Detachments can also occur from eye surgery, infections or inflammation or being very nearsighted.  In poorly controlled diabetes new blood vessels can form that pull on the retina, which can cause detachments.

The retina cannot sense pain, it can only sense light.  Therefore, retinal detachments don’t cause pain, they only cause visual symptoms.  These symptoms include flashes of light, floaters and vision loss extending to the edge of the peripheral vision.  Sometimes the retina can detach without any symptoms.  Retinal detachment symptoms are similar to those of a vitreous separation.  Retinal detachments are vision threatening and vitreous seprations are usually harmless, so if the symptoms develop it is best to be seen promptly.

The treatments for a retinal detachment are surgical.  If the detachment is localized to a small area, it can be treated with laser.  The laser surrounds the detachment preventing it from spreading.  Larger detachments are treated with surgery on the inside and outside of the eye to reattach the retina.  Sometimes the surgery has to be repeated if the retina continues to detach.

Fortunately, with today’s advanced techniques, many people are able to maintain good vision after retinal detachment surgery.  The important thing is to remember the symptoms of flashes, floaters and vision loss and seek immediate care if they develop.

Enjoy the holidays and thank you for reading A Vision of Health.