Retinal detachment is a disorder in which the retina (the nerve layer of the eye)
peels away from its underlying layer of support tissue. Without rapid treatment
the entire retina may detach, leading to vision loss and blindness.
Permanent damage may occur, if the detachment is not repaired within
This is a medical emergency.
Causes of retinal detachment
- Due to a tear in the retina (from injury or spontaneously)
- Due to scar tissue pulling on the retina (from injury, inflammation or diabetes)
- Due to fluid accumulating under the retina (from inflammation, tumor or retinal disease)
A retinal detachment is commonly preceded by these symptoms:
- Flashes of light
- A sudden increase in the number of floaters in field of vision
- A slight feeling of heaviness in the eye
- A dark shadow or curtain that starts in the peripheral vision and slowly progresses towards the central vision
- Straight lines that suddenly appear curved
- Central vision loss
In the event of an appearance of sudden flashes of light or floaters, an eye doctor needs to be consulted immediately. The sooner that a retinal detachment is diagnosed and treated, the better the visual outcome will be. Sometimes if detected early, surgery can be avoided.
Who has a higher risk of getting a retinal detachment?
- High myopia (nearsightedness)
- Prior eye injury or surgery
- Family history of retinal detachment
- Chronic diabetes
Retinal detachment surgery
Modern surgical techniques are available at American Eye Center to treat
retinal detachment successfully, restoring vision, with quicker recovery, and
lower complication risks.
Most commonly a vitrectomy is performed. It involves the
removal of the vitreous gel and is usually combined with filling the
eye with either a gas bubble or silicone oil to put the retina back in place.
Laser may be used to close retinal tears and attach the retina more firmly.
Sometimes a scleral buckle is also used to reduce pulling forces on the
retina, thus reducing the risk of more tears being formed.
Normally over 85% of all retinal detachments treated will require only
1 operation, with the remaining 15% requiring 2 or more operations.
Please schedule an eye exam today with Dr JD Ferwerda, Retinal Specialist in Ho Chi Minh City,
American Eye Center Vietnam.