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Eye health - Retinal detachment

Retinal detachment is an eye disorder which may easily lead to loss of vision due to pulling of the retina away from the back of the eye. In case the surgery is performed within 24-72 hours patient's sight may be saved. Left untreated, retinal detachment  definitely leads to irreversible vision loss.

This medical condition usually develops as a consequence of already existing eye disorders. For instance, it frequently affects people suffering from nearsightedness, those who have had an eye injury or have undergone cataract surgery as well as people with a family history of retinal detachment. In rare cases retinal detachment occurs spontaneously.

What are Symptoms and Signs of Retinal Detachment?

Patients suffering from retinal detachment commonly report flashes of light, showering effects of floaters and darkening of the peripheral vision. They see small flecks or threads in the visual field and get worried about it. There is no pain associated with the condition. Still, this is not a reason for one not to report all other, previously mentioned symptoms.

Diagnosing Retinal Detachment

A well experienced ophthalmologist can easily diagnose retinal detachment just by performing a dilated  eye exam. Doctors also take into consideration data obtained while taking patient's medical history.

Treatment for Retinal Detachment

There are several treatments for retinal detachment all of which include invasive approach and repair inside the affected eye.

Laser therapy or freezing are two treatments for this condition. They are efficient if the condition is diagnosed in initial stage.

Pneumatic retinopexy can repair and close a small tear on the retina. The procedure includes injection of a small gas bubble into the vitreous humor. This bubble prevents further detachment and keeps the superficial layer of the retina close to its deeper layers.

Scleral buckle is a procedure in which a silicone band is placed around the eye in order to hold the retina in the desirable place. This band remains for the rest of patient's live and is not visible at all. This is a highly successfully procedure efficient in almost 95% of all cases.

Finally, there is vitrectomy, a procedure which includes removal of the vitreous humor from the eye and its replacement with a saline solution. This procedure is done in case of severe retinal detachment.

What about Prevention?

People who are at risk for retinal detachment are due to undergo regular (usually annual) eye check-ups. Apart from that, it is also essential to diagnose the condition on time, so people who experience any changes in their vision should not neglect the issue and report it to a well experienced ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

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