Retinal Tears and Detachments
Retinal tears and detachments, if not treated early, may lead to permanent impairment or loss of vision. Each year, 1 in 10,000 people in the United States will be affected by this condition.
Most detachments are caused by the presence of one or more small tears in the retina (the thin, transparent tissue that covers the inside wall of the eye). Normal aging can sometimes cause the retina to thin and deteriorate. More frequently, shrinkage of the vitreous (the gel-like fluid that fills the center of the eye) is responsible.
A hard blow to the eye may also cause the retina to detach. In rare cases, the condition is hereditary and may occur in infants or children. Some retinal detachments are caused by other eye diseases such as tumors, severe inflammations, or complications from diabetes.
The appearance of floaters and flashes in the vision may indicate vitreous shrinkage with tears in the retina. In individuals affected without these noticeable signs, there may be a watery or wavy quality in the overall vision or the appearance of a dark shadow in some part of the side vision. Development of the retinal detachment will blur central vision and create a significant further loss of sight in the affected eye.
Once the retina has detached, it must be repaired surgically. There are various surgical procedures available and an ophthalmic consultation is required to determine the most appropriate course of treatment. Dr. Baudo has repaired many retinal detachments over his many years at the Florida Eye Institute. If you are experiencing visual symptoms like the ones listed above, it is important that you get a dilated eye exam to ensure your eyes are healthy.
This video shares the experience of a patient Cynthia Dix who suffered a retinal detachment. Now, she cherishes studying photography after sight saving surgery at Florida Eye Institute.