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Coping with Retinal Detachment

Saturday, November 2, 2013 @ 07:11 AM
Author: Jason Lau

The retina plays a key role in overall vision. It sends images to the brain. But the retina and surrounding tissue areas sensitive and if the retina breaks away from these tissues it can cause vision loss.

There are three types of retinal detachment:

  • Rhegmatogenous is a tear that allows fluid in and causes separation of the retina.
  • Exudative is usually caused by an injury. It leads to fluids forming under the retina without actually detaching it.
  • Tractional is when scar tissue causes the separation of the retina from the surrounding tissues.

It’s vital to catch the symptoms within three days so the retina can be repaired and vision saved. Waiting any longer to seek medical attention can result in permanent blindness.

Symptoms to watch out for include: light flashes, floaters, debris that is just out of the line of sight, a heavy feeling in the eye, when straight lines suddenly appear curved, and the sense that a dense shadow or curtain has fallen over the eye.

Risk factors for retinal detachment are:

  • Trauma or injury
  • Genetics
  • Diabetes
  • Inflammation
  • Extreme nearsightedness
  • Aging (it is most common in those over 40)
  • Complications from cataracts surgery

Coping with retinal detachment requires some attention to details. Make sure the living environment is free from debris and obstructions to prevent accidents, use bright lighting at home, get special glasses made specifically for this disease, make use of new technologies that use voice commands, and above all, ask for support.

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