What Causes Retinal Detachment?
Your retina is a thin layer of photosensitive tissue at the back of your eye. A healthy retina processes light and is necessary for clear vision. Retinal detachment occurs when the retina partially or fully pulls away from the back of the eye. Loss of peripheral (side) vision and the sudden appearance of floaters can be signs of a detached retina — if you experience these symptoms, you should immediately contact your eye doctor.
People of any age can experience retinal detachment, although it is more common over the age of 40. A detached retina is sometimes, but not always, the result of an injury, so you should have a dilated eye exam if you experience any trauma to the eye. Some risk factors that may make you more susceptible to retinal detachment include1:
- High levels of myopia (nearsightedness)
- Certain eye diseases, such as glaucoma or lattice degeneration
- Family history of retinal detachment or retinal tears
- Prior eye surgery
Retinal Detachment Symptoms
A detached retina is usually not painful, and symptoms may occur gradually. If you have a retinal tear or partial detachment you may not notice any symptoms at first. A more severe retinal detachment can cause2:
- Floaters that appear suddenly or excessively (mild floaters are normal)
- Sudden flashes in vision
- Shadows in vision or darkening side vision
Retinal Detachment Treatment
A dilated eye exam will be performed to diagnose a detached retina. The treatment plan will depend on the severity of the tear or detachment. There are several surgical approaches that can be used to reattach the retina with the goal of restoring and preserving vision. Treatment options include cryotherapy, laser therapy, pneumatic retinopexy, scleral buckle, or vitrectomy. Your eye doctor will discuss your options and determine the best approach for your case.
Contact Retina Vitreous Associates
At Retina Vitreous Associates, our retina specialists are dedicated to caring for your vision and your eye health. Contact us with any questions about retinal detachment or other retina conditions.
1American Academy of Ophthalmology. Retinal Detachment. Available: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/detached-torn-retina Accessed August 6, 2020.
2 National Eye Institute. Retinal Detachment. Available: https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/retinal-detachment Accessed August 6, 2020.