Retinal detachment

What is it?

The retina separates from the pigment epithelial and liquid from the vitreous humour builds up in the space. The detached retina cannot be nourished and ceases to function.

Types

  • Rhegmatogenous : retinal tear
  • Exudative: separates due to build-up of liquid in eye inflammations
  • Tractional

Symptoms

Total or partial loss of sight in one eye, painless. Certain symptoms may alert us:
  • Floaters (black spots which move when the eyes move) due to alterations of the vitreous gel
  • Flashes of light, like sparks, indicate traction of the vitreous gel over the retina
  • Shadow or curtain in the visual field
  • Deformed images

Treatment

  • Laser photocoagulation, to seal to torn retina
  • Cryopexy, application of cold to the tissue around the tear to stimulate healing
  • Pneumatic retinopexy, a bubble of gas is introduced into the inside of the eye which presses on the tear helping the reabsorption of the subretinal liquid and putting the retina back in place. Usually combined with cryopexy or laser treatment.
  • Vitrectomy, removal of the vitreous gel to release tractions, also combined with laser treatment.
  • Scleral surgery. A silicon band is placed around the sclera to exert pressure on the eye and cause the tear to close.

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