Updated: Jul 31, 2022
Retinal detachment can be hard to spot if you don’t know what to look out for so we’re here to help break down what exactly is retinal detachment, how to spot it, prevent it and inform you on how long before retinal detachment causes blindness. Having this information is key in order to know when to seek out help.
In order to know what retinal detachment is, you need to know what the retina is. The retina is the innermost layer of the wall of the eye and is made up of light-sensitive cells. Therefore, a retinal detachment is when the retina is pulled away from the back of the eye resulting in an impairment of vision.
Blindness can occur when retinal detachment is left untreated, so it’s important to know how to spot a tear or detachment. You might not always notice if you have one, but if you do, two common visual symptoms that can help you detect when they appear are:
-gray light or specks floating in your eye, also known as floaters
-a “curtain” like a dark shadow in your field of vision
The cause of retinal detachment can be due to various factors such as aging, diabetes, high blood pressure (or other blood vessel-related conditions), tumors, and inflammatory diseases. People at higher risk for retinal detachment include those with a degree of nearsightedness, a family history of retinal detachment, or past trauma to the eye.
We aim to keep you as informed as possible in order to take care of your eyes and prevent surgery and permanent loss of vision.
Four things you can do to prevent retinal detachment Today are:
Get regular eye exams
Wear protective eye gear when playing sports
Keep conditions relating to the blood vessels under control; high blood pressure, diabetes.
Be alert to any changes in your field of vision such as floaters or light flashes in order to seek immediate help.
If you have any reason to believe you have a retinal tear or detachment it’s important to seek out help right away as it could be considered an eye emergency until evaluated. When left untreated, the retinal detachment can cause permanent loss of sight so be prompt in response the moment you notice a change in vision or experience any of the symptoms named above. A detached retina does not heal by itself and as the risks increase with time it is important that if you are asking yourself “how long before retinal detachment causes blindness” you should most likely not take the time to question and instead consult your ophthalmologist for an evaluation right away.
Please schedule a visit with Dr. El Annan at the Annan Retina Eye Center. Please call 346-222-6626 to speak to a member of staff who will be more than happy to help you.