What is Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment?
Retinal detachment is a serious condition that can affect anyone at any time of life, although certain criteria can make a person more predisposed to the condition. Of the three different types of detachment, rhegmatogenous is the most common. It’s caused by a small break or tear in the retina—a thin layer of light receptor cells at the back of the eye.
Read on to discover everything you need to know about this potentially sight-threatening condition.
Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment
- What is rhegmatogenous retinal detachment?
- What causes rhegmatogenous retinal detachment?
- Signs and symptoms
What is rhegmatogenous retinal detachment?
Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment is when the thin layer of light-receiving cells at the back of the eye tears or pulls away from its normal position. This can happen relatively slowly or very fast. Either way, it’s considered a medical emergency and needs professional attention.
What causes rhegmatogenous retinal detachment?
Rhegmatogenous detachment occurs when a small hole or tear in the retina allows the gel-like fluid within the eye (called the vitreous) to leak behind it. As this builds up, it pushes the retina away from the back of the eye.
Signs and symptoms
Very small tears in the retina are often asymptomatic. However, if the retina begins to detach, there are some very classic symptoms that you’ll most definitely be aware of.
You might experience some or all of the following:
- Seeing flashes of light
- The appearance of new floaters
- Blurred vision
- A dark shadow intrudes into your field of vision, either from the top or side of your eyesight—rather like a curtain gradually blocking out the light.
The latter is, quite literally, the layer of cells peeling away from the blood vessels at the back of the eye. The longer this is allowed to happen, the less likely it is that an eye surgeon will be able to treat the problem. Therefore, if you have any of the above symptoms, you must seek help straight away. This could be from your regular ophthalmologist, if they offer 24/7 care, or by going to the nearest emergency room.
Retinal detachment itself doesn’t hurt as there are no pain receptors at the back of the eye.
Some factors can increase the likelihood of suffering from rhegmatogenous retinal detachment, including:
- Being nearsighted
- Having previous eye trauma
- Having undergone previous eye surgery
- The normal aging process
As we get older, the vitreous within the eye changes, causing it to alter in viscosity and reduce in volume. As it shrinks, it can pull the retina away from position. While there’s not much you can do about the inevitability of aging, there is one vital step you can take to ensure your best eye health and vision throughout your life. And that is…
To have regular eye checks.
These bi-annual, annual, or 6 monthly examinations (the regularity will be advised by your eye doctor) will pick up any small tears at the earliest opportunity. If found, they can be monitored in case they progress.
The vast majority of tears or tiny holes heal naturally without any intervention. However, as the saying goes, forewarned is forearmed. If such an issue is noticed at one of your regular appointments, you’ll be made aware and can ensure you get immediate attention should any of the pre-warning symptoms (new floaters, flashes of light) occur. This will mean the speediest treatment and the best possible outcome.
Worried About Retinal Detachment? Contact the West Boca Eye Center Today
Because retinal detachment of any kind is a medical emergency, if you experience any sudden symptoms you need to seek help. At the West Boca Eye Center, we offer emergency care for every type of vision-related issue. From eye trauma to retinal detachment, our academic-grade facility can deal with every possible eye emergency on-site.
We also provide the ultimate care package for anyone who might be predisposed or has had a previous retinal detachment.
Find out more at https://westbocaeyecenter.com/services/eye-infections-and-emergencies