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Retinal Detachment

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    Retinal detachment is a separation of the light-sensitive membrane in the back of the eye (the retina) from its supporting layers. Retinal detachment may be caused by trauma, the aging process, severe diabetes, or an inflammatory disorder, but it frequently occurs spontaneously. In pre-term babies, retinal detachment can be caused by retinopathy of prematurity (abnormalities of the retina associated with being born prematurely).
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    Use protective eye wear to prevent eye trauma. Control your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes. See your eye care specialist at least yearly, especially if you have risk factors for retinal detachment.
    Source: Provisu look Retinal detachment (


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    Bright flashes of light, especially in peripheral vision Translucent specks of various shapes (floaters) in the eye Blurred vision Shadow or blindness in a part of the visual field of one eye
    Source: Provisu look Retinal detachment (


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    Retinal detachments are usually found because the patient calls the doctors office with a symptom listed above. It is critical that these problems are reported early, because early treatment can greatly improve the chance of restoring vision.

    The doctor makes the diagnosis of a retinal detachment after thoroughly examining the retina with ophthalmoscopy. The retinal surgeons first concern is to determine whether the macula (the center of the retina) is attached. This is critical because the macula is responsible for the central vision. Whether or not the macula is attached determines the type of corrective surgery required and the patients chances of having functional vision after the operation.

    Ultrasound imaging of the eye is also very useful for the doctor to see additional detail of the condition of the retina from several angles.
    Source: Provisu look Retinal detachment Information (


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    Laser surgery may be used to seal the tears or holes in the retina, which generally precede detachment. Another technique, the application of intense cold with an ice probe (known as cryopexy), leads to the formation of a scar that holds the retina to the underlying layer. This technique is used in combination with the injection of a gas bubble and the maintenance of specific head positions to prevent the re-accumulation fluid behind the retina. If the retina is already detached, surgery is required. Some detachments can be repaired by placing a gas bubble in the eye to float the retina back into place (pneumatic retinopexy), followed by laser surgery to permanently fix it in place. This is often done in the office. More extensive detachments may require surgery in the operating room. The goal of such surgery may be to indent the wall of the eye (scleral buckle) or remove vitreous gel or scar tissue pulling on the retina using microsurgery (vitrectomy).
    Source: Provisu look Retinal detachment (


Source: Provisu look Retinal detachment (

A slit-lamp, which is a specialized magnifying microscope, is used to examine the structures of the eye (including the cornea, iris, vitreous, and retina). The slit-lamp is used to examine, treat (with a laser), and photograph (with a camera) the eye.

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Last modified: Jan 2014
Creation: Aug 2005