Out of the many vision problems that people may experience, retinal detachment can be one of the most serious. This sight-threatening condition has a range of different causes, and should be treated as soon as possible to avoid vision loss and maintain a good level of eyesight.
Thankfully, retinal detachment is absolutely treatable as long as action is taken urgently. Here is a guide to this eye condition and the steps that should be taken to stop its development from progressing to an untatable level.
Retinal detachment is a condition where the retina in the eye starts to become detached from the supportiveive tissue lying behind it. Vision loss can occur because when the retina is destroyed it can not function properly due to the lack of blood flow and therefore necessary oxygen and nutrients.
There are several things which can cause this condition to arise, including an injury to the eye or to the face. This condition can also occur in short-sighted individuals, and also can result after surgeries such as LASIK eye surgery and cataract surgery. Patients who have LASIK are already at risk of retinal detachment as they are short-sighted, although the LASIK surgery itself does not lead to retinal detachment in the short-to-medium term period.
There are several classical symptoms associated with a retinal detachment, including the sudden appearance of flashes of light, black spots, a shadow in the vision, and floaters. All of this can point to a tear in the retina or retinal detachment, and it is important to seek medical help urgently when these very noticeable symptoms occur.
Some of the other symptoms can include vision distortion and blurring in more sever retinal detachments, although there is no pain normally associated with retinal detachment. Usually, only one eye is affected, and retinal detachment is highly unlikely to affect more than one eye at once, although both eyes will be checked by the retinal surgeon for any problems in the unaffected eye.
Due to the fact that this is an urgent condition, contacting your doctor immediately is important, and if your general practitioner suspect that retinal clearance is the issue, you will usually be referred to a vitreoretinal surgeon on the same day.
Regardless the potential severity of the issue, acting quickly means that the vast majority of people are able to avoid losing vision wholly or partly in that eye. As with many medical conditions, the longer that it is left untreated, the higher the chances of different consequences and blindness.
There are several different types of treatment for retinal detachment, including vitreoretinal surgery options such as vitrectomy and scleral buckling. Vitrectomy and scleral buckling are by far the most commonly used types of vitreoretinal surgery, depending largely on the age of the patient and status of the vitreous jelly in the patient.
Vitrectomy works by removing the fluid from the center of the eye and replacing it with a gas bubble, which works to push the detected retina back onto its supportive tissue. The surgery is sutureless and minimally-invasive with rapid recovery with 1 to 2 weeks after surgery. Scleral buckling, on the other hand, requires attaching a small band to the outside the eye, compressing the eye inwards and therefore allowing the retina to reattach to its supportive tissue.
The type of vitreoretinal surgery used will all depend on the recommendation of the vitreoretinal surgeon, although it is possible to get a second opinion from another retinal surgeon if the patient acts quickly. There are some complications to having any kind of surgery done on the eye, and the success of the surgery also depends on a number of factors.
For further information on retinal detachment, its causes and its symptoms, it is best to consult a vitreoretinal surgeon. This kind of eye specialist will be able to provide detailed advice on the condition and all aspects of vitreoretinal surgery.