The symptoms of retinal detachment are very important to understand. Because retinal detachment is painless, it is vital you recognize the warning signs and symptoms. If left untreated for long enough it results in total vision lost in the affected eye or eyes. Retinal detachment symptoms are fairly pronounced and easy to spot. Here are the major symptoms to watch out for, if you experience any or all of these then see your doctor as soon as possible.
Retinal Detachment Symptoms Include
Sudden flashes of light in the affected eye.
The appearance of many “floaters” or small bits of debris in your field of vision. They can look like spots, small hairs or strings that float around in your vision.
A looming shadow or curtain of darkness in your field of vision. This develops as the retinal detachment progresses and gets progressively worse when gone untreated.
It is vital to seek immediate medical attention if you suffer from any of these symptoms of retinal detachment. Left untreated you can permanently lose your vision.
Definition of Retinal Detachment
Retinal detachment describes the condition where the tissue at the back of the eye, the retina, pulls away or detaches from the layer of blood vessels. These blood vessels are responsible for providing nourishment and oxygen to the retina.
When you suffer from retinal detachment it leaves your retina cells void of oxygen. Left untreated for a period of time the symptoms get progressively worse and the end result is permanent vision loss. Thankfully the symptoms of retinal detachment are quite clear and easy to detect. If you diagnose this problem early enough you can remedy the situation and save your vision.
Causes of Retinal Detachment
Some of the causes of retinal detachment can include:
Injury to the eye
Chronic inflammation affecting the eye
Vitreous shrinkage, causing a tugging on the retina leading to a tear and eventual detachment
How it Occurs
When the vitreous fluid leaks through the retinal tear and collects under the retina.
These holes or tears occur for a number of reasons.
As we age our retina tissue can thin, leaving us more vulnerable to retinal tears. Retinal issues can have the same effect. When the vitreous fluid leaks through the tears in the retina it builds up between the blood vessels and the retina. Slowly separating the tissue from the blood vessels, leaving the retinal tissue void of oxygen and nourishment. This causes loss of vision, gradually at first because only pieces of the retinal tissue will separate at first.
If you suffer from an inflammatory condition then the fluid can accumulate between the retina and blood vessels without a tear.
Age Related Retinal Detachment
Throughout the aging process the vitreous fluid can change in consistency and shrink. When the vitreous separates from the retinal surface it is a condition called Posterior Vitreous Detachment or PVD.
PVD causes a tugging on the retina, with enough force this results in a tear in the retina. This allows the vitreous fluid to pass through the tear and separate the retina from the blood vessels. This results in retinal detachment symptoms such as flashes of light and floaters in your field of vision.
Risk Factors of Retinal Detachment
If you fall into any of these risk factors of retinal detachment it is more likely you will suffer from it yourself. Stay alert and look for the symptoms of retinal detachment to catch it early and have it treated before permanent vision loss occurs.
Most common among those over the age of 40
Have a family history of retinal detachment
Have previously suffered from retinal detachment
Have undergone eye surgery
Severe injury or trauma to an eye
Suffer from another eye disorder
If any of these pertain to you, whether it was years ago or quite recently. It is essential to watch for the signs and symptoms of retinal detachment to prevent permanent vision loss.