The retina is a thin, transparent tissue of light sensitive nerve fibers and cells, which covers the inside wall of the eye. When the retina becomes separated from the wall or tears, that part cannot work properly.
Several symptoms are associated with detached or torn retinas and may include
- Blurred vision or blind spots and floaters
- Flashes of light
- Dark shadows in side vision or total vision loss
Along with normal aging, detachments and tears may be caused by eye inflammations, complications from diabetes, tumors, injuries.
Surgery is the only treatment for detached or torn retinas and may be accomplished one of three ways.
Small burns which form scar tissue are placed around the edge of the tear to prevent fluid from passing through and collecting under the retina. No surgical incision is preformed.
It is freezing the eye wall behind the retina to form scar tissue and seal the edges of the tear. Similar to the laser treatment but requires an anesthesia to numb the eye.
Depending on the extent of the tear or detachment, the fluids might be drained from behind the retina and then the wall is pushed up against the retina. The amount of sight restored from a reattached retina varies depending on the length of time the retina was detached. Over 90% of all retinal detachments can be reattached successfully with modern surgical techniques.