What Is Retinal Detachment?

What is retinal detachment?

Be Eye Wise and understand that retinal detachment occurs when the retina is pulled away from the cell layer of the eye. This can range from a partial tear to a complete detachment. The retina itself is the material that sends impulses to the brain through the optic nerve, making it a critical aspect of your vision.

There are three main types of retinal detachment:

Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment occurs when fluid leaks through a hole in the retina and flows under it, separating the retina from the cell layer that nourishes it.

Tractional retinal detachment occurs when scar tissue on the retina contracts and separates from the cell layer that nourishes it.

Exudative retinal detachment occurs when fluid leaks into the area under the retina, but does not cause retinal tears.

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Symptoms of retinal detachment can include:

  • Floaters (the appearance of light flashes or a “curtain” over your field of vision) and the sudden increase in the number of floaters.
  • A ring of floaters on the outside of your vision.
  • Brief flashes of light in your peripheral vision.

Causes of retinal detachment can include:

Retinal detachment treatment:

In most cases, retinal detachment can be successfully treated. Some retinal detachment treatments may require a brief hospital stay. Your Northwest Eye doctor will be with you throughout the entire process. Treatment options include:

  • Laser surgery – A laser treatment that helps “weld” the retina back in place by making tiny burns around the retinal tear.
  • Cryopexy – A freeze treatment that helps reattach the retina by freezing the area around the retinal tear.
  • Vitrectomy -– A surgical treatment that involves replacing the gel-like substance in the eye with gas, which creates pressure that holds the retina in place.
  • Scleral buckle – The surgical placement of a scleral buckle (a tiny synthetic band) that gently holds the eyeball and the detached retina together.

Retinal detachment treatment outcomes are not always predictable and subsequent treatments may be necessary.

To learn all you can about retinal detachment, Be Eye Wise and schedule an appointment with a Northwest Eye doctor. Because the more you know, the better you see.