What is Retinal Detachment?

Retinal detachment is an eye emergency that requires immediate care from an eye doctor in Coldwater, MS. When retinal detachment occurs, there is a risk of permanent loss of eyesight. There are telltale symptoms of retinal detachment that shouldn’t be ignored.

What is a Retina?

The retina is at the back of the eye. It’s where the light that enters the eye lands. It consists of a very thin layer of tissue. 

Retinal detachment is when the retina detaches, in whole or in part, from the back of the eye where it is supposed to remain. When retinal detachment occurs, it becomes separated from the layer of blood vessels that supply oxygen and nourishment. 

Just like if the brain was deprived of oxygen and nourishment it would suffer, the eye suffers when the retina becomes detached. Permanent vision loss is a possibility and immediate medical care is needed.

Symptoms of Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachment often comes on suddenly. The symptoms of retinal detachment may include one or all of the following:

  • sudden blindness, either temporary or enduring
  • black spot in field of vision
  • loss of full peripheral vision
  • appearance of many floaters in the eye (more than usual)
  • flashes of light or “sparkles”

Note that pain is not a common symptom of retinal detachment. Often, only sudden changes in vision are present with retinal detachment.

Retinal detachment should be treated as an eye emergency. It’s not enough to book an appointment weeks away. The longer the retina is detached, the higher the risk of permanent loss of vision.

Causes of Retinal Detachment

The underlying causes of retinal detachment include:

  • ongoing, failing health of the eye
  • untreated diabetes
  • untreated hypertension
  • tumors
  • aging
  • inflammatory disease
  • sudden blunt force eye trauma
  • and more

Types of Retinal Detachment

There are three main types of retinal detachment.

  • Tractional – caused by the growth of scar tissue
  • Exudative – caused by accumulation of fluid beneath the retina
  • Rhegmatogenous – caused by a hole or tear in the retina

Diagnosing Retinal Detachment

Your eye doctor will be able to diagnose retinal detachment by your reported symptoms as well as a retinal exam and/or ultrasound imaging. Once the retinal detachment has been diagnosed, a treatment plan can be made.

Please get into touch with your eye doctor in Coldwater, MS immediately if you suspect retinal detachment or if you have sudden onset of unusual eye symptoms.


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