Your Vision: A Delicate Balance at Risk
Your eyes are intricately-designed organs made up of cells that detect light and use complex nerve impulses to communicate with the brain. The retina is the the inner layer of tissue lining the back portion of the eye's interior. Within the retina, photoreceptor cells called rods and cones control how we perceive light, dimness, and color. Health conditions that affect the retina, like diabetes, can have a significant impact on your vision. One of the most serious complications resulting from diabetic retinopathy is retinal detachment, which occurs when the retinal layer pulls away from the tissue that supports it.
What is Retinal Detachment?
The crystalline lens (located at the front of the eye) and the retina are separated by a clear, colorless fluid called vitreous. If a small tear occurs in the retina, the vitreous will flow beneath it and effectively separate it from a layer of supportive tissue.
A number of issues can place a patient at increased risk of retinal detachment, including:
- Injury or trauma to the eye.
- Family history of retinal detachment.
- Inflammatory disorders of the eyes.
- Diabetic retinopathy, an eye disorder associated with advanced diabetes.
Learning to identify the early signs of retinal detachment is an important step in maintaining the health of your eyes.
Early Signs & Symptoms
Retinal detachment is typically preceded by a condition called posterior vitreous detachment. As we age, a posterior vitreous detachment occurs when the vitreous fluid pulls away from the retina and can lead to retinal tears and detachment.
Signs and symptoms of a retinal tear or detachment include:
- Flashes of light in the outer edges of the central field of vision.
- Sudden increase in the number of observed floaters.
- A heavy feeling in the eye.
- A shadow or veil-like image moving from the peripheral vision toward the central field of vision.
Retinal detachment can lead to severe visual impairment and even blindness, and should be treated as a medical emergency.
Treatment Options to Save Your Vision
Prevention is always the best treatment for any eye disorder. By understanding the early signs of retinal detachment, you can dramatically increase your chances of early detection and successful treatment.
Dr. Lalin provides a number of retinal detachment treatment options and can recommend the best treatment plan for you depending on the severity of your condition. Traditional surgical interventions for retinal detachment can require a month-long healing period. Fortunately, our practice offers vitrectomy, which replaces problematic vitreous with silicon oil. Using this innovative technique, our patients can safely return to their daily activities within 24-48 hours.
Schedule an Appointment Today
By combining extensive training with compassionate care, our team is able to act quickly and effectively in order to preserve your vision. If you notice any of the signs of retinal detachment, contact us immediately to schedule an appointment.