The sudden onset of flashes or floaters, or a sudden increase in floaters, can be the sign of a serious conditions such as retinal tear or retinal detachment. Retinal detachment can cause blindness, and needs to be treated immediately to prevent long-term consequences. The team at Retina Consultants of Orange County offers state-of-the-art services in diagnosis and treatment for retinal tears or detachments.
Retinal Detachments Q & A
What is the retina?
The retina is a thin layer of tissue that's sensitive to light. It sits on the back of the eye wall. The retina focuses the light that comes through the eye and turns it into neural impulses, sending those impulses to the brain through the optic nerve.
What is retinal detachment?
Retinal detachment occurs when the retina pulls away from the underlying tissue. It's considered a medical emergency as it can cause permanent blindness if left untreated.
What causes retinal detachment?
Retinal detachment can be caused by a number of factors, including:
Patients who are concerned they may be at risk should contact Retina Consultants of Orange County to discuss their concerns.
- Retinal tear
- Thinning of the peripheral retina: Called lattice degeneration
- Family history
- Cataract surgery
What are the symptoms of retinal detachment?
Retinal detachment can happen slowly or quickly, but any symptoms need to be reported to an ophthalmologist at Retina Consultants of Orange County right away. Most patients will notice symptoms of posterior vitreous detachment first, which include:
Posterior vitreous detachments don't mean retinal detachment is imminent, but patients who notice floaters and flashes along with additional symptoms are at higher risk. These symptoms include:
- Sudden and dramatic increase in floaters
- Ring of floaters or hairs just outside of the central vision
- Flashes of light in the extreme peripheral
Patients noticing these symptoms need to make an appointment with Retinal Consultants of Orange County as quickly as possible.
- Sudden decrease in visual acuity
- Dense shadow in the peripheral that slowly progresses towards center
- Feeling that a curtain or veil is drawn over the field of vision
- Straight lines appearing curved
Can retinal detachment be treated?
Spotting warning signs and treating the condition before it develops is the best way to deal with retinal detachment. Retinal tears, which are treated with cryotherapy or laser therapy, can be fixed before they develop into a detachment. If detachment occurs, the team at Retinal Consultants of Orange County can treat it using a variety of options, including:
These surgical procedures are highly effective at repairing detachment, and patients will gradually have their vision restored. However, vision may not be as good as it was prior to the detachment, which is why prevention is so important. Contact Retinal Consultants of Orange County for more information.
You can learn more about Retinal Detachments here.
- Laser photocoagulation
- Pneumatic retinopexy
- Scleral buckle