Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachment is a medical emergency that will result in permanent vision loss if left untreated. If you experience the warning signs of a detached retina, such as a shadow in your field of vision, flashes of light, or a sudden increase in floaters, please contact your eye doctor immediately or seek emergency care. The retina specialists at CVP Physicians Dayton are experienced in diagnosing and treating retinal detachment.

Last Updated:

  • Overview
  • Symptoms and Causes
  • Management and Treatment

Last Updated:

Overview

What Is Retinal Detachment?

The retina is located at the back of the eye and contains photoreceptor cells that are responsible for processing light. A healthy retina is critical for clear vision. If the retina pulls away from the underlying tissue, it can become partially or fully detached. A detached retina will be separated from its blood supply and will not be able to function properly.

Graphic diagram of a detached retina vs a healthy eye

Symptoms and Causes

Symptoms of Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachment is typically painless and often occurs gradually, although symptoms can be sudden. Retinal tear or detachment symptoms include:

  • The sudden appearance or increase of floaters
  • Flashes in vision
  • A shadow in vision that typically appears from the side (periphery)
  • A sudden change in vision, including loss of central vision, a “darkening” of vision, or “wavy” vision

What Causes Retinal Detachment?

Retinal detachment can happen to anyone, but there are some common underlying causes. You should have regular eye exams and be aware of potential retinal detachment symptoms if you have any of the following risk factors:1

  • Myopia (nearsightedness)
  • Glaucoma
  • Previous eye surgery, such as cataract surgery
  • Severe trauma or injury to the eye
  • A personal or family medical history of retinal detachment or retinal diseases
  • Retinal weakness that has been identified by your eye doctor
Management and Treatment

Treatment for Retinal Detachment

Your ophthalmologist will conduct an examination to determine if you have a retinal tear or detachment. If you do, they will use diagnostic tools to determine the severity. There are several treatment options for retinal detachment. The goal of treatment is to reattach the retina, which typically requires surgery. Approximately 90% of retinal detachment treatments are successful, although secondary treatments are sometimes required.2

Your eye doctor will recommend the best treatment plan for you depending on your specific case. Retinal detachment treatments include:

  • Cryotherapy also called cryopexy, is a freezing method that can help the retina reattach.
  • Laser photocoagulation is a surgical procedure that uses a specialized laser to reattach the retina.
  • Pneumatic retinopexy in which a bubble of air or gas is injected into the eye to move the retina back into position.
  • Scleral buckle is a procedure that places a band over the eye to relieve pressure from the retina.
  • Vitrectomy is a surgery to drain and replace the vitreous, which is the gel-like substance in front of the retina.

Contact CVP Physicians Dayton for Retinal Treatment Treatment

The team at CVP Physicians Dayton includes top retina specialists and board-certified surgeons. Contact us with any questions or to schedule your appointment.

1 American Academy of Ophthalmology. Retinal Detachment. Available: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/detached-torn-retina Accessed June 10, 2020.
2 The American Society of Retina Specialists. Retinal Detachment. Available: https://www.asrs.org/patients/retinal-diseases/6/retinal-detachment Accessed June 10, 2020.

The doctors at CVP Physicians Dayton have either authored or reviewed the content on this site.

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