ABC Medical Center > Retinal detachment

What is Retinal detachment?

21:56 - 4 May , 2021


It is a serious condition in which the retinal tissue detaches from the posterior ocular area where there are blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the retina, seriously hindering vision, so much so that if it is not taken care of, it can cause permanent blindness in the affected eye.

As we get older, the vitreous begins to contract and thin, so it can stick to the retina and when the eye moves, it can detach it.

When the retina begins to detach, symptoms such as random lights and flashes, visual field reduction, spots in the form of flies flying in your visual field, and lateral shadows in the peripheral vision usually appear.

Retinal detachment classification:

  • Rhegmatogenous: it is the most common and usually occurs due to aging, which causes the vitreous to shrink, and eye movement can cause a tear and detach the retina.
  • Due to traction: it is common in people with uncontrolled diabetes and appears when scarring areas grow between the retina and the posterior ocular area, separating them.
  • Serous: there is an accumulation of fluid in the inner retinal area and is usually due to eye injuries, inflammatory diseases, or tumors.

Signs and symptoms Retinal detachment

Although retinal detachment is painless, several symptoms must be considered:

  • Small spots or objects that look like flies flying in the visual field.
  • Seeing lines with the appearance of spiderwebs.
  • Random lights and flashes.
  • Unfocused and blurred vision.
  • Progressively diminished peripheral vision.
  • Grayish shadow in the visual field.

It is important to immediately consult an ophthalmologist before the first symptoms since the longer you wait, the risk of permanently losing your sight increases.

Potential risks:

  • Having had a previous detachment.
  • Direct relative with a history of retinal detachment.
  • Suffer from myopia
  • Having had eye surgeries.
  • Blows and injuries to the eyes.
  • There is an increased risk after being 55.
  • Various eye conditions.

Diagnosis and treatment Retinal detachment

Once your ophthalmologist analyzes your symptoms and clinical history, they will perform a comprehensive eye examination that allows them to visualize the possible retinal detachment. In addition, you can use an ultrasound to support the diagnosis.

The indicated treatment for retinal tears or holes is surgery to prevent them from progressing to detachment, trying to preserve visual capacity:

  • Laser photocoagulation: the tissue surrounding the tear is burned so that it heals and adheres to the retina.
  • Cryopexy: the torn tissue is frozen to fix the retina.

When the detachment has already occurred, there are several surgical alternatives, among which the following stand out:

  • Pneumatic retinopexy: gas is injected to generate a bubble that stops the flow of liquid and the retina is fixed and glued with cryopexy.
  • Scleral introflexion: a silicone band is placed to hold the retina.
  • Vitrectomy: the tissues that pull the retina are removed and gas is injected to fill the space and keep the retina in place.

Two or more surgeries are usually required to completely repair the injury and restore most of the lost visual capacity, although visual damage can sometimes be irreversible.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


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