The retina is a thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye.
It contains millions of cells called rods and cones cells which are designed to receive and organize visual information. This information travels from your retina, through your optic nerve to your brain, whose job is to translate the information and enable you to see. And it all takes place in milliseconds. Amazing!
Your retina, this postage stamp sized piece of tissue, is integral to vision and deserves our attention. Here is what you need to know about retinal detachments. Tears and detachment of the retina are painless, but are usually accompanied by some warning signs that can help you react. Take a moment to familiarize yourself, and if you experience any of the following symptoms call your eye doctor right away, describe what is happening and ask for an emergency appointment. If your eye doctor is unavailable, a visit to the emergency room is necessary.
Symptoms that can accompany retinal tears and detachment:
- Flashes of light
- New/more floaters; specks and threads that appear in your field of vision
- It may seem like a shadow or a curtain has been pulled across your eye
- Your vision becomes blurred
- You have reduced peripheral vision
This may sound alarming, but if you have any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
Your quick reaction and a laser procedure may enable you to recover without any long-term damage to your vision.
There are factors that could increase your risk:
- Over 50 years of age
- Severe myopia
- Family history of retinal detachment
- Previous eye surgery such as cataract removal
- Past eye injuries
- Previous eye diseases such as uveitis
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Previous retinal detachment
While there is no way to prevent retinal detachments, there are some measures you can take to reduce your risk:
- Don’t smoke
- Protect your eyes with sports goggles
- If you have diabetes manage your sugar-levels and have regular check-ups with your eye doctor
See your Optometrist annually for a comprehensive eye examination and to discuss how to maintain your best eye health. Book now!