Signs and Symptoms of Retinal Detachment By Dr. Parks on September 09, 2013

skierWe deal with many different kinds of vision health issues at our eye care center, though we specialize in treatments for the retina. The retina is so essential to proper eyesight, and yet very few people understand what it is, why it's so important, and why retinal health is so crucial.

The team at our retinal care and eye surgery centers would like to take this opportunity to consider various issues surrounding retinal detachment. We'll give you symptoms to look out for as well as some other insights that can help you preserve your vision.

What is the retina?

First things first, let's talk about the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue that is located in the back of the eye. When light comes into contact with the retina, it causes various nerve and chemical impulses that then relay this information to the brain resulting in vision.

Many vision issues are related to the retina. For instance, simple refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism are caused by light improperly focused on the retina due to issues with corneal shape.

About Retinal Detachment

Given what you've just learned about the function of the retina, you probably have a good idea about why retinal detachment is so serious. Retinal detachment involves the retina peeling away from the blood vessels in the eye that help provide the retina with proper nourishment and oxygen. Because of this, the detached retinal cells die. Left untreated, retinal detachment can cause permanent vision loss.

Common Causes of Retinal Detachment

The most common causes of retinal detachment are as follows:

  • Shrinkage of the vitreous gel within the eye

  • Eye injury

  • Diabetes

  • Excess fluid under the retina

Signs/Symptoms of Retinal Detachment

Some common symptoms of retinal detachment are as follows:

  • Floaters in the visual field

  • Flashes of light when you turn your head

  • Sudden instances of vision loss

  • Blind spots

  • Sudden issues with blurred vision

If you should notice any of these instances, be sure to speak with the team at our ophthalmology center right away so you can receive treatment.

Treatments for Retinal Detachment

If an ophthalmologist finds that you have suffered from retinal detachment, there are a few treatment options that they may consider.

Should the problem be caught early, there will usually only be a tear in the retina as opposed to full detachment. Treatments for retinal tears include:

  • Laser Surgery (Photocoagulation) - This laser surgery helps join torn retinal tissue to the underlying tissue in the eye.

  • Freezing (Cryotherapy) - A freezing probe is used to join the torn retinal tissue to the underlying tissue in the eye.

For dealing with detached retinas, the following treatments are most common:

  • Ocular Air/Gas Injections (Pneumatic Retinopexy) - By safely introducing a bubble into the eye, the bubble will be able to press the torn retinal tissue back into place, allowing it to reattach.

  • Scleral Buckle Surgery - This surgery involves small silicone bands being sewn into the white part of the eyeball (the sclera) in order to reshape the eye in the area of the retinal detachment, encouraging reattachment.

  • Vitrectomy - This treatment involves the removal of the vitreous gel within the eye and its replacement with a safe solution that helps promote retinal reattachment. It's not uncommon for pneumatic retinopexy to play a part in this treatment.

Learn More About Treating Retinal Detachment

For more information about retinal detachment, how it can be treated, and what signs you should look for, be sure to contact our Los Angeles retina care specialists today. The entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the best possible eye health.

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Dr. David J. Parks

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Pacific Retina Specialists specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of ocular complications of diabetes, age related macular degeneration, retinal detachment, ocular inflammation, and other retinal diseases. Schedule an appointment at one of our conveniently located offices in  Beverly Hills, Tamuning, Ridgecrest, and Lancaster.

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