The retina is the light-sensitive tissue inside the eye that absorbs light. This tissue works like a film in the camera. It is responsible for converting the visual image into an “electrical” signal, which will then be transferred to the brain and create the perception of the image. In some people and usually at older ages, detachment of this tissue happens, resulting in a significant loss of vision.
The most common cause is a retinal tear due to traction of the vitreous on the retina (jelly-like substance inside the eye). Then a crack is created and through this crack the retina detaches like wallpaper from a wall.
The symptoms that should lead us to the specialist ophthalmologist are:
the appearance of flashing lights (flashes) occurring both during the day and at night.
Myopsia (flies, floatres) that have suddenly increased in size, shape, and number.
Sensation of loss of peripheral vision (black curtain) that develops gradually and increases to cover part of your field of vision.
Clinical picture of retinal detachment.
Rhegmatogenous Retinal detachment needs immediate surgical repair with the most common method being that of pars plana vitrectomy. Depending on the type of detachment, the anatomical location, and the age of the patient the alternative treatment is placement of a scleral buckle. If the macula is not affected by the detachment, the decision to operate must be immediate to have the best possible result. In case the macula is affected, the time frame within which the operation must be done is up to 7 days.
This operation is performed with local or general anesthesia, with an average duration of 1 hour and a success rate of up to 90% with one operation. This percentage increases to 97% with a 2nd operation.
Post-operative eyedrops are given, while instructions for the position of the head are very important. Sometimes you may have a foreign body sensation for a few hours after the operation or mild pain. Using a painkiller (paracetamol) is usually enough to relieve you of these symptoms. Bleeding in the white of the eye is common and disappears after 1-2 weeks.
The vitrectomy operation is very safe. The chance of total vision loss due to surgery is less than 1/1000 due to severe intraocular infection or bleeding.