At Ophthalmology Associates of Western New York, we offer treatments for a variety of different eye diseases and disorders.

One problem that we often help patients with is retinal detachment, a potentially serious issue that can result in permanent vision loss if not treated.

It’s important to have this condition diagnosed and dealt with as soon as possible, and if you live in the WNY area, one of our eye doctors can help.

What is Retinal Detachment?

retinal detachmentYour retina, located inside of your eye, is responsible for sending visual messages from your eye up through your optic nerve to your brain. It’s a light-sensitive layer of tissue that sits in the lining inside of your eye playing an important role in your overall vision.

In retinal detachment, your retina detaches from your eye when it is pulled away from its usual position.

There are several different types of retinal detachment, including rhegmatogenous retinal detachment, tractional retinal detachment, and exudative retinal detachment.

  • Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment, widely regarded as the most common type of retinal detachment, occurs when fluid gets in under your retina due to a tear or break.
  • Tractional retinal detachment occurs when scar tissue on your eye’s retina contracts and pulls the retina away from the eye.
  • Exudative retinal detachment occurs when an injury takes place to the eye or it faces an inflammatory disorder.

All three types of retinal detachment require immediate care, and if you believe you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your WNY eye doctor right away.

Causes of Retinal Detachment

From family history to previous eye injuries, there are a variety of factors that can increase your changes of retinal detachment. 

Retinal detachment can affect anyone, but it is often associated with white Americans over the age of 40. Men are also most likely to suffer from retinal detachment.

  • Retinal detachment often shows up in people who are nearsighted or have had a retinal detachment in their other eye.
  • There are also indications that family history may play a role in retinal detachment, and cataract surgery will sometimes increase your chances of developing retinal detachment.
  • Injuries and eye disorders are also common causes of retinal detachment.

Symptoms of Retinal Detachment

floaters and flashesThere are several symptoms that might affect those dealing with retinal detachment.

  • People dealing with this condition might see an increased number of floaters which are specks that float directly into your line of vision.
  • They also might also see something similar to a curtain dropping down on their line of vision.

If you experience what you believe to be a retinal detachment, you should visit a WNY eye doctor right away. Retinal detachment is a medical emergency and should be treated as quickly as possible.

Detection of Retinal Detachment

To detect whether or not you are dealing with retinal detachment, a WNY eye doctor will run through a series of questions about the symptoms you are facing.

  • A doctor will inspect your eyes and test your visual acuity and peripheral vision.
  • They will then examine your retina using ophthalmoscopy, at which point they will be able to tell whether or not you have retinal detachment.

Treatment of Retinal Detachment

There are several different treatment methods used for those who are diagnosed with retinal detachment.

  • If you only have a small tear in your retina, laser surgery or a freeze treatment, commonly known as cryopexy, can be used to reattach your retina.

More serious retinal detachment situations might require extensive eye surgery.

  • A doctor might need to reattach your retina using a scleral buckle which is a synthetic band that can bind your retina back to your eye.
  • A procedure called a vitrectomy can also be used to treat retinal detachment. It involves making a small incision in the eye and removing the gel-like vitreous inside of the eye before filling the eye with gas and reattaching the retina.

As a result of advances in eye surgery, over 90 percent of people diagnosed with retinal detachment can successfully be treated.

However, it might take more than one treatment to reattach a retina.

There is also always a chance that vision can be impacted following retinal detachment which is why it’s important to have treatment for retinal detachment done as soon as possible. The earlier it is dealt with it, the better chance you have of making a full recovery.

Contact a WNY Eye Doctor

Do you believe that you are currently dealing with retinal detachment? Contact a WNY eye doctor at Ophthalmology Associates of Western New York at 716-632-3545 today to seek diagnosis and treatment.