A retinal detachment occurs when the retina, which is located at the back of the eye tears away from its normal position. It is an emergency situation that requires immediate medical attention by an ophthalmologist. Otherwise, the risk of permanent vision loss in the affected eye increases as the retina is starved of oxygen and nourishment.
Warning Signs to Be Aware Of
There is no pain with a retinal detachment. Therefore, it is essential to know the warning signs that one is about to occur, including:
- The sudden appearance of many new floaters. These are tiny specks that “float” around your field of vision and may suddenly appear like they are raining down like a shower.
- Photopsia, which is the flashing of light in one or both your eyes. This can happen as nerve connections are severed during the detachment.
- Reduced vision, which may include blurred vision, a decrease in peripheral vision, or what seems like a curtain-like shadow coming down over your visual field.
Are You at Risk for a Retinal Detachment?
A retinal detachment can occur at any time. It can be caused by blunt trauma to the eye. However, it is commonly associated with aging or certain medical conditions like diabetes or macular degeneration. Your risk for experiencing a retinal detachment increases if:
- You are over 50 years old.
- You have experienced a detachment before.
- You have family members who have had retinal detachments.
- You are extremely near-sighted.
- You have had a serious eye injury.
- You have had cataract removal or another type of eye surgery.
- You have experienced other eye conditions like uveitis, retinoschisis, or peripheral retina.
If you experience any warning signs or symptoms of a retinal detachment, you need to act fast to save your vision. Don’t wait, call Valley Eyecare Center at (602) 955-2700 to speak with one of our eye doctors and schedule an immediate appointment.