About Retinal Detachment


Retinal detachment is an emergency condition in which the inner most layer of eye (retina) gets detached from choroid (middle layer of eye)

What Happens In Retinal Detachment

The detached retina is a serious and sight-threatening experience, occurring when the retina becomes separated from its primary supportive tissue. The retina cannot work when these layers are detached. And unless soon the retina is reattached, permanent vision loss may result.


Risk Factors


  • Myopia Extreme nearsightedness

Do you struggle reading road signs and recognizing faces from distance? You could be suffering from myopia, otherwise known as nearsightedness. High levels of nearsightedness also can cause retinal detachment. This is because highly nearsighted people typically have longer-than-normal eyeballs with thinner retinas that are more prone to detachments.

  • Ocular Trauma

Trauma may induce tears/breaks in retina which can lead to retinal detachment. The most common cause of monocular blindness in young patients is complications from ocular trauma. Such complications include traumatic retinal detachment (RD).

  • Eye Surgery

A retinal detachment happens when fluid gets through a fine tear in the retina, allowing it to detach abnormally from the back wall of the eye. However, some of the eye surgeries may enhance the risk of having retinal detachment e.g. history of surgery for eye trauma, complicated cataract surgery etc.


Treatment Options


  • Retinal Detachment Surgery

All the patients with retinal detachments must undergo surgery for repositioning of the retina in its right place. Otherwise, the retina may lose its ability to function, which will result in permanent blindness. The method by which retinal detachment is settled depends upon characteristics of the detachment.

  • Scleral buckling Surgery

This surgical procedure includes putting a flexible band (scleral buckle) around the eye to combat the force that detaches out the retina. The fluid below the detached retina is drained, which helps the retina to settle back into its normal position.

  • Vitrectomy Procedure

This procedure is commonly used to repair a detachment of the retina. The vitreous fluid that holds the retina is removed from the eye and is replaced by a gas bubble / oil bubble to keep the retina in place. while the gas bubble slowly gets replaced by aqueous of the eye, oil bubble is required to drained by another surgical procedure called silicon oil removal (SOR) at a later date. Vitrectomy may some time requires to be combined with scleral buckling.

  • Pneumatic Retinopexy Procedure

During this procedure, in combination with retinal laser or cryotherapy, a gas bubble is injected into the vitreous cavity of the eye.The gas bubble drives the detached retina in place against the supporting layer underneath. Patients has to maintain a certain head positioning for few days. The gas bubble gets replaced by the aqueous of the eye gradually.


Frequently Asked Questions


Can I myself check my retina or macula for any signs of damage?

No. Retina is the innermost structure of the eye and requires to be checked with special equipments by an ophthalmologist. To allow proper inspection, eye drops are used to dilate the pupil. You can however use an Amsler Grid to detect signs of changes in your central vision. Any issues are to be promptly reviewed.

Will I get my vision back if I have a detached retina?

Earlier the retinal detachment is treated chances of visual recovery are better. Secondly, involvement of the central area of retina (macula) also plays an important role in visual recovery. Macular sparing retinal detachments have better visual outcomes.

Who is at risk of having a detached retina?

While any one can have a retinal detachment, it is much more common with high myopic people, those aged above 50 years, family history of retinal detachment and with few retinal disorders.

If I have recently got operated for retinal detachment in the right eye, are there chances of RD in the other eye?

Yes, there is increased risk of retinal detachment in other eye as well. Dilated retinal evaluation and appropriate management of any predisposing factors in the other eye may help in preventing a detachment in the fellow eye.