Ophthalmologist examining an eye.

What is retinal detachment?

Retinal detachment is a serious eye condition. If not treated, it may result in permanent loss of vision. It occurs when the retina, the tissue located at the back of the eye responsible for processing light and allowing us to see, pulls away from the back wall of the ye and no longer works effectively.

Common symptoms associated with retinal detachment

Retinal detachment does not cause any pain, therefore, you may not be fully aware of the presence of the condition until you notice some changes in your vision.

Symptoms can occur gradually or suddenly and typically include:

  • loss of peripheral (side) vision
  • a veil or curtain over the side of vision
  • the sudden appearance of floaters or flecks
  • flashes of light
  • the blurring of vision

Who is at risk of retinal detachment?

Whilst a retinal detachment can most commonly occur as a result of a retinal tear (from a posterior vitreous detachment), a direct eye injury or trauma can also be a major cause.

In addition short-sighted people (myopia), those presenting with Sticklers syndrome and complications from previous eye surgery procedures can increase the risk of retinal detachment occurring. Those over the age of 50 years are also at greater risk.

How are retinal detachments treated?

An eye examination is needed to diagnose retinal detachment. Early diagnosis is key to preventing vision loss and when treatment is necessary Westside Eye Clinic is here to help.

Eye surgery will be required to treat a retinal detachment which involves reattaching the retina to the back of the eye and sealing any tears or holes that may be present. The specific type of surgery most suitable for you will depend on the type and location of the detachment and any complicating factors, such as other eye conditions you have.

Treatment options can vary but typically involve:

  • Vitrecotomy surgery which utilises laser and or cryotherapy, or
  • Scleral buckle surgery where the retinal tear is repaired with cryotherapy/ laser.

Treatments are highly successful in repairing retinal detachment. The level to which vision is restored can vary mostly in part to the location of the detachment, the length of time in which the condition has been present and the extent of the damage. This is why it is so important that you make an appointment to see a specialist eye doctor as soon as any symptoms are noticed or if you have concerns about your vision.

Give Westside Eye Clinic in West Brisbane a call to organise a one on one no obligation consultation with Dr Joseph Park to discuss your situation.