Retina is the innermost coat of the eyeball. The retina is a neurosensory tissue that lines the back. Just like the film in a camera, the retina transfers the light coming into the eye into maps. The centre of the retina is called the macula and is the only part capable of fine detailed vision, i.e. reading, recognizing faces, etc. The remainder of the retina, the peripheral retina, is for side vision.
What is Retinal Detachment?
Retinal Detachment is a condition in which the retina gets separated from the layer that contains blood vessels, the “choroid” leaving the retina without oxygen and nutrients, thus putting the eye at risk of permanent vision loss.
What causes Retinal Detachment?
Holes or tears occur in the retina and lead to the leaking of eye fluids and separation of the retina from the underlying tissues. These tears can be caused by trauma, severe nearsightedness or separation of the gel that tills the retina inside your eye from the retina
A pull on the retina may also occur if there is long standing inflammation, uncontrolled diabetes or scarring of the retina after a previous surgery
What are the symptoms of Retinal Detachment?
- Flashes or streaks of light
- Floaters or semi-transparent or cloudy specks in the vision
- Failing or blurry vision
- A grey shadow on the peripheral field of vision, moving like a unchain
Treatments for Retinal Detachment?
- Photocoagulation in which laser is used to form tiny burns around the retinal tear which later forms scars and seals the retina
- Cryotherapy where intense cold is applied to freeze the retina around the tear and forms scars
- Pneumatic Retinopexy in which a small gas bubble is placed in the eye that helps to push the retinal tear against the back wall of your eye
- Advanced Surgical Procedures like Scleral Buccling, Vitrectomy with Silicon Oil insertion might require to reattach retina in most of the cases.
If my retinal detachment occurred after an eye surgery, does it mean that the surgeon made a mistake?
No, retinal tears can occur even after an eye surgery has been performed at the highest levels of excellence without any complications. This complication may be related to the normal alterations that occur in the jelly during or after an eye surgery.
I wear spectacles with numbers of -6.0 in both my eyes. Do I need to see a doctor even if my vision has been stable in the last 5 years and I have no problems?
Yes, if you have glasses more than 6 Diopters, (called a high myope) it puts you at a greater risk than others to develop a retinal detachment. You need to undergo a dilated retinal examination to look for any early signs at least once a year.
I was operated recently for a retinal detachment in my left eye. Do I have a chance of developing it in my right eye too?
Yes, unfortunately, the chances of retinal detachment are increased in the other eye after one eye suffers it due to a condition like lattice degeneration. You can help prevent it by regular eye examinations and taking care of any predisposing conditions in your normal eye. If however, one eye suffers retinal detachment after an injury, then the chances are not raised in your other eye.
Will I be able to see better immediately after my surgery?
The improvement in vision after surgery depends on the type of surgery. Your vision will be blurry for many weeks sometimes, even months. The outcome also depends on a number of factors like if your macula was detached (rare for central vision to return) or if new holes develop (is seen in 5- 9% of people).
In a scleral buckle surgery, does the buckle need to be removed?
Once a scleral buckle is stitched into the wall of your eye, it stays there forever. It cannot be seen by others and causes no serious problems. However, in rare instances, it may have to be loosened if it causes pain or removed if it causes infection.