Retinal detachment is a painless site threatening eye problem that should be regarded as a medical emergency. There are three main types of retinal detachment that include:
Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment is the most common type that occurs as a result of a break-usually a tear or hole-in the retina that permits fluid to pass into the space underneath the retina. Tears or holes in the retina may actually occur without causing any symptoms to occur. Therefore, it is important that you have routine eye examinations, especially if you are nearsighted or myopic, or if you play contact sports and might be subjected to eye trauma. If you are nearsighted or myopic, you may be more prone to peripheral retinal degenerations, such as lattice degeneration, which may increase your risk of retinal detachment making regular eye examinations an even more important part of your routine health care. Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment is the most common type of retinal detachment.
Exudative Retinal Detachment may occur due to inflammation, injury or a Retinal Vascular Disease that causes fluid accumulation underneath the retina without the presence of a retinal hole or retinal tear.
Tractional Retinal Detachment may occur when fibrous or fibrovascular scar tissue has been formed on the retina as a result of an injury, inflammatory disease or the presence of neovascularization, such as in Diabetic Retinopathy. The scar tissue actually pulls the Retina free from the underlying pigment layer it is normally attached to, causing a Retinal Detachment.
Symptoms & Warnings of Retinal Detachment
Retinal detachment causes a number of symptoms and warning signs that occur often before the actual detachment happens. The key is to preserving vision is to recognize these warning signs and symptoms and scheduling quick diagnosis and treatment. Warning signs and symptoms of retinal detachment may include:
- Flashes of light that may occur in your field of vision toward the outermost periphery.
- A sudden increase in the number of floaters in your vision and possibly even a ring of floaters or “hairs” in your vision-sometimes this is accompanied by “specks” or a “cobweb”.
- A sense of a “shadow” in your peripheral vision that may progress toward the center of your vision.
- A sensation of a “curtain” or a “veil” being drawn over your vision.
- Straight lines, such as the edge of a door or walls, appear to be curved or appear as a “bubble”.
- In extreme cases of retinal detachment you may experience a loss of central vision.