Retinal detachment is a very serious condition which can cause severe or even permanent vision loss. It occurs when the retina becomes separated from the underlying supportive tissues, which prevents the retina from functioning properly. Some common symptoms may include: spots, floaters, flashes of light, poorer vision or a shadow appearance across the top of the eye. No pain is associated with retinal detachment. If you notice any of the above symptoms or believe you have a detached retina it is vitally important to seek ophthalmic care immediately to prevent permanent vision loss.
Floaters are small specks that move in and out of your field of vision. They may be more noticeable when looking at a plain background. Floaters are tiny clumps of cells inside the vitreous humour (the clear fluid that fills the inside of the eye) that can be different shapes.
Macular holes are tears or cysts that can develop in the macula (a small spot in the retina, or back inner part of the eye). This is where fine focusing occurs. A macular hole is usually noticed when there is a sudden decrease in vision in one eye. Macular holes are most often related to the aging process, and are most common in people over 60.
Occasionally, macular holes may resolve without treatment, but we recommend you see your ophthalmologist immediately if you notice a sudden loss of vision in one eye, so he/she can determine if treatment is necessary. This can help prevent permanent vision loss.
The most common treatment for macular holes is a surgery called vitrectomy, which removes the vitreous gel to prevent it from pulling on the retina. Then, a mixture of air and gas is inserted where the vitreous once was, putting pressure on the macular hole, allowing it to heal. This treatment will require a long recovery period to ensure lasting results. For more information about this surgery, please contact our office.