Retina is the internal cover of the eye ball. Retinal detachment can be found in 1 from 10 000 persons. This is a serious eye disease that can appear in any age but are more frequent between adults and elderly people. Likelihood of retinal detachment increases with serious myopia or traumas of the eyes. If detachment is not cured during early staged it can cause worsening or loss of vision.
Causes and symptoms of retinal detachment
Aging processes can facilitate in the eye: reduction of the amount of the vitreous humor (vitreous humor is transparent glue-like substance that fills up the inner area of the eye), degenerative changes in the retina and consequences of those processes - ruptures of the retina. When the amount of vitreous humor is reduced due to the abnormal growth of the eye (most frequently in case of myopia), due to inflammation or trauma, the reduced vitreous humor can tag along retina and cause detachment or rupture of retina. To a lesser degree reduction of the amount of the vitreous humor takes place due to changes of the age and can cause damages of retina. Most frequently explicit changes of the vitreous humor of the eye take place faster than retinal detachment.
In case of retinal detachment fluid from the space of the vitreous humor can enter through this rupture and flow in between the retina and back wall of the eye. That separates retina from the back wall, as a result retinal detachment can occur. Part that is detached from retina cannot function normally, therefore sharpness of vision is reduced, and there is a feeling of the "black curtain".
It should be pointed out that other eye diseases can cause detachment of retina, for example, tumours, explicit inflammation processes, complications of diabetes. Ruptures of retina are not characteristic of those, so called, secondary retinal detachments, and main method of treatment able to restore normal condition of the retina, is treatment of the basic disease. Elderly people can observe black dots - the so-called flies and glimmering of light in front of the eye. In most cases these symptoms does not mean serious illness but sudden appearance of flies and flashes of light could indicate pronounced reduction of the amount of vitreous humor and ruptures of retina. Rupture of retina can be established after careful examination of the eye that is done by the ophthalmic doctor. This investigation should be done as soon as possible after the occurrence of symptoms because recent ruptures of retina can be cured without surgery before the complicated retinal detachment takes place. In some cases retinal detachment can begin without observable flies and flashes of light. In these cases patients can notice blurring of the image or also occurrence of dark shadow in the peripheral vision field. If detachment develops further, explicit loss of vision can take place. In some cases detachment can occur suddenly and patient completely looses vision in one eye. Loss of vision of this speed can be attributed to the haemorrhage in the vitreous humor which can occur due to the rupture of the retina.
Examination and Diagnostics
You can't notice detachment of retina by just looking at the eye from the outside, therefore contact ophthalmic doctor as soon as possible after detachment symptoms occur. He will carefully examine retina and internal structures of the eye with special tool - ophthalmoscope. Bright light and magnification caused by this tool will help ophthalmic doctor to establish places where retina is detached and needs to be cured. Also other diagnostic devices and tools can be used for diagnostics: special optic lens, slit lamp and ultrasound devices.
If retinal detachment have occurred, a surgical treatment is necessary. To achieve successful reposition of retina, sealing needs to be carried out. Various forms of surgical operation can be used. Selected option depends on how serious is the detachment.
Newly discovered, recent ruptures of retina without detachment or with slight detachment sometimes are treated with laser by doing cauterization in the form of dots along the edge of the rupture. It creates scars that attach edges of the rupture and disturbs inflow of the fluid and accumulation of the fluid under retina. Surgery with laser is performed ambulatory and does not cause surgical intervention.