What is Your Retina? Can it Detach From Your Eye?

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Your eyes have many different structures that require perfect functioning for you to be able to see your best. Some of the structures are more sensitive than others. 

The retina is perhaps the most fragile and important part of the eye. It is a thin tissue that covers the back wall inside your eye. 

The tissue has many cells that can detect light. This information is then sent to your brain through a cable called the optic nerve. 

Without a healthy retina, your vision will not be clear. Keep reading to learn more about the retina and if it can detach from your eye!

What Causes Retinal Detachment?

Unfortunately, the retina can be affected by disease and injury. In some cases, it can completely detach from your eye. 

Without immediate medical attention, this can very quickly lead to loss of vision or blindness. The retina can detach from the back of the eye for different reasons. 

Rhegmatogenous Tear

One cause is a rhegmatogenous tear. This is the most common reason that a retina might detach.

If a small tear opens in the retina, fluid can leak into the opening. As the fluid builds up, it pushes the rest of the tissue away from the wall. 

The tears can happen either from disease or injury, although it is usually due to age. The gel in the eye shrinks, slowly pulling at the retina.

Tractional Detachments

Less common are tractional detachments. This is also caused by the retina being pulled. 

Instead of the gel inside the eye, it is scar tissue. This scar tissue is typically caused by diabetes.

High blood sugar damages blood vessels in the eye that heal and reopen continuously. As the scars get bigger, the retina gets pulled harder.

Exudative detachments are less common as well. They happen without retinal tearing. Fluid still collects behind the retina, pushing it away. This can be caused by chronic inflammation. 

Symptoms of Retinal Detachment

Flashes of white light and floaters are the most common signs of retinal detachment. You may be experiencing a retinal detachment if you notice a sudden increase in floaters or new consistent flashes.

You may also notice changes in your peripheral vision. Changes in your vision should always be reported to your eye doctor.    

You are at risk for retinal detachment if you have had trauma to your eye, have a family history of retinal detachment, or have had eye surgery. If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor at Stahl Eyecare Experts right away.

How Can Eye Doctors Treat a Retinal Detachment?

The earlier you get help with retinal detachment, the higher your chance of saving your vision. If your eye doctor finds a small tear, they will be able to repair the tear with lasers before it worsens. 

In more severe cases, the surgeon may need to remove the gel inside your eye to prevent tugging on the retina. After removing the gel, your eye doctor will place a bubble of oil, gas, or air where the gel used to be.

This bubble pushes the retina back into place and prevents it from detaching further. Retinal detachments are a serious issue, but they don’t have to cause permanent problems. 

Are you experiencing symptoms of retinal detachment? Schedule an appointment at Stahl Eyecare Experts in Garden City, NY, today!


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