Retinal detachment is a serious medical emergency, and unless you seek immediate treatment, you can lose your vision. There isn’t much you can do to prevent it from happening, but there are precautions you can take for protecting your eyes from retinal detachment.
What Is Retinal Detachment?
The thin layer of light sensitive tissue in the back of your eye known as the retina can move out of position or become separated from the tissue that supports it. It can occur instantaneously without any warning, and suddenly you can’t see out of that eye.
There are three basic types of detachment:
A tear in the retina can be caused by aging. When we get older, the vitreous, or clear gel that fills our eyes, can contract and shrink and pull on the retina. If that happens, the vitreous fluid seeps out and behind the retina.
A tractional type is caused by diabetes. The high blood sugar damages our blood vessels and can cause scarring on the retina. If the scar becomes too big, it can pull on the retina and detach.
Exudative is another type of detachment. Here, fluid builds up and gets trapped behind the retina. The retina can be pushed out of position and it detaches. This is normally caused by a tumor in the eye, an injury, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and inflammation.
Precautions To Prevent Retinal Detachment
Since you cannot prevent a retinal detachment from happening, the next best thing is to know your risk factors and be knowledgeable of a few of the indications that signal one is coming.
Risk factors can include being older than 50, being extremely nearsighted, having a history of a severe eye injury, having had eye surgery like cataracts, history of a previous detachment, and uveitis. Lastly, if you have a family history of retinal detachment, this increases your risk.
If you fit into any of these categories, become knowledgeable about signs and symptoms.
Be aware of the following signs:
- A substantial increase in floaters in your eye. You may occasionally get them, but if they suddenly become like a storm of floaters, call Retina Specialists of Tampa.
- Flashing light in your vision.
- Your vision gets blurry.
- You experience a dark veil over the sides or middle of your vision.
Keep your blood sugar and blood pressure in control if you have diabetes. Wear protective eye shields or goggles when doing DIY projects or playing sports. Get regular eye check ups.