What is it?

The retina is a layer of tissue in the back eye which translates image into electrical impulses to the brain. Retinal detachment occurs when the retina separates from the layer underneath it. This results in mild to severe vision impairment, depending on the extent of retinal detachment. Risk factors include myopia (nearsightedness), trauma, tears in the retina, family history and cataract surgery. The lifetime risk for retinal detachment in healthy individuals is about 1/300.

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Signs & symptoms

The presentation of retinal detachment varies. Symptoms may include
*an impression that a curtain is drawn over your vision field
*sudden flashes of light
*floaters in the visual field
*lines in the visual field that suddenly appear curved (lines on the wall, between objects, on the road etc)
* blurred vision


Your ophthalmologist can diagnose retinal detachment using a comprehensive eye exam. During the examination, the doctor will apply eye drops that dilate your pupils and allow good sight of the retina. Other tests that your doctor might use include:
Fundus photography is often performed in order to document the current state and enable good follow up.
Ultrasound can be helpful for diagnosis


The treatment depends on many factors including the type of detachment, whether the detachment is symptomatic or not, the extent of the detachment, the visual acuity during presentation and more. The treatment aims to prevent further detachment and vision loss. However, in some cases, treatment isn’t necessary.
Treatment options include one or more of the following-
1. Laser photocoagulation- The laser forms a scar near the tear site, halting further detachment.
2. Cryopexy- This procedure works similarly to laser photocoagulation, causing a scar by freezing the site of detachment.
3. Retinopexy- fixation of the retina using a bubble gas, usually together with cryopexy or laser photocoagulation.
4. Scleral buckling- severe retinal detachments may require surgery. During the surgery, the doctor places a band around the eyeball pushing the layers detached back together.
5. Vitrectomy- Removal of some or all of the vitreous humor, the gel like fluid filling the eyeball. This helps to bring the retina back in place.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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