Retinal Detachment Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Retinal detachment is a serious condition that can lead to blindness if it is not treated. Unfortunately, retinal detachment is painless and early signs can go undetected. This article identifies the signs, causes, and types of retinal detachment to create awareness of this condition, and help you take the necessary steps to maintain healthy eyes and good vision. If you notice any of the signs, be sure to schedule an appointment with your local Kelowna eye doctor.
What Causes Retinal Detachment?
Basically, retinal detachment happens when areas of the retina become detached, lose blood supply, and stop working, which leads to loss of vision. There are three types of retinal detachment:
- Rhegmatogenous detachment occurs when a hole or tear in the retina lets fluid build up under the retina. This causes the retina to detach from the underlying tissues.
- Exudative detachment happens when fluid builds up under the retina, but there is no hole or tear in the retina.
- Tractional detachment is caused by scar tissue on the surface of the retina, which pulls the retina away from the back of the eye.
Each of these types of retinal detachment can lead to permanent vision loss, but the good news is that over 90 percent can be treated effectively.
Retinal detachment can be caused by several factors including eye injuries, age-related macular degeneration, tumors, diabetes, or inflammatory disorders. The most common cause is aging, and this is why it is so important to take note of any unusual symptoms affecting your vision. Regular yearly checkups with your Kelowna optometrist is key in early detection of this condition.
What Are the Signs of Retinal Detachment?
There are a few warning signs that appear before retinal detachment occurs or becomes more advanced, if you experience any of the following symptoms, make an appointment to have your eyes checked as soon as possible by calling Sun Valley Optometry at – 250 979 2090.
- Tiny specs or floaters that drift through your field of vision.
- Blurred vision
- Reduced peripheral vision
- A shadow over your field of vision
- Flashes of light in one or both eyes
There are certain factors that make some people more at risk for retinal detachment. These high risk factors include:
- Extreme nearsightedness
- Previous retinal detachment
- Family history of retinal detachment
- Cataract surgery
- History of eye diseases
- Previous eye injuries
What Is the Treatment for Retinal Detachment?
Retinal detachment treatment in Kelowna will depend on the type, severity, and patient history.
Laser surgery or a freeze treatment called cryopexy are the most common treatments and can be done in the doctor’s office. Laser surgery welds the retina back in place while cryopexy freezes the area around the hole or tear and helps reattach the retina. Where there are large tears or holes, a vitrectomy may be necessary. During this procedure, a tiny incision is made in the sclera (white of the eye) the vitreous is removed and replaced with a saline solution. Gas is then injected to push the retina back against the wall of the eye.
In some cases a scleral buckle (a tiny silicone band) is attached to the white of the eyeball. This pushes the wall of the eye against the detached retina, and laser surgery or cryo treatment is used to seal the tear.
Most cases are successfully treated, however, in some cases a second treatment is needed. Although the procedures are fast and painless, it will take several months before the final results of visual acuity are known.
In all cases, the success of the treatment lies in early detection. Don’t wait until you have eye problems to see an eye doctor; regular check ups will catch small problems before they become big ones that could lead to permanent vision loss.
Is it time to schedule an appointment? Contact us and we’ll take care of scheduling a checkup for you.