Retinal Detachment

Retina is the light-sensitive tissue lining the inner surface of the eye which consists of the endings of nervous filaments and melanocytes that transmit images to the brain through the optic nerve.


Retinal Detachment:

Retinal detachment is the peeling away of the retina from its underlying layer of support tissue which leads to sudden blurred vision particularly if the detachment occurs in the center of the retina.


Causes of Retinal Detachment:

1-      Retinal holes or Laceration.

2-      Intraocular infection.

3-      Eye injury.

4-      Complications of eye surgery.

5-      Automatic retinal detachment (for no apparent reason).

6-      Diabetes due to shrinking of fibrous tissue which leads to retinal detachment.


Symptoms of Retinal Detachment:

Patient experiences a black shadow or curtain affects any part of the peripheral vision that begins laterally and grows in size as if a black curtain was drawn over the field of vision.


Treatment of Retinal Detachment:

The only treatment for retinal detachment is through surgical intervention which requires admission since the detachment causes intraocular hemorrhage; therefore, the Ophthalmologist performs vitrectomy and place the retina back through different techniques including scleral buckling, pneumatic retinopexy, or silicon oil injection

Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment:

Is a tear or hole in some places of the retina which is called (rhegmatogenous retinal detachment) or (retinal hole). This can lead to retinal detachment. 


Symptoms of Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment:

1-   Flashes of strong white light like camera flashes seen whether the eye is open or closed.

2-   Numbers of floating black spots.


Causes of Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment:

1-   Eye trauma.

2-   Myopia since people with high level of myopia are more likely to have retinal tears and holes.

3-   Surgical intervention since rhegmatogenous retinal detachment may occur as a complication of eye surgery.


Note: Not necessarily that every tear or hole in the retina leads to retinal detachment.



Treatment of Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment:

If the retinal tears are not associated with retinal detachment, eye surgeon will try to control the tears by making a ring around them using laser or cryotherapy. However, these kinds of treatment will not be effective if there is fluid accumulating between the retina and the eye wall.




Dear Patient:

Remember that the surgeon cannot control the visual acuity and recovery since that mainly depends on the duration between the retinal detachment and surgical intervention, as well as the location of retinal detachment and your compliance postoperatively.



Periodical visit to an Ophthalmologist and early detection of any symptoms.

Wearing goggles especially with violent sports which include blows to the eye.

Diabetes is threatening disease which may cause retinal detachment; therefore, blood sugar should be controlled as much as possible.

Revised FEB 2011

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