Detached Retina

Detached Retina

A detached retina occurs when the lining at the back of the eye starts to pull away from the blood vessels at the back of the eye. This can lead to blindness so should be treated quickly.

Symptoms of a detached retina

Symptoms include the appearance of floaters within the vision. These are dark spots which appear to drift or float in front of the eye. Vision may be blurred and the patient may see flashes of light in the eye or a shaddow across their field of vision

Causes

A detached retina is most often caused by a direct trauma to the eye from a blunt object. It is a common injury in boxers. Age can also increase the likelihood of a detached retina because the retina become weaker and thinner with age.

Tiny holes develop inside the retina which allow fluid (which is normally found between the retina and lens) to seep through. A build up of fluid can cause the retina to start pulling away from the back of the eye where its blood supply is. With a reduced blood supply the cells of the retina will begin to die.

Treatment

If a detached retina is suspected the patient is referred to an eye specialist. They will observe the eye using an Opthalmoscope to view the retina at the back of the eye. An ultrasound scan may also be used to see the back of the eye. Surgery is required to reattach the retina. This is usually completely successful and may only require an overnight hospital stay.

Related Articles

Black Eye

A black eye is a bruising of the soft tissues surrounding the eye. Also known as an eye contusion it usually happens following an impact or trauma to the eye.

Corneal Laceration

A corneal laceration is a tear or cut of the cornea - the front lining of the eyeball. It is usually caused by something sharp flying into the eye, or an impact from something sharp.

Sty (Hordeolum)

A stye which is sometimes called a hordeolum on the eye occurs when a gland on the eyelid becomes infected. This can occur on the inside or outside of the eyelid and looks like a spot or pimple.

Hyphema

Hyphema is bleeding within the front chamber of the eye, between the iris and cornea. This is usually caused by a direct impact to the eye from a blunt object.