A retinal detachment is a disorder in which the retina peels away from its underlying layer of support tissue. This could lead to vision loss and blindness if untreated, and is almost always classified as a medical emergency. Type of treatment depends on the location of the retinal break and the size of the detachment. In-office, pneumatic retinopexy can be performed with 75% success, eliminating the need for outpatient surgery. Outpatient surgery (vitrectomy, laser, gas) typically involves a longer recovery period, but with 90% success.
Sign and Symptoms.
A retinal detachment is commonly preceded by a posterior vitreous detachment, which gives rise to these symptoms:
-Flashes of light (photopsia)
-A sudden dramatic increase in the number of floaters
-A ring of floaters or hairs just to the temporal (skull) side of the central vision
Although most posterior vitreous detachments do not progress to retinal detachments, those that do produce the following symptoms:
– A dense shadow that starts in the peripheral vision and slowly progresses towards the central vision
-Straight lines (scale, edge of the wall, road, etc.) that suddenly appear curved (positive Amsler grid test)
-Central visual loss
In the event of sudden flashes of light or floaters, call immediately.