RETINAL DETACHMENT

Retinal detachment is a serious eye condition that happens when the retina peels away from the tissue at the back of the eye. If not treated quickly, it can lead to permanent damage to the retina – leading to loss of vision.

Fortunately, retinal detachment is quite rare, affecting 1 in 10,000 people each year. It most commonly happens to those over 60, but can also occur because of trauma or genetic reasons.

 

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Detachment usually happens quite quickly, but there will still be warning signs before it happens. Because of how serious the potential complications are, it is essential that you do not ignore symptoms that match those of retinal detachment.

Regular eye tests and examinations should help with early diagnosis, but staying aware of symptoms is also key. If any of the below symptoms suddenly occur then you should book an eye test as soon as possible.

  • Floaters – Bits of debris that cast a shadow on the retina. The brain interprets these as tiny specks or streaks floating just in front of your eyes. Most people will likely have experienced floaters as they are quite common, and not usually something to be concerned about, especially if you’ve had them for quite a while. However, if you do notice a significant increase in the number of floaters, this could be a cause for concern.

  • Flashes of Light – Seeing short bursts of flashing lights in your peripheral vision can be a sign of retinal detachment. These lights occur when something other than light enters the eye and stimulates the retina. They are not always a sign of long-term issues, but if occurring in conjunction with other symptoms should be treated seriously.

  • Blurring of Vision – If you experience any blurring of vision or sight distortion together with other symptoms as described above, see your GP or seek other medical help immediately.

  • Shadows/Loss of Vision – If you do have a detached retina, as the condition worsens you will notice a black shadow descending from the peripheral vision towards the centre of the eye, potentially leading to a complete loss of vision. Seek urgent medical attention if this is the case.

 

 

TREATMENTS

  • Laser (thermal) or Freezing (cryoptherapy)

  • Pneumatic Retinopexy. 

  • Scleral Buckle. 

  • Vitrectomy.

RETINAL DETACHMENT

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