The eye has a series of parts that work together to achieve vision. Every part is necessary for vision and seeing to be possible.
Some parts are more important than others. If these parts don’t function as they should, you can’t see.
One of these things is a retinal detachment. Keep reading to learn more about what happens if a retinal detachment occurs!
How parts of the eye work
The cornea, which is the transparent tissue that sits over the pupil, focuses much of the light that enters the eye. This is so vision can be clear.
If the cornea is misshapen or damaged, it can be corrected with surgery or glasses. If the lens, located behind the pupil and focuses the rest of the light, gets old or develops cataracts, it can be removed and replaced. The retina is different and isn’t replaceable.
The retina is a very thin layer of tissue that coats the rear interior wall of the eye. It carries thousands of cells that are light sensitive.
The light that is focused by the cornea and lens comes to a point on the retina. This transmits the information gathered to the brain via the optic nerve.
The retina is quite fragile, and damage to it can be severe. One of the problems you may face is a retinal detachment.
What is a retinal detachment?
Retinal detachment is exactly what it sounds like. Certain things such as disease, injury, or age can weaken the retina and cause it to partially, or totally, lift from the back of the eye.
This leads to sudden and obvious issues with your vision. You may experience symptoms like:
- An increase in “floaters” in your vision
- Bright flashes in your eyes
- A curtain forming around your peripheral vision
- A shadow across the middle of your vision
If you notice these symptoms, go to the emergency room. Damage from retinal detachment occurs quickly. It may lead to permanent vision loss or blindness if it’s left untreated.
How does retinal detachment happen?
There are three types of retinal detachment. These differ based on how they cause the process to start.
- Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment occurs when a small tear forms in the retina. Any opening in the retina can allow the fluid inside of your eye to leak behind the retina. This lifts the fluid from the back of the eye. This is the most common form of retinal detachment, as it is primarily caused by aging. The retina simply becomes weaker as a result of aging and may shrink, or even change in texture.
- Tractional retinal detachment occurs due to scar tissue pulling on the retina. This is typically seen in diabetic patients. High blood sugar can damage the blood vessels in your eyes, causing them to bleed and heal over.
- Exudative retinal detachment occurs because of fluid buildup behind the retina. This can happen even when there are no tears. This can also be the result of leaky blood vessels if they open behind the retina.
You can treat retinal detachment, but you need to act fast. Contact your local opticians or eye hospital if you have any symptoms.