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Retinal Detachment

Do you have spots, floaters, or flashes of light that disturb your vision? These can indicate a severe problem with your retina that may permanently affect your eyesight. At University Retina, our team of board-certified ophthalmologists and retina specialists can restore your vision and ensure the long-term health of your eyes. 

What is Retinal Detachment?

Retinal detachment is a serious medical condition that affects the eye and can lead to permanent vision loss. This condition can occur at any age but more commonly for those over fifty.

The retina is a thin layer of tissue located at the back of the eye that is responsible for detecting light and transmitting signals to the brain, allowing you to see. When the retina becomes detached, it separates from its underlying layer of blood vessels and loses its ability to function properly. 

There are several different types of retinal detachment. Sometimes, a tear or hole develops in the retina, allowing fluid to leak into the space between the retina and the underlying tissue. 

In some cases, scar tissue pulls the retina away from the underlying tissue. Retinal detachments can also be caused by fluid buildup in the retina due to inflammation or injury. 

It is also more common in people who are nearsighted, have a family history of the condition, or have had an eye injury or surgery. Left untreated, a retinal detachment can cause severe and permanent vision loss.

For this reason, retinal detachments are considered medical emergencies. 

What Are the Symptoms of Retinal Detachment?

The symptoms of retinal detachment can include the sudden appearance of floaters, flashes of light, or a shadow or curtain-like effect in the peripheral vision. It is important to note that these symptoms may not necessarily indicate retinal detachment and could be caused by other eye conditions.

Myodesopsia (Eye Floaters) looking at the Sky. smal
Example of floaters and flashes

Floaters are small specks or dots that appear in the field of vision and move around when the eyes move. While floaters are common and usually harmless, they can sometimes indicate a more serious condition, such as retinal detachment. 

Flashes of light are another common symptom of retinal detachment. They can appear as small, bright, flashing lights or as a lightning-like streak across the field of vision. 

Flashes of light are often accompanied by floaters. A shadow or curtain-like effect in the peripheral vision is a more serious symptom of retinal detachment. 

It occurs when the detached portion of the retina blocks or impairs the vision in that area. If you experience sudden vision changes or any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is essential to contact your eye doctor at University Retina in Chicago, Illinois, right away.

How Are Retinal Detachment Treated?

The treatment for retinal detachment depends on the type, location, and severity of the detachment. In many cases, surgery is needed to reattach the retina and restore vision.

One common surgery for retinal detachment is a vitrectomy, which involves removing the vitreous gel from the eye. Once the gel is removed, tension will be released, which will help prevent the pulling of the retina.

In some cases, a scleral buckle may also be used. This involves placing a silicone band around the outside of the eye to counteract the force pulling on the retina and help it reattach.

Another type of surgery that may be used is called pneumatic retinopexy. This procedure is done in the office.

It involves injecting a gas bubble into the eye and positioning the head in a specific way to help the bubble push the detached area of the retina back into place.

Cryotherapy is another technique that may be used to treat small retinal tears or detachments. Cryotherapy involves the use of extreme cold to freeze the retina around the tear, which can prevent further damage and help the retina to reattach.

More About Retinal Detachment

Are you experiencing symptoms of a retinal detachment? Schedule an appointment at University Retina today!

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