Risks of Leaving a Retina Detached
A detached retina is a serious condition that can be sight-threatening. However, while it is considered a medical emergency, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll undergo immediate treatment.
Nonetheless, if you or an optician suspect that retinal detachment is occurring or that you’re at risk of the condition, it’s essential that you’re referred to a specialist ophthalmologist immediately.
Everything you Need to Know about a Detached Retina
- What is a detached retina?
- What are the symptoms of a detached retina?
- What are the risks of delaying treatment?
What is a detached retina?
The retina is the thin lining of cells that lines the back of the eye. They absorb light and transfer it via the optic nerve to the brain. Here, the signals are interpreted and translated into the images we see.
A detached retina is when this lining begins to peel away from its position. There are many reasons this can happen, including trauma. There are also some medical conditions that can increase the risk of spontaneous retinal detachment, such as diabetes. Other reasons include:
- Extreme myopia
- A family history of retinal detachment
- Having had a previous retinal detachment
- Getting older. As we age, small holes can appear in the retina, allowing fluid to seep under the cells and cause pressure that pushes it away from the surface of the eye.
- Previous eye surgery
- Previous eye trauma
What are the symptoms of a detached retina?
The most common symptoms include:
- A sudden increase in floaters
- Seeing flashing lights
- A dark curtain appearing at the top of your vision or encroaching across your peripheral vision
- Sudden onset or increasing blurred vision
If you experience any of these symptoms, then it’s really important to seek medical help straight away.
What are the risks of delaying treatment?
The greatest risk of delaying treatment for a detached retina is a complete loss of vision. As it detaches, blood flow from the vessels of the eye ceases. The tissues of the retina are dependent on the oxygen and nutrients they receive from our circulatory system. The longer the detachment goes on, the less likely it is that surgery will be able to reattach it.
There are different ways that a surgeon treats a detached retina. However, the goal is to flatten the cells back to their original position. This can be done by inserting a gas or liquid bubble into the eye. This remains in place while the healing process takes place. Other processes include attaching a small band around the eye to push the two surfaces back together or by removing and replacing the natural jelly-like substance within the eye.
As long as treatment is carried out in a timely manner, the chances of restoring vision are excellent.
The key takeaway from all of this is the importance of seeking immediate treatment should you have any of the above-mentioned symptoms. For those who’re diagnosed with a small tear or hole and referred to a consultant, treatment will be determined after an in-depth examination. For minor cases, this may warrant cessation of strenuous activity while the damage heals naturally. For others, one of the more invasive procedures might be appropriate.
From Emergency Detached Retina Treatment to Cataracts: You’re in Good Hands at the WBEC
Good eye health is essential for great quality of life. At the West Boca Eye Center, we specialize in providing the ultimate treatment for a wide range of eye conditions. This includes diabetic eye care, laser vision correction, cataract surgery, pediatric eye care, emergency treatment, or regular eye checks, the WBEC provides the ultimate clinical care in a single location.
Discover more about our specialties at https://westbocaeyecenter.com/services/cataract-surgery/ and call today to book a consultation.