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Spotting Retinal Detachment Before It’s Too Late

Thursday, August 14, 2014 @ 11:08 PM
Author: admin

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Retinal detachment is a very serious retinal disorder that can cause blindness if it’s not treated. Your retina is one of the most essential parts of your eye. It’s made of neurons that catch light and translate into nerve impulses that travel to your brain. So, what makes retinal detachment so alarming is that the retina actually loosens and separates from the tissue around it. If this problem isn’t treated in time, it easily can lead to blindness.

There are ways to spot this condition, though. If you are someone who is very nearsighted, you should be aware of your risk of developing retinal detachment. Also, retinal detachment can be hereditary, so if this has occurred to someone in your family you could be at risk. Retinal detachments have also been associated with eye injuries and cataracts. If you’re suffering from one of these things, you may benefit from having a discussion with your eye care professional about the possible risk of retinal detachment.

The worrisome aspect about retinal detachments is that they don’t cause any pain despite the fact they can be so devastating to your eye health. There are symptoms you can spot, though, one of them being flashes of light. If you start to notice bright sensations of light in your vision, speak to your doctor immediately. Another sign could be “floaters,” a colloquial term for specks or threads that enter your vision. You should also be aware of a dimming in your peripheral vision, as this is another indicator of a possible retinal detachment forming.

Always keep these symptoms in mind because early detection is the key to successfully treating a retinal detachment. Retinal detachment can even be prevented, in some cases. The most important thing is to see your eye doctor at least once a year. When you get an eye exam, the doctor is more likely to detect concerning changes in your eye that you haven’t even noticed yet.

Some people may have to go to their doctor more often, especially if they suffer from other health problems like diabetes or hypertension, which have been known to associate with various eye disorders, including retinal detachments. If you are nearsighted, you should visit your eye doctor annually to make sure your eyes are healthy and not developing a retinal detachment, as nearsighted people have a much higher risk of getting it, oftentimes quite suddenly.

It’s also important to understand the difference between a retinal tear and retinal detachment, as they are not one in the same. A retinal tear is usually preliminary to a retinal detachment, and it can cause retinal detachment when it allows fluid in the eye to enter it. The fluid then seeps in and floods behind the retina, loosening and removing it from the connective tissue, causing a retinal detachment.

If you think you have a retinal tear or detachment, your doctor will give you an exam, including dilating the pupils, so as to find out if this is indeed the case. If you actually do have a retinal detachment, there are numerous ways to treat it, fortunately.

Treating Retinal Detachment

It’s incredibly important to catch a retinal tear before it develops into far worse retinal damage because then it can be treated with a simple procedure, such as laser intervention or cryopexy freezing, right in your doctor’s office.

If the tear isn’t too large and can be closed easily, your eye care provider might opt for a procedure called pneumatic retinopexy, where a small gaseous bubble is injected into the eye, in the fluid-like area between the cornea and the retina. This bubble actually rises up naturally and presses against the retina, closing up the tear. And then a simple laser or cryopexy method is used to seal up the tear, finally.

Some instances call for a scleral buckle to be attached to the eye’s sclera, which is the white part of your eye that surrounds the cornea. It’s a silicon band, transparent so it can’t be seen and it’s attached and left on the eye to push the sclera back up against the retina in order to heal the tear. Practitioners may follow up with a laser procedure to seal the tear, then.

For larger, more dangerous tears, doctors use a method called vitrectomy. The doctor will actually extract the fluid in between the cornea and the retina and replace it with a saline solution to treat the tear.

So there are many ways to treat retinal tears and detachments, but it’s essential to remember that detecting this problem before it worsens is integral to successfully treating it. Whether or not you’re nearsighted, have cataracts, diabetes, hypertension, hereditary association or any other factor that may put you at risk of developing a retinal detachment, you should always see your eye care professional regularly. The symptoms of retinal detachments aren’t necessarily noticeable, so don’t be hesitant to seek consultation and examination from your eye care professional.

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