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Retinal Detachment

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.  When the retina detaches, it is lifted or pulled from its normal position .  If not discovered and promptly treated, retinal detachments can cause permanent vision loss.

Retinal detachments can affect all people, but is more likely to occur in people who:
•    Are extremely nearsighted
•    Have had a retinal detachment in the other eye
•    Have a family history of retinal detachment
•    Have had cataract surgery
•    Have other eye diseases or disorders such as retinoschisis, uveitis, degenerative myopia or lattice degeneration
•    Have had an eye injury

Symptoms

Symptoms include a sudden or gradual increase in either the number of floaters, which are little “cobwebs” or specks that float about in your field of vision, and/or light flashes in the eye.  Another symptom is the appearance of a curtain over the field of vision.  A retinal detachment is s medical urgency.  Anyone experiencing the symptoms of a retinal detachment should call the office immediately.  Same day evaluation is imperative.

Treatment

With modern therapy, most of those with a retinal detachment can be successfully treated, although sometimes multiple treatments are needed.  However, the visual outcome is not always predictable.  The final visual result may not be known for up to several months following surgery.  Even under the best of circumstances and even after multiple attempts at repair, treatment sometimes fails and vision may eventually be lost.  Visual results are best if the retinal detachment is repaired before the macula (the center region of the retina responsible for fine, detailed vision) detaches.  That is why it is important to contact us immediately if you notice a sudden onset of flashes, floaters or any curtain or veil obstructing vision in either eye.

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