The retina, which contains photosensitive receptors, lies at the back of your eyes. It converts light into nerve signals, which your optic nerve carries to the brain for interpretation. Any retinal irregularities, particularly its detachment, may impair your eyesight. Let Dr. Joel H. McGahen, OD, your trusted optometrist, discuss this condition in detail.
How It Happens
The vitreous refers to the gel-like sac in your eyes’ middle region. Aging and other eye conditions may cause it to sag, pulling your retina away from its underlying blood vessel layer. This may result in a condition known as retinal tears. When the vitreous fluids start to leak, they may find their way through the tear and accumulate under your retina. This may eventually cause the latter to completely detach from its position, losing its blood supply.
Who Are at Risk
Retinal detachment is more common among individuals who are older than 50 years old. Family history is also a major risk factor for its development. Those who have had eye injuries or surgeries are at a higher risk of having it later on as well. Individuals who are severely nearsighted or have frequent prescription changes for their eyeglasses or contact lenses are more likely to develop this condition too.
How It Affects Your Visual Health
While retinal detachment is painless, it may cause significant eyesight changes. For one, you may suddenly notice floaters across your visual field. Seeing light flashes and a curtain-like shadow is also a common occurrence. You may develop blurry central vision or limited peripheral visual access as well.
Ways To Manage It
If you experience any of these symptoms, visit your reliable eye doctor right away. We may first perform an eye exam to check for signs of retinal tears or detachment. Upon confirming this condition, we may suggest performing laser surgery to seal the retina back in its original place. Applying a scleral buckle may also be effective to resist the vitreous’ pulling force.
For more information about retinal detachment, call us at (717) 609-4443. You may also complete our form to request an appointment. We serve Chambersburg and the surrounding PA areas.