What is a detached retina?

February 17th, 2016 by Carolina Eye Associates

A detached retina is an emergency situation in which the retina at the back of the eye pulls away from the layer of blood vessels that provides it with oxygen and nourishment. This leaves the retinal cells lacking oxygen. The longer retinal detachment goes untreated, the greater the risk of permanent vision loss in the affected eye.

Fortunately, retinal detachment often has symptoms that are clear warning signs. Early diagnosis and treatment of retinal detachment can save your vision. If you suspect you may have a retinal detachment, contact an ophthalmologist as soon as warning signs appear. These may include:

  • The sudden appearance of many floaters — small bits of debris in your field of vision that look like spots, hairs or strings and seem to float before your eyes
  • Sudden flashes of light in the affected eye
  • A shadow or curtain over a portion of your visual field that develops as the detachment progresses

Retinal detachment can occur as a result of:

  • Shrinkage or contraction of the vitreous—the gel-like material that fills the inside of your eye. This can create tugging on the retina and a retinal tear, leading to a retinal detachment.
  • Injury
  • Advanced diabetes
  • An inflammatory eye disorder

Because retinal detachment is an emergency situation in which you can permanently lose your vision, you should always seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of its symptoms.

For more information on retinal detachments call Carolina Eye Associates at (910) 295-2100 or toll-free at (800) 733-5357.

 

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