Critical Vision Consulting: An Optometry Blog

Critical Vision Consulting: An Optometry Blog

An Overview Of The 3 Main Types Of Retinal Detachment

Enni Marttila

Retinal detachment is a serious condition that requires surgical treatment to prevent permanent loss of vision. A complete or partial detachment of the retina from the back of the eye prevents the brain from receiving clear images from the retina. This causes you to experience a degree of vision loss and visual disturbances, such as blurred vision and floaters and flashes. Here's an overview of the three main types of retinal detachment and current corrective surgery options:

Types Of Retinal Detachment

Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment occurs as a result of tears in the retina, which provide a way for the fluid in your eye to travel to the area behind your retina. As the fluid builds up, the pressure created causes your retina to detach from the membrane at the back of the eye. This type of retinal detachment is often caused by your body's natural ageing process. As you age, hormonal changes can cause damage to the cells in your retina.

Traction detachment is most often seen in those with type 2 diabetes. High blood sugar can damage the blood vessels in the retina, and this causes scar tissue to develop. Over time, the scar tissue can tighten and pull the retina, and this can cause complete or partial detachment.

Exudative detachment is caused by inflammatory disorders that affect the eye. The blood vessels at the rear of the retina become swollen, and the pressure created by this causes retinal detachment.

Treatment Options

As you don't tend to experience pain with retinal detachment, the condition is often diagnosed when a marked change in vision prompts patients to book an eye test. Your optometrist can diagnose retinal detachment during a standard eye exam, and they will refer you to an ophthalmologist for treatment.

There are three main treatment options for retinal detachment. A laser can be used to bind the retina to the back of the eye, and this is known as photocoagulation. A similar treatment option involves the use of a probe that freezes the tissue at the back of your eye. This causes scarring, and the scarring creates a seal that holds the retina in place. This treatment is known as cryoplexy. Alternatively, your doctor may recommend retinoplexy. This involves placing a gas bubble inside your eye to push the retina back into the correct position and hold it there.

You don't have to wait until you're due your next eye test to see your optometrist. If you're experiencing any visual disturbances or notice your vision has declined, contact your optometrist. 


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About Me
Critical Vision Consulting: An Optometry Blog

Welcome to my blog. My name is Matthew, and my blog focuses on everything related to optometry, with an emphasis on making the most of your vision consultations with your optometrists. Although I am not an optometrist, I have been involved in the industry for years as a glasses wearer. I hope that the facts, ideas and range of posts about optometry here help you, and if you share them, I hope they help your friends as well. When I'm not typing on a computer, I love to do woodworking, ski, read, follow politics and spend time with my family.