McLean Office: 703.356.6880 | Reston Office: 703.437.3900
McLean Office: 703.356.6880
Reston Office: 703.437.3900

Retinal Detachment

In patients who are very nearsighted or who have suffered an injury, the retina can tear loose and become "detached" from the layers below it.

In patients who are very nearsighted or who have suffered an injury, the retina can tear loose and become “detached” from the layers below it.

Retinal detachment occurs when the retina is lifted or pulled from the wall of the eye. If not treated immediately, a retinal detachment can cause permanent vision loss. A retinal detachment is a medical emergency. Anyone experiencing the symptoms of a retinal detachment should call the office immediately.

Symptoms of retinal detachment

  • The appearance of a curtain over the field of vision.
  • Seeing light flashes
  • Wavy or watery vision
  • A sudden decrease in vision
  • A sudden increase in the number of floaters in the field of vision

Who is most at risk for retinal detachment?

  • Those who are very nearsighted
  • The elderly
  • People with a family history of retinal detachment
  • Those who have had cataract surgery
  • Patients with diabetes or other eye disorders

Treatment for retinal tear and/or detachment

Retinal tears and/or detachments may be treated, particularly if caught early, with an in office laser procedure called laser retinopexy. The laser is used to “weld” the area around the retinal tear to prevent retinal detachment or prevent progression of the retinal detachment. In more advanced cases, an operative procedure such as a vitrectomy or scleral buckle may be required.