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Retinal detachment: symptoms, causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The retina is the tissue at the back of the eyeball sensitive to light. All images that pass through the lens are focused on the retina, which converts these visions into electrical signals sent to the brain through the optic nerve. Due to the number of blood vessels near the retina, the tissue usually appears red or orange.

When the retina separates from its supporting layers, it is referred to as retinal detachment, a condition that can cause blurred vision, the appearance of black curtains in the picture, light flashes, and bleeding. This condition is much more common in older people and can be caused by many factors. We invite you to continue reading this article by FastlyHealto to learn more about retinal detachment: symptoms, causes, and treatment.

Symptoms of retinal detachment

Contrary to what most people might think, retinal detachment does not cause any pain. Therefore it is essential to know its symptoms and the changes it causes in vision. This disease is slow to progress. Therefore its symptoms also evolve little by little. The symptoms of retinal detachment include:

  • Black dots move through the damaged eye like tiny flies.
  • When the detachment of the retina is caused by a tear, the most characteristic symptom is to begin to see flashes of light at a breakneck speed. This discomfort is usually more intense on one side of the affected eye.
  • When the retina has detached, a black curtain appears in any visual field. This curtain can increase and cause total vision loss if the retinal detachment is not treated in time by a specialist.
  • Vision becomes blurry.
  • When the detachment is very severe, bleeding may occur from the eye’s blood vessels.
  • When bleeding occurs, the fluid may cause the eye to become cloudy, preventing the person from seeing clearly or forcing them to see absolutely nothing through the affected eye.

These symptoms may be accompanied by others depending on the cause of the retinal detachment. Usually, the first indication of this condition is the appearance of black flies in the vision that progresses to flashes of light and ends with the arrival of the black curtain, but not in all cases. It usually happens in the same order.

Causes of retinal detachment

Sensory detachment of the retina occurs when the inner layer of the retina, known as the neurosensory retina, spontaneously separates from its outer layer, known as the pigment epithelium. This scenario prevents the retina from being adequately nourished, causes failures in the functioning of said tissue, and favors fluid accumulation in the space formed between its layers.

Retinal detachment can occur from many causes, but undoubtedly the most common is the tear or perforation of the retina. When this happens, fluid leakage from the eye is responsible for separating the retina from its layers. This condition occurs in most cases due to the condition known as posterior vitreous detachment. This type of retinal separation can also cause a very severe blow or very severe myopia. People with a family history of retinal detachment are at higher risk for this condition.

The pullout is another type of retinal detachment usually caused by poorly controlled diabetes, a history of surgery of retinal or prolonged inflammation in such tissue. When the party involves the macula, the part of the retina responsible for excellent and detailed vision, the central idea of the eye can be significantly affected.

Other causes of retinal detachment

  • Aging: The vitreous or fluid humor that fills the eyeball joins the retina at the back of the eye. Over time, this liquid changes its shape and moves away from the retina, pulling it and separating a piece of it.
  • Severe myopia: People with more than five diopters are at higher risk of developing retinal detachment.
  • Eye disease: those who have suffered from eye diseases such as infectious conjunctivitis, chronic inflammation, or tumors are at a higher risk of retina detaching.
  • Trauma: Any forceful blow, puncture, or injury during an accident can detach the vitreous humor from the retina and lead to detachment.

Treatment of retinal detachment

In most cases, this ophthalmological condition deserves to be corrected with surgery, which can be prescribed immediately or in the long term, depending on the progress of the detachment at the time of diagnosis. There are several types of interventions to treat retinal detachment, and the less invasive ones can be carried out in the medical specialist’s office, such as the following procedures:

  • The use of lasers to seal the tears or holes to avoid a complete detachment.
  • Perform pneumatic retinopexy, which consists of placing a gas bubble in the eye so that the retina floats back into place. This procedure is used in cases of mild detachment.

When detachments are much more severe, surgery requires general anesthesia and suggests that the person remain hospitalized after the intervention to assess their progress. In these cases, the most commonly used surgical procedures are the following:

  • Introflexion or scleral indentation to push the eyewall slightly upward against the retina.
  • Vitrectomy to remove gel or scar tissue from the retina. This is the technique used to treat the most severe retinal detachments.

Retinal detachments caused by traction are usually watched by the doctor for some time before the person needs surgery. When surgery is necessary, a vitrectomy is generally performed. The prognosis of these treatments is excellent as long as the macula has not been associated with the detachment. However, it is essential to clarify that vision does not always recover entirely and that there are some cases in which retinal detachment cannot be operated on.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Retinal Detachment: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment , we recommend that you enter our Eyes and Vision category .

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