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Retinal Detachment

Retina Eye Specialists

Raghu C Murthy, MD

Ophthalmology & Retina Specialist located in South Pasadena, CA

A retinal detachment is always a medical emergency. Without prompt surgery to reattach the retina, you will develop vision loss, and you have a high risk for blindness. Raghu Murthy, MD, FACS, and the experienced team at Retina Eye Specialists offer emergency treatment for retinal detachments. If you experience sudden symptoms such as flashing lights or numerous floaters, you can get the expert eye care you need every day of the week at the offices in South Pasadena, California, offices. Call either office or book an appointment online.

Retinal Detachment Q & A

What is the retina?

The retina is a thin layer of tissue that's sensitive to light. It sits on the back of the eye wall. The retina focuses the light that comes through the eye and turns it into neural impulses, sending those impulses to the brain through the optic nerve.

What is retinal detachment?

Retinal detachment occurs when the retina pulls away from the underlying tissue. It's considered a medical emergency as it can cause permanent blindness if left untreated. 

What causes retinal detachment?

Retinal detachment can be caused by a number of factors, including: 

  • Retinal tear
  • Nearsightedness
  • Thinning of the peripheral retina: Called lattice degeneration
  • Family history
  • Trauma
  • Cataract surgery

Patients who are concerned they may be at risk should contact Retina Eye Specialists to discuss their concerns.

What are the symptoms of retinal detachment?

Retinal detachment can happen slowly or quickly, but any symptoms need to be reported to the team at Retina Eye Specialists right away. Most patients will notice symptoms of posterior vitreous detachment first, which include:

  • Sudden and dramatic increase in floaters
  • Ring of floaters or hairs just outside of the central vision
  • Flashes of light in the extreme peripheral

Posterior vitreous detachments don't mean retinal detachment is imminent, but patients who notice floaters and flashes along with additional symptoms are at higher risk. These symptoms include:

  • Sudden decrease in visual acuity
  • Dense shadow in the peripheral that slowly progresses towards center
  • Feeling that a curtain or veil is drawn over the field of vision
  • Straight lines appearing curved

Patients noticing these symptoms need to make an appointment with Retina Eye Specialists quickly as possible. 

Can retinal detachment be treated?

Spotting warning signs and treating the condition before it develops is the best way to deal with retinal detachment. Retinal tears, which are treated with cryotherapy or laser therapy, can be fixed before they develop into a detachment. If detachment occurs, the team at Retina Eye Specialists can treat it using a variety of options, including:

  • Cryotherapy
  • Laser photocoagulation
  • Pneumatic retinopexy
  • Scleral buckle
  • Vitrectomy

These surgical procedures are highly effective at repairing detachment, and patients will gradually have their vision restored. However, vision may not be as good as it was prior to the detachment, which is why prevention is so important. Contact Retina Eye Specialists for more information.