Retinal detachment develops due to tears or holes in the retina. It is frequently seen in patients with high myopia. It may develop at any age but more in middle-aged and elderly people.
The retinal layer becomes strained as the eye's anteroposterior diameter increases and the strained area starts to thin and break down. Sporadic thinning and breaking down can occur around the retina in some familial or degenerative diseases and infections too. Meanwhile, the vitreous gel starts to lose its homogeneity and deteriorate for the same reasons; the gel's consistency changes and it slowly separates from the retina. This separation is called vitreous detachment. The vitreous tissue shrinks and becomes opaque at places; as it passes the eye's visual axis, the person perceives this as eye floaters or a curtain of smoke. Retinal detachment may lead to partial or total loss of vision if not treated without delay by a doctor who is experienced in retinal diseases.
Causes and Symptoms of Retinal Detachment
If untreated, retinal diseases may result in permanent blindness. Symptoms such as glare, floaters or sudden loss of vision may indicate a significant eye disease like retinal detachment. Results which may lead to loss of vision can be prevented through early diagnosis, detailed examination and a timely - and most important of all, accurate - treatment. Retinal surgeries are major operations which require important sterilization measures and use of high technology and otherwise may result in loss of vision.
When the macula (the eye's visual center) separates from the tissue underneath, central vision is lost. In long-term detachment, intraocular balances are disrupted and the eyeball starts to get smaller. Sudden, severe or perforating trauma to the eye can be a cause of detachment. In diabetes and some degenerative diseases, strands are formed in the vitreous that pull away at the retina, leading to traction-related detachment. Though rare, detachments may develop without any tearing in the eye, as in certain infections, tumors and especially hypertensive crises that occur during pregnancy.