Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachment occurs when the retina is lifted or pulled from the wall of the eye. If not treated immediately, a retinal detachment can cause permanent vision loss. A retinal detachment is a medical emergency. Anyone experiencing the symptoms of a retinal detachment should call our office immediately.

Symptoms of retinal detachment

  • The appearance of a curtain over the field of vision.
  • Seeing light flashes
  • Wavy or watery vision
  • A sudden decrease in vision
  • A sudden increase in the number of floaters in the field of vision

Who is most at risk for retinal detachment?

  • Those who are very nearsighted
  • The elderly
  • People with a family history of retinal detachment
  • Those who have had cataract surgery
  • Patients with diabetes or other eye disorders

Treatment for retinal detachment

Retinal detachments are treated with surgery that may require a hospital stay. In some cases, a scleral buckle, a tiny synthetic band, is attached to the outside of the eyeball to gently push the wall of the eye against the detached retina. If necessary, Dr. Vold may also perform a vitrectomy. Vitrectomy is a procedure in which Dr. Vold removes the vitreous humor (clear fluid behind the natural lens) and replaces it with a gas that pushes the retina back onto the wall of the eye. Over time the eye produces new fluid that replaces the gas. In both of these procedures Dr. Vold uses either a laser or a cryopexy (a freezing device) to “weld” the retina back in place.