The detached retina is a condition when the retina gets disconnected and separates from the back of the eye where the layer of blood vessels provides it oxygen and other nourishment. Retina is the layer of light-sensitive tissues lying at the back of the eye which receives light rays. If not treated for a long time this can cause permanent loss of vision.
The space between retina and eye is filled with a transparent collagen gel which is called vitreous. With time vitreous gets detached from the retina. In the normal situation, it gets separated easily but in some cases, it pulls so hard that it may tear the retina from one or more points. From this tear the fluid from inside the eye flows out causing its detachment from the underlying tissues. It can also be due to some injury in face or eyes, the high degree of nearsightedness, or due to uncontrolled diabetes. Retinal tear shows warning symptoms as sudden appearance and gradual increase of floaters that can be either in the form of spots floating across your vision, or may appear as a cobweb. Sudden flashes of light appearing for almost one second and blurred or distorted vision are also other symptoms. It's evident is more common in people of age between 60 and 70 years.
At initial level when retinal tears have not caused the detachment yet, laser surgery can be used to make minor burns around the retina to weld it back in its position. Cryopexy is another treatment option where a freezing probe is applied to the tear which causes the retina to freeze in its position, covering the tear.
Following are the surgical methods used to fix a detached retina.
Pneumatic retinopexy is a procedure where an air bubble or gas is injected into the eye that applies pressure and pushes the retina towards the eyewall and stops the flow of fluid.
Another type involves placing a flexible band (scleral buckle) around the eye that counters any force trying to detach the retina. The doctor also drains out the fluid causing detachment and retinal return to its position.
Vitrectomy is an eye correction surgery in which the vitreous gel is removed from the eye and is replaced with an oil bubble, which also has to be removed after a certain period of time. Scleral buckle may also be included in this surgery.
In most cases, these treatment options go successful and vision returns completely in few months, but in some severe cases, there remains partial vision loss. Therefore, one must attend to the problem as soon as the symptoms start appearing.