, is pulled away from its original position. This disease is among the most common eye problems.
Types of Retinal Detachment
There are 3 types of retinal detachment:
- Tractional RD: it is the type of RD when the layer below the retina is pulled by growing scar tissues on the retina
- Rhegmatogenous: it is the most common type of RD that pulls the retina gradually away from its original position and makes the vitreous gel leak under the retina
- Exudative: is the most serious and rare type of RD. The fluid accumulates under the retina but there is no tear or hole.
The cause of each type of RD is different but all of these will pull the retina from its position.
Symptoms of RD can vary depending upon the severity of the disease. You may not feel any signs if only a small part is detached from the retina. If a large part of the retina is detached, you will experience vision problems including:
- Sudden occurrence of floaters in your vision
- Vision interruption due to a curtain or dark shadow on the sides or middle of the eyesight
- Flashes of light (in one or both eyes)
If you experience any of these symptoms, we recommend you immediately take the help of an experienced eye doctor because it does not take long for the retina to detach completely which can result in permanent vision loss.
Am I at a risk for retinal detachment?
While anyone can have RD, the risk is higher in people who:
- Had a family member treated with RD before
- Experienced serious eye injury
- Went through an eye surgery (like cataract surgery)
Other complications that are associated with retinal detachment include:
- Posterior Vitreous Detachment (an eye disorder vitreous membrane is pulled away from the retina)
- Diabetic Retinopathy, an eye problem that affects people who poorly manage their blood sugar. (If you don’t have diabetes, you are not at the risk of getting DR)
- ● Myopia (Extreme near-sightedness)
- A few other eye problems such as retinoschisis or lattice degeneration
Causes of Retinal Detachment
While there are multiple causes of retinal detachment, aging and eye injury still remain the most common ones.
Prevention of retinal detachment
The risk of retinal detachment can be reduced by using eye gears like safety goggles or helm. Avoid doing activities that are risky or can get your injured. If you have blood pressure or diabetes, manage them properly.
The early symptoms of RD might be a little difficult to catch. But if you do notice any sign, take it seriously and visit your eye specialist right away.
Retinal Detachment Treatment
The eye specialist will conduct a dilated eye exam, a test that may give you a slight discomfort but no pain. The doctor closely examines the eye after dilating the pupil.
The specialist will also advise you on an optical coherence tomography (OCT) — an imaging test that uses light waves to capture HD images or ultrasound, a test done using high-frequency sound waves that travel through the eye.
Just like eye dilation, this process will not hurt you but may give you slight discomfort.
After conducting all the required tests. A method will be used for retinal detachment treatment.
Surgery may be suggested of the eye like laser surgery or freezing treatment.
- If there is a tiny tear, laser surgery or freeze treatment will be used to fix the tear in your retina
- If the tear is large, surgery will be performed to get the detached retina back on its original position
Although the success rate is very high when it comes to retinal detachment treatment, you may require a second surgery or laser treatment if the retina is detached again. But this happens very rarely and most of the patients who are treated with RD may not require any further treatment.