Retina, the innermost, thin tissue layer located near the optic nerve,
is an important part of our eyes. It receives the light focused by the
lens and converts it to a neural impulse that is carried to the brain by
the optic nerve.
Retina plays a pivotal role in image processing, and any damage to the
retina can lead to permanent blindness. Retinal detachment is one such
serious condition where the retina gets detached from the layer that provides
it with nourishment and oxygen, thus preventing it from processing light.
If not treated immediately, it can cause permanent damage or vision loss.
Retinal detachment is an emergency. One must be aware of early signs of
retinal detachment and how to prevent it.
What are the warning signs of a detached retina? Is there any surgical
procedure available for treating retinal detachment? How to prevent retinal
detachment? In this blog, we answer vital questions related to a detached
Signs of Retinal Detachment
To start with, retinal detachment is painless and can occur without any
prior warning. A person may notice a few of these warning signs before
it has progressed:
The sudden appearance of floaters like shadows in the peripheral vision
that slowly progress to central vision
Sudden flashes of light in the eyes (photopsia) progressing from peripheral
to central vision.
Blurred vision with
a feeling of a translucent curtain over the affected eye
Types of Retinal Detachment
Here are the major types of retinal detachment:
This is the most common type of retinal. A retinal tear is seen, which
allows the gel-like fluid (vitreous gel) to fill in between the layers
of the retina. This results in pushing the retina away from its position.
This type of retinal detachment happens typically due to eye injuries,
previous eye surgery, or near-sightedness (myopia).
This type of retinal detachment happens when scar tissue grows on the
walls of the retina. The scar tissue pulls the retina away from its position.
It happens mostly when blood vessels get damaged due to diabetic retinopathy.
It happens when fluid builds up behind the retinal wall, thus pushing
the retina away from the desired position. There is no cut, tear, or injury
in this type of retinal detachment.
It is caused due to age-related macular degeneration, swelling, or leakage
of the blood vessels.
Risk factors for Retinal Detachment
The critical question that needs to be answered is “Who all are at risk
of developing this eye condition, and what are the risks associated with
If you have the following eye ailments, you are at a higher risk of developing
Myopia or severe near-sightedness
Scar tissue formation due to diabetic retinopathy
Age-related Macular Degeneration
Previous eye surgeries
Family history/heredity of retinal detachment
Treatment for Retinal Detachment
A retinal detachment is
an ocular emergency and requires urgent medical attention. Here are some
of the options for its management:
Photocoagulation (or Laser)
A laser beam is directed towards the retina through the pupil. The laser
burns around the retinal tear, which fuses the retina to the underlying
Cyropexy (or Freezing)
Local anesthesia is administered to sedate the eye. An extreme cold probe
is applied by the surgeon to the tear, thus inducing a scar. The scar then
fixes the retina to the tissue.
A sponge or piece of silicon is sewed around the white portion of the
eye (or the sclera). Photocoagulation or Cyroprexy is used to scar the
tissue. The sponge or silicon which is used in the procedure remains permanently
attached to the eye.
This method can be used if the tear to the eye is small and uncomplicated.
The retina is frozen using cyroprexy, and a gas bubble is injected into
the vitreous cavity.
Slowly the gas bubble absorbs itself, and the retina attaches itself to
the original position.
Vitreoretinal Surgery is
the most common type of surgery done for retinal detachment. The vitreous
gel is removed from the eye, and a gas or silicone oil bubble is injected
to hold the retina in place. The oil bubble is removed after 6-8 weeks.
How to prevent Retinal Detachment
In most cases, retinal detachment is either hereditary or age-related.
Hence, appropriate actions have to be taken to reduce the risks associated
with retinal detachments.
Here are major risk mitigation strategies to address retinal detachment:
Wear safety goggles to prevent eye injuries when you are performing outdoor
Go for a regular eye check-up in
case you have a family history of retinal detachment
Visit the ophthalmologist immediately in case you observe any symptoms
of retinal detachment
Keep a check on diabetes to avoid diabetic retinopathy
Visit an eye doctor in case you observe symptoms of retinal detachment,
diabetic retinopathy, etc. Centre for Sight has a team of retina specialists who
have extensive experience in performing retinal detachment surgeries.
Set yourself free from Retinal Detachment by visiting Centre for Sight
Article: An In-depth Guide To Retinal Detachment
Author: CFS Editorial Team | Feb 20, 2020 | UPDATED
*The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private
capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Centre for Sight.