Retinal Detachment

Diseases & Conditions

Like any other part of the body, the eye too is susceptible to disease. Here is a list of conditions that can affect our eyes.

Diabetic Retinopathy
Refractive Errors
Retinal Detachment
Corneal Blindness

Retinal detachment
Retinal detachment or detachment of the inner, light-sensitive layer of the eye from its supporting structures in the inner eye, is a serious eye problem that may occur at any age. It is more prevalent in the near-sighted or those with a history of retinal detachment in their family.

Causes and Types

  • Most retinal detachments are caused by one or more small tears or holes in the retina.
  • Complications due to diabetes, severe inflammation or tumours can also cause retinal detachment.
  • A hard blow to the eye may also cause the retina to detach.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Sudden appearance of black spots called floaters, in front of the eye.
  • Flashes of light in the field of vision indicates shrinking of the vitreous, a jelly like substance that fills the eye. This can lead to tears in the retina.
  • Dull vision overall or dark shadows in some parts of the side vision.
  • A total loss of vision can mean complete retinal detachment.

Diagnosis and Treatment

  • Examining the inside of the eye with an ophthalmoscope can detect the problem.
  • Retinal detachment cannot be cured by medicines, it can only be treated through surgery.
  • Sometimes if there is a localised retinal detachment, other forms of therapy like cryotherapy, which involves sealing the retinal tears by freezing, may also be useful.
  • Laser can also be used, alone or in combination with surgery, for the purpose.
  • Surgery can be performed for retinal detachment in two ways. Externally, called scleral buckling and internally, called vitreo retinal surgery.

Even after a successful retinal surgery, you may regain only 50% to 60% of useful vision, depending upon the general status of the retina, the duration of the period the retina was detached before surgery, and the presence of any post-surgical complications.

Preventive Measures

  • Early symptoms of retinal tear should be taken seriously.
  • A routine check-up of the retina every 6 months is recommended in high-risk cases like those with diabetes, short-sight, long-sight or a family history of retinal tears and detachment.