What is retinal detachment?

Retinal detachment is an eye disease caused by the mechanical separation of the neurosensory retina (inner retinal layer) from the pigment epithelium (outer retinal layer).
It is a serious visual problem that can occur at any age, although it usually occurs in middle-aged or elderly individuals. It tends to be more common in people who are short-sighted or in those who have had a previous retinal disorder.
It is very important to make a diagnosis as quickly as possible, as the chances of improvement are greater if the macula or central area of the retina is not detached.


• Sudden appearance of hoverflies or a sudden increase in the number of existing flies.
• Appearance of flashes of light.
• Vision of a shadow on one side of the visual field.
• Vision of a moving grey curtain in the middle of the field of vision.
• A sudden decrease in vision.


Laser and cryotherapy: Most retinal tears must be treated by attaching the retina to the back wall of the eye. Both laser (photocoagulation) and cryotherapy (freezing treatment) create a scar that helps fix the retina to the back of the eye. This prevents fluid from passing through the tear and prevents the retina from detaching.
Surgery: The method of retinal fixation depends on the characteristics of the detachment:

Scleral surgery: a cerclage (ring) is applied to the outermost wall of the eye to counteract the traction forces on the retina and help the retina move towards its normal position.
Vitrectomy: a surgical technique in which the vitreous (the gel that fills the eye cavity) is removed in order to work directly on the retina so that it can be reapplied. This last surgical technique is used for various vitreoretinal pathologies.

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