The retina is the thin layer of cells at the back of the eye which capture light. Retinal detachment can be caused by trauma to the head or face, or may occur without any incident. This can happen when the jelly which fills the eye pulls on the retina creating a tear. Fluid from within the eye can then go underneath this tear and separate the entire retina from the back of the eye.
Some signs of a detached retina include: blurry vision, flashes of light, floaters, or a curtain in the vision. Any of these signs are reasons to schedule an urgent appointment with a retina specialist, such as Fuad Makkouk, M.D. at Austin Eye Center. Without timely treatment, a retinal detachment can lead to permanent vision loss and even blindness.
To diagnose a retinal detachment, Dr. Makkouk and the team at Austin Eye Center will start by dilating your eye, and then examining it under a microscope. Based on these findings, Dr. Makkouk will take the time to discuss all options in an individualized manner to help protect your vision.
There are several treatment options for retinal detachment, including cryotherapy, laser surgery, or vitrectomy. The goal of all of these techniques is to seal the tear, and remove any fluid which is separating the retina from the back of the eye. A vitrectomy is a form of surgery which is performed on an outpatient basis. A vitrectomy involves removing the jelly from the inside of the eye using tiny instruments to help seal any retinal tears. A laser may then also be used to help prevent recurrence of the retinal detachment. A gas or silicone oil bubble may then be injected into the eye to apply pressure to the retina to ensure that it stays attached until it has completely healed.
Dr. Makkouk understands that having a retinal detachment can be scary, and he takes the time to discuss realistic expectations for your recovery depending on the severity and length of time of the detachment. Dr. Makkouk uses every possible technique and intervention to help improve your vision after surgery. Recovery can take weeks to months, and depending on the severity of the detachment, your vision may never fully recover.
Don’t take any risks with your sight, if you have blurry vision, floaters, or flashes, schedule an appointment with Dr. Makkouk, a fellowship-trained surgical retina specialist at Austin Eye Center, before you have any irreversible damage.