• What is a Retinal-Detachment ?

    1st February, 2014
  • Retinal detachment occcurs when the retina peels away from its underlying layer of support tissue. Initial detachment may be localized, but without rapid treatment the entire retina may detach, leading to vision loss and blindness. It is a medical emergency.

    The retina is a thin layer of light sensitive tissue that translates that focused image into neural impulses and sends them to the brain via the optic nerve. Occasionally, posterior vitreous detachment, injury or trauma to the eye or head may cause a small tear in the retina. The tear allows vitreous fluid to seep through it under the retina, and peels it away like a bubble in wallpaper. Retinal Detachment

    retinal tear

    Holes form due to retinal atrophy especially within an area of lattice degeneration. Tears are due to vitreo-retinal traction. Dialyses which are very peripheral and circumferential may be either tractional or atrophic

    Although rare, exudative retinal detachment can be caused by the growth of a tumour on the layers of tissue beneath the retina, namely the choroid. This cancer is called a choroidal melanoma.

    choroidal melanoma

    Signs and symptoms of a posterior Vitreous Detachment

    flashes of light (photopsia) – very brief in the extreme peripheral (outside of center) part of vision

    sudden dramatic increase in the number of floaters

    ring of floaters or hairs just to the temporal (skull) side of the central vision

    slight feeling of heaviness in the eye, maybe even a dust in my eye sensation

    Although most posterior vitreous detachments do not progress to retinal detachments, those that do produce the following symptoms :

    dense shadow that starts in the peripheral vision and slowly progresses towards the central vision

    the impression that a veil or curtain was drawn over the field of vision

    straight lines (scale, edge of the wall, road, etc.) that suddenly appear curved (positive Amsler grid test)

    central visual loss

    amsler s grid

    In the event of an appearance of sudden flashes of light or floaters, an Ophthalmologist or Optometristneeds to be consulted immediately.

    A shower of floaters or any sudden loss of vision is a medical emergency.

    Risk factors for retinal detachment include severe myopia, retinal tears, trauma, family history, as well as complications from cataract surgery.

    Trauma-related cases of retinal detachment can occur in high-impact sports (e.g. boxing, karate, kickboxing, American football) or in high speed sports (e.g. automobile racing, sledding). Nevertheless, ophthalmologists generally advise patients with high degrees of myopia to try to avoid exposure to activities that have the potential for trauma, increase pressure on or within the eye itself, or include rapid acceleration and deceleration.ie. Bungee Jumping

    Diagnosis :Dilated Fundus Exam by an Ophthalmologist or Optometrist


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