The retina is the clear tissue in the back of the eye, which helps you see the images that are focused on it by the cornea and the lens. Retinal detachment is a separation of that light-sensitive membrane from its supporting layers. When the retina becomes detached, bleeding from area blood vessels may cloud the inside of the eye, which is normally filled with vitreous fluid. Central vision becomes severely affected if the macula, the part of the retina responsible for fine vision, becomes detached.
The most common cause of retinal detachments are a tear or hole in the retina. Eye fluids may leak through this opening, causing the retina to separate from the underlying tissues, much like a bubble under wallpaper. This is most often caused by a condition called posterior vitreous detachment. However, it may also be caused by trauma and very bad nearsightedness. A family history of retinal detachment also increases your risk.
Another type of retinal detachment is called tractional detachment. This is often seen in people who have uncontrolled diabetes, have had previous retinal surgery, or have chronic inflammation.
Symptoms of retinal detachment can include bright flashes of light, especially in the peripheral vision, blurred vision, floaters, and shadow or blindness in a part of the visual field.
Retinal tears required immediate treatment to prevent retinal detachment and vision loss. Retinal detachment can only be repaired surgically. During surgery, either cryopexy or laser is used to produce scar tissue that will reattached the layers of tissue. Over 90% of retina detachments can be surgically repaired, though some cases may require more than one procedure. To learn more about treatment options for retinal detachment, follow the link here.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of a retinal tear or detachment, you should obtain a complete eye examination immediately. Please call our Norwalk and Stamford offices at 203.853.9900 for an appointment.