Retinal detachment is an eye condition that can be vision-threatening if left untreated. A retinal detachment happens when the retina, a thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye, pulls away from its normal position.
A detached retina requires immediate attention to preserve sight. Keep reading to learn the signs of retinal detachment!
Symptoms That Can Indicate a Retinal Detachment
Floaters can often be a sign of retinal detachment. Floaters are dark spots or squiggles in your vision and are often described as looking like spiderwebs or smoke.
Having floaters does not necessarily mean you have a retinal detachment. However, raining floaters or a significant increase in floaters can indicate a retinal detachment.
Other common symptoms of retinal detachment are seeing flashes of light or a dark shadow or curtain across your vision. If you notice any of these symptoms, visit your eye doctor immediately to ensure your vision is not a risk of retinal detachment.
What Does The Retina Do?
The retina is a thin layer of light-sensitive cells in the back of the eye. A healthy retina is essential for clear vision.
The retina is responsible for converting the light that enters your eye into electrical signals. These electrical signals are then sent to the brain via the optic nerve.
This information is then formed into an image in the brain so that you can see.
How Do Floaters Develop?
The eye is filled with a gel-like substance called the vitreous. As the eye ages, parts of the vitreous can clump together.
When the clumps become large enough, they cast shadows on the retina. These clumps appear as floaters, like dark spots or squiggles, that slide across your field of vision when you try to focus on them.
Floaters can be a natural part of the eye’s aging process or signify something more serious, like a retinal detachment. If you notice new floaters, it is always best to be seen for an evaluation by your eye doctor as soon as possible.
How Retinal Detachments Begin
A retinal detachment happens when the retina pulls away from the back of the eye. It’s a serious condition as it can cause permanent vision loss.
A retinal tear is another eye condition that can lead to a retinal detachment if not treated. It can occur after an eye injury when a small hole or tear forms in the retina.
A retinal tear can allow fluid to enter beneath the retina layer. If this fluid builds up, it can cause the retina to detach from the supportive tissue at the back of the eye and cause a retinal detachment.
One sign of a retinal tear is an increase in floaters. Treating the retinal tear early can prevent it from growing larger and leading to retinal detachment.
Risk Factors For A Retinal Detachment
As you age, your risk for retinal detachment increases. You’re also at higher risk if you have an eye injury or certain procedures like cataract surgery.
Certain eye conditions like significant nearsightedness, thinning of the retina, or a history of retinal tears or detachments in the other eye can also raise your risk.
Preventing Retinal Detachment
The first line of defense against retinal detachments is knowing what to look for. Early treatment of a retinal tear or retinal detachment can preserve your eyesight.
If you have any of the risk factors above, make an appointment with your eye doctor and report your symptoms. Your annual comprehensive eye exam is the best way to identify an eye condition early before it becomes a serious problem that threatens your sight.
Are you ready to visit your eye doctor to learn more about the signs of retinal detachment? Schedule an appointment at EyeHealth Northwest in Portland, OR, today!