Kremer Eye Center Blog

How to Cope with Retinal Detachment

October 31, 2018

The human eye is an intricate and delicate organ that must be cared for well. In some cases, some severe problems may occur due to illness, aging, or accidents. Retinal detachment is a severe problem that occurs when the eye tissue and retina get separated. Since you cannot see without the retina being intact, the problem must be addressed immediately to arrest permanent blindness. There are several instances where a retinal detachment has higher chances of occurring:

  • An eye injury or surgery
  • A family history of detachment of the retina
  • Severe nearsightedness

There is another term called retinal tear which is not the same as retinal detachment. Initially, a tear occurs, which results in fluid leaking in the tissue attaching the retina to the eye. This eventually leads to increased damage, and the retina finally detaches fully from the eye. Retinal detachment may also occur suddenly which is often seen in people with severe near sightedness or the elderly.

Symptoms of Retinal Detachment

The problem with retinal detachment is that often you don’t realize it immediately as there is no pain. Some symptoms may be considered a warning signal, and immediately consulting the eye doctor will help you decide on the appropriate course of action. Warning signals include a darkening of vision on the side of the eye and seeing floaters

If you notice these symptoms, contact an ophthalmologist at the earliest possible time. With a retinal detachment, early diagnosis and intervention is the key to solving the problem. You will have a dilated eye exam with your ophthalmologist, as this allows the doctor to see the extent of retinal detachment.

Treatment of Retinal Detachment

The methods to treat retinal detachment are varied, depending on your age, extent of the condition, and how soon it is detected. When you have regular eye checkups, management of eye health becomes easier. Conditions such as diabetes should be all the more reason to go for regular visits to the eye doctor. In addition, high blood pressure also means checking and maintaining proper eye health with regular visits to the doctor are key. Treatment for retinal detachment may be done through:

  • Vitrectomy: This is a method used in cases of severe tears to the retina. With vitrectomy, the vitreous humor present between the eye lens and the retina is removed and replaced with a saline solution.
  • Scleral buckle: This is a method of treatment in which a silicone band is placed around the white of the eye, pushing the white portion toward the tear to promote closure and healing of it. This band is not visible and heat treatment is used to seal it for good.
  • Laser or freezing techniques: Both of these techniques for repairing retinal tears are useful only on early detection, and they are used mostly for minor tears that have occurred.
  • Pneumatic retinopexy: This is used in cases of very small tears in the retina. The procedure involves using a small gas bubble which presses against the retina and ultimately closes it. This is then sealed with laser or cryopexy techniques.

When working with machines, tools, or playing high-risk sports like racquetball, wear protective eye-gear with polycarbonate lenses to protect your eyes. With proper care and regular eye exams, you can avert and tackle most problems before they lead to a severe and lifelong damage to the eye. 

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