Detached and Torn Retina
Your retina is the light-sensitive tissue on the inner surface of your eye. Light that enters your eye lands on your retina and sends visual messages to your brain through the optic nerve.
Retinal detachment occurs when the retina becomes separated from the pigmented cell layer that nourishes it. The condition may start as a retinal tear and then detach completely. This can occur due to:
- Vitreous gel inside the eye shrinking and contracting, pulling on the retina
- Fluid getting underneath the retina due to retinal tears
- Trauma or injury to the eye that causes fluid to collect under the retina
- The contraction of scar tissue on the retina
Symptoms of Retinal Detachment
If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact our retinal specialists in Reston, VA, immediately: this is a medical emergency because retinal problems will impact vision and can ultimately lead to blindness if left untreated.
- Specks in your vision that look like cobwebs
- Flashes in your eyesight
- Wavy vision
- A dark shadow over your vision
- Loss of vision
Treatment for Retinal Detachment
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, our retinal detachment doctors will perform a comprehensive eye exam to identify the cause of your vision problem so the appropriate treatment can be administered.
One or a combination of these methods may be used to reattach or reseal your retina:
- Vitrectomy: the vitreous gel in the eye is drained and replaced with a gas bubble to reduce retinal pulling due to the changes in vitreous gel
- Pneumatic retinopexy: a gas bubble is injected into the vitreous gel to push the tear into proper position on the retinal wall
- Scleral buckle: a flexible silicone band is placed around the eye to relieve pressure caused by the shrinking and contracting of the vitreous gel
- Retina laser surgery: the retina is connected back in proper position using tiny burns
- Cryopexy: intense cold is applied to the retinal tear that produces a scar to reattach the retina
Risk Factors for Retinal Detachment
While retinal detachment can occur to anyone, it is more common in people who have:
- Had retinal detachment in the past
- Suffered from an eye injury
- Had cataract surgery
- Have severe nearsightedness
- Family members who have had retinal detachment
- Eye disease
Men and Caucasian people are more prone to getting retinal detachment (as opposed to women and those of African-American descent). This condition is also more prevalent in older adults.
Any sudden vision changes are always cause for concern. If you are experiencing any vision changes, regardless of how minor, contact us today to schedule an eye exam.