The back part of your eye is lined with a light-sensitive layer known as the retina. This structure is responsible for converting light rays into nerve signals, which the optic nerve delivers to the brain for translation.
If your retina becomes detached from the back part of your eye—a condition known as retinal detachment—you may experience vision problems. Your local optometrist from Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care answers some common questions about this condition:
Q: What Causes Retinal Detachment?
The fluid sac that maintains the shape and form of your eye is referred to as the vitreous. Certain factors can cause the vitreous to pull on your retina and cause it to detach from its underlying retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). The RPE is the retina’s main supply of blood, so when the retina detaches from it, it will be deprived of pigment, oxygen, and nutrients. Without immediate treatment, this condition may cause vision loss.
Q: What Are the Risk Factors?
Individuals who have severe refractive errors or other pre-existing eye conditions are at a higher risk of developing retinal detachment. Our reliable eye specialist explains that people who have had previous eye surgeries or injuries are also at a higher risk. In addition, if you have relatives who have had this condition before, you may be at an increased risk.
Q: How Does It Affect My Vision?
The constant tugging of the vitreous on your retina may cast shadows on the latter, manifesting as “floaters” in your line of vision. These may look like tiny streaks or dots across your visual field. As the condition progresses, the fluid sac may start to shrink, further pulling away from your retina, resulting in the appearance of light flashes and curtain-like shadows. Dimming and blurring of your central and peripheral vision are common too.
Q: How Is It Treated?
Retinal detachment is an ocular emergency that may lead to blindness without prompt treatment. This is why we recommend having regular eye exams, especially if you’re at a higher risk of having this condition. An effective treatment method is laser eye surgery. We’ll create small burns around the retinal tear to stimulate scar formation and seal the retina back to its place. We may also suggest cryopexy, wherein we’ll freeze the retina securely to its original position.
If you have any further questions about retinal detachment, call us at (301) 859-4060 or complete our form.