Retinal Detachment

A Retinal detachment occurs when the retina lifts or is pulled out of its normal position. Many times, the detachment is due to a tear in the retina. If not treated quickly, a retinal detachment can lead to permanent vision loss.

Retinal detachments can occur at any age but typical sufferers are people over the age of 40. More men than women and more Caucasians than African Americans are affected. Other risk factors include people who:

  • Are extremely nearsighted
  • Have a retinal detachment in other eye
  • Have had cataract surgery
  • Have a family history of retinal detachments
  • Have other eye disorders such as retinoschisis, Uveitis, degenerative myopia, or lattice degeneration
  • Have a traumatic eye injury

Symptoms

A retinal detachment is a medical emergency. If not treated immediately, vision may be lost permanently. Retinal detachments can develop with a sudden or gradual increase in the appearance of floaters, which are the little specks that float in your field of vision; light flashes; or a curtain over your field of vision. If you believe you are suffering from a retinal detachment, see your eye doctor or retina specialist immediately.

Treatment

A retinal detachment is treated with either pneumatic retinopexy or surgery.

With surgery, treatment reactions are made around the retinal tear or hole to weld the retina back to its normal position.

During pneumatic retinopexy, an in-office procedure, the retina is reattached using a gas bubble. When surgery is needed, the patient is taken to an out-patient facility for treatment for the retinal detachment.

95% of the retinal detachment surgeries are successfully treated.