What happens with a detached retina?

One of the more serious of the commonly known eye complaints, if you have a detached retina, it is time to take immediate action.

A detached retina usually occurs as a result of injury, the ageing process, diabetes, genetics, recent cataract surgery or short-sightedness and the term relates to when, as it sounds, the retina comes away from where it receives its blood supply, so affecting vision. The retina lines the back of the eye, where it receives light and then sends messages to the brain to create the images that you see. As it is a highly important part of good vision, it is clear to see that any problems with the retina can have serious implications on your level of sight.

Common symptoms are floaters in the eye (far more than is usual for you), a feeling of flashes of light, blurring and shadows appearing like a curtain in what you see.

Retinal detachment needs to be dealt with straightaway in order to preserve vision but there are a few treatment options available. The earlier retinal detachment is dealt with, the better the outcome.

Whilst the condition can be diagnosed by an optician or GP, treatment is under a hospital and you will need to visit either an accident and emergency department or be referred to a specialist at the hospital. The level of treatment depends the extent of the damage but more often than not includes surgical procedures that can re-attach the retina or repair any tears. This is not an easy undertaking and there will be an uncomfortable recovery time but prognosis for restored vision after this is good.

Prevention of eye problems is always better than cure, so if you are partaking in activities such as sport or DIY where the chance of eye injury is increased, make sure that you wear eye protection at all times. And if you are suffering from diabetes, keep up-to-date with all your appointments and undertake a lifestyle that is conducive to best outcome.