Did you know that it’s possible for the retina to lift away from the back of the eye? This is known as retinal detachment, and it prevents the retina from working correctly, which can cause blurry vision. If that sounds like a temporary inconvenience, think again. If your retina becomes detached and you don’t visit an eye doctor ASAP, you could permanently lose your sight in that eye. Watch out for the symptoms of retinal detachment, and notify your eye doctor if you spot any concerning changes.
How Can the Retina Detach from the Eye?
Our eyes contain a jelly-like substance called vitreous, which fills the middle portion of the eye and moves around as the eye moves. As we age, the vitreous shrinks and grows thinner. Sometimes it may stick to the retina and pull at it, which can cause a tear. Then, fluid may flow through the tear and lift the retina away from its normal position, causing retinal detachment. However, this isn’t the only way retinal detachment can occur. It may also result from (1) scar tissue on the retina’s surface or (2) fluid accumulation beneath the retina that isn’t related to retinal holes or tears.
When retinal detachment occurs, the retinal cells are separated from essential blood vessels that provide the eye with oxygen and nourishment. The longer the retina is separated from the blood vessels, the more likely it is that the person will suffer from permanent vision loss in that eye.
Symptoms of Retinal Detachment
You should always be paying attention to changes in your vision. Although retinal detachment is typically painless, it usually presents warning signs. If you notice any of the following symptoms of retinal detachment, call your eye doctor immediately:
- Blurry Vision
- Sudden Flashes of Light (Some say this experience is similar to “seeing stars” after being punched in the eye.)
- Sudden Floaters (They may look like specks, lines, or even cobwebs that float through your field of vision.)
- Reduced Peripheral (Side) Vision
- A Gray Curtain-Like Shadow in Your Field of Vision
Although everyone should watch out for signs of this dangerous condition, some people are more likely than others to suffer from a detached retina. You should be extra cognizant of these symptoms if you have any of the following criteria:
- You’re over age 50.
- You’re extremely near-sighted.
- You’ve previously had a cataract, glaucoma, or other eye surgery.
- You take glaucoma medications that make your pupils small.
- You’ve suffered from a retinal tear or detachment previously.
- You have a family history of retinal detachment.
- You’ve sustained a serious eye injury.
- Your eye doctor spotted weak spots on your retina during an eye exam.
Retinal detachment is a serious eye condition that can result in permanent vision loss. If you notice any of the symptoms of retinal detachment but you aren’t able to contact your eye doctor right away, have someone drive you to the ER immediately.
Are you experiencing any of the symptoms of retinal detachment? If you live in southwest Missouri, contact Heffington’s for help. Since 1975, the Heffington family has been assisting the Springfield community with top-quality eye care and affordable eyeglasses and contacts. One of the unique features of our family-owned business is that we manufacture lenses at our own laboratory, giving us total control over the service and pricing, and we’re happy to pass our savings on to you. To learn more about our products and services, please get in touch with us online, send an email to [email protected], or give us a call at 417-869-3937 (Optiland location) or 417-882-3937 (House of Vision location). We look forward to hearing from you!