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Retinal Detachments

Retinal Detachment

Retinal Detachment Understanding the Retina
The retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the inside of the eye and sends visual messages through the optic nerve to the brain.
The retina is a very important part of the eye that connects the images that the eye interprets to the brain itself. Basically this is how we see! The retina is connected via the optic nerve to the brain. If this retina detaches from the optic nerve permanent vision loss can result. Ophthalmologists often worry about diabetic patients because this disease is known to put stress on the retina and optic nerve. In some cases there may be areas of the retina that are torn. These areas, called retinal tears or retinal breaks, can often lead to retinal detachment.

What is Retinal Detachment?

Retinal detachment is an eye-related, ophthalmologic disorder in which the retina of the eye separates from the ocular tissue to which it is anchored. This is typically a medical emergency and can lead to permanent blindness. In most cases, the detachment is a slowly progressing issue which must be treated once symptoms are realized. In some cases, it occurs due to a trauma which causes a tear in the retina, allowing fluid to enter the vitreous and pull the retinal tissue. Severe inflammation may also alter the position of the retinal tissue and start the detachment process.

Risk Factors For Retinal Detachment

A retinal detachment can occur at any age, but it is more common in people over age 40. It affects White-Caucasian people more than African Americans.
A retinal detachment is also more likely to occur in people who:

  • Are highly myopic patients
  • Have had a previous retinal detachment in the other eye
  • Have a family history of this condition
  • Have had recent cataract surgery
  • Have diabetes

Treatment For Retinal Detachment

Despite the difficulty with getting to the retina and treating this tough condition over 90 percent of the people diagnosed with retinal detachment are treated successfully according to the National Eye Institute. This visual outcome is not always predictable and patients are encouraged to consult an ophthalmologist about their specific retinal detachment problem

There are multiple eye surgery treatments that can be administered depending on the severity of the retinal detachment. If a tear or hole in the retina is found, it can generally be treated with laser surgery (retinopexy) or a freezing treatment (cryotherapy) to seal the tear by securing the retina to the back of the eye. If the retina has become fully detached, a silicone band, called a scleral buckle, will be attached to the eye forcing the retina back in place. Please consult the Dallas retinal detachment specialists for more information on the treatment options available to you.