What is a Retinal Detachment?
Retinal detachment is a condition where damage is found on the inside of the eye. The retina is a thin coating of tissue on the inner walls of the eye, and it is actually responsible for vision. This thin lining is at risk for damage in cases of trauma and when vitreous changes are occurring. The retina may become torn or may have a hole formed in it. If a tear, hole, or other injury causes a buckle or bubble of fluid to get under the retina, the entire retina can peel away from the inner walls of the eye, causing blindness. This process is much like wallpaper which loosens and peels away from the wall.
How serious is a retinal detachment?
If you are found to have a retinal detachment, treatment is required immediately. The longer your retinal detachment goes untreated, the greater your loss of vision. In addition, the length of time the retina is detached is directly related to the amount of vision which can be restored with treatment. If you think you may be experiencing a retinal detachment, you should seek immediate eye care either by contacting our office or by reporting to an emergency room or other retinal eye care specialist. Our office has 24 hour emergency service response by calling the office number and if after hours, following the directions to page the doctor.
What are the symptoms of a retinal detachment?
There are specific warning signs which are related to retinal detachment. These are:
- you see a sudden increase in the number of floaters in your vision.
- you see flashes of light in your side vision which you cannot explain.
- you notice a shadow, veil or curtain coming over or across your side vision (this could be in any direction).
- you notice that lines which should look straight (such as a door frame or street curb) look bent or wavy.
- you notice that your central vision is blurry, and it cannot be improved in any way (either by moving closer, moving farther away, cleaning your glasses, rubbing your eyes, etc.).
IF YOU NOTICE ANY SIGN OF RETINAL DETACHMENT, EVEN IF IT IS ONLY ONE OF THE SIGNS MENTIONED ABOVE, YOU SHOULD CONTACT OUR OFFICE OR OTHER EMERGENCY SERVICE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY!