Retina is the light sensitive inner layer of the eye where the images are formed and are later relayed to the brain. This is akin to the photographic film of a camera, and is very important for vision. Retinal detachment is a condition in which the Retina separates from the underlying layer and hence loses its functional capacity. A retinal detachment, leads to a sudden and severe loss of vision, and if not treated properly can cause blindness and shrinking and disfiguring of the eye.What causes Retinal Detachment?
Most commonly, retinal detachment occurs due to a hole/tear formation in the retina. Through this hole, liquefied vitreous, which is jelly like substance filling the eyeball, passes behind the retina and detaches it.
Tractional retinal detachment usually occurs in diabetics or other vascular diseases of the retina. Extensive membranes are formed on the retina, which on contracting, pull the retina up.
Presence of high degrees of myopia (minus power), injury to the eye, occurrence of retinal detachment in the fellow eye, occurrence of retinal detachment in the blood relatives, cataract surgery etc. are some of the factors that increase the risk of retinal detachment.What can be done to prevent retinal detachment?
If one has any of the above mentioned risk factors, he/she should get regular retinal checkups. The pupils are dilated and the retina, especially the peripheral part, is checked thoroughly with the help of Indirect Ophthalmoscope. In case a retinal break or lesion is discovered, it can be treated by a simple preventive procedure of Laser or Cryopexy.
How is Eye Injury related to retinal detachment?
Direct injury to the eye can lead to retinal breaks, holes, or tears that may cause retinal detachment days, weeks, months, or even years after the incident. Therefore, every patient with significant eye injury must get a detailed retinal checkup after the injury, and thereafter at regular intervals to detect these possible retinal breaks. Trauma severe enough to cause a black eye, hemorrhage on the white part of the eye, hemorrhage within the eye, a penetration or laceration of the eye, cataract, light flashes, floaters, or decreased vision can be related to subsequent retinal detachment.
What are the symptoms of Retinal Tear or Retinal Detachment?
Perception of Flashes of light, or sudden onset of Floaters are common symptoms which may point towards the presence of a Retinal Tear or Retinal Detachment. A loss of field of vision or sudden decrease in central vision are symptoms of Retinal Detachment. The diagnosis is confirmed by a detailed retinal checkup by a retinal specialist. In case of poor visibility, B-scan Ultrasound test may be required to confirm the diagnosis.
Why is early Detection and Treatment important?
When the retina stays detached for a long time, it starts to shrink and membranes form on it. This not only requires a major surgery, it also decreases the chances of success. Moreover, as the retina stays detached longer, it does not get adequate blood supply and thus loses the vision potential. This limits the ultimate gain of vision even after a successful reattachment of the retina.What is the treatment?
A retinal tear without a detachment can be treated by a simple Laser or Cryopexy procedure. However a retinal detachment requires a major surgery to settle the retina. Depending upon the severity of the case and other factors, one of the two options are generally used:
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