What is a Retinal Detachment?
A retinal detachment occurs when a retinal tear progresses and completely detaches from the retina. If left untreated, retinal detachment will cause permanent vision loss.
There are three different types of retinal detachment: rhegmatogenous, tractional, and exudative.
- A rhegmatogenous detachment occurs when fluids from under the retina caused the retina to detach from the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), the pigmented cell layer that nourishes the retina.
- A tractional detachment results when scar tissue on the retina’s surface contracts and causes the retina to separate from the RPE.
- An exudative detachment results from inflammatory disease or injury to the eye. Fluid leaks underneath the retina but there are no tears or breaks in the retina.
What are the Symptoms of Retinal Detachments?
The most common symptoms include:
- a sudden increase in the number of floaters
- a sudden increase in the number of flashes
- shadows and curtains over the field of vision
Retinal detachments are an acute medical emergency. If you are experiencing any warning signs, please see Dr. Narain immediately.
How Do I Know if I Have Retinal Detachment?
One of the most common signs of a retinal detachment is a sudden onset of floaters and flashes in the affected eye. You will also likely experience some vision loss or blurred vision that won’t go away when you rub or blink your eyes. Your peripheral vision, which is your ability to see to the sides of your eye will also decline. If you have a shadow that covers your field of vision in a similar way to the way curtains hang on windows, then this is another warning sign that you have a retinal detachment.
How are Retinal Detachments Treated?
Treatment for retinal detachments includes laser surgery, cryopexy, and vitrectomies.
During laser surgery (photocoagulation), tiny burns are made around the hole to “weld” the retina back into place. Cryopexy freezes the area around the hole to create a scar, which helps reattach the retina.
They can also be treated with surgery. A scleral buckle may be attached to the outside of the eye or a vitrectomy can be performed.
Most detachments can be successfully treated ut the visual outcome may not be predictable. Visual results are best if the detachment is repaired before the macula (the center region of the retina responsible for fine, detailed vision) detaches.
Request an Appointment in San Jose or Gilroy, California
In order to get treatment for retinal detachment at South Bay Retina, you will need to start with a comprehensive eye exam by an ophthalmologist. If you are diagnosed with retinal detachment in the greater South Bay area, request a referral to a retinal specialist. For your convenience, South Bay Retina is managed by one of the most prestigious retinal specialists in San Jose and Gilroy. Dr. Narain is extensively trained and experienced with working with retinal conditions including retinal detachment.
Call (408) 294-3534 for our San Jose and Gilroy office. You can also click on the button below to schedule online.