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Vitreo Retina/Detached Retina
Retinal detachment describes an emergency situation in which a thin layer of tissue (the retina) at the back of the eye pulls away from its normal position.
Retinal detachment separates the retinal cells from the layer of blood vessels that provides oxygen and nourishment. The longer retinal detachment goes untreated, the greater your risk of permanent vision loss in the affected eye.
Warning signs of retinal detachment may include one or all of the following:
- the sudden appearance of floaters and flashes (see below for more information on this) in one or both eyes
- Blurred vision
- Gradually reduced side (peripheral) vision
- A curtain-like shadow over your visual field
Treatments for detachment
Retinal detachment surgery involves reattaching the retina to the back of the eye and sealing any breaks or holes. Your retinal specialist will examine your eye to decide the most appropriate operation or procedure. Moreton Eye Group has a retinal specialist Dr Gurmit Uppal, that performs this type of surgery.
Operative procedures for retinal detachment
- Vitrectomy surgery – under an operating microscope the vitreous is surgically removed using very fine instruments, any tears are treated with laser or cryotherapy and the eye is filled with gas or silicone oil. Once again it is important to follow instructions regarding post-operative head positioning in order to allow the retina to stick down. People who have had vitrectomy surgery will experience temporary poor vision while the eye is filled with gas, but if the surgery is successful the vision will improve as the gas reabsorbs and is replaced with the eye’s own clear fluid. If silicone oil is used it does not dissolve by itself, and further surgery is usually necessary after a few months.
Dr Uppal may also perform additional procedures to help treat retinal detachment
- Pneumatic retinopexy – The retinal surgeon injects a gas bubble into the vitreous cavity and treats the tear(s) with either laser (photocoagulation) or cryotherapy (freezing). The bubble presses the retina flat against the wall of the eye and the laser or freezing sticks the retina down. In order for the retina to remain in place after surgery it is important to follow the surgeon’s instructions on post-operative head positioning. The gas gradually disappears over the days or weeks following the surge
This type of surgery can be used to treat several eye diseases: advanced diabetic retinopathy, vitreous haemorrhage, retinal detachment, macular holes, epiretinal membranes and ocular trauma are among these diseases.
The two treatments for Detached Retina are Laser Treatment (performed in our clinics) or Vitrectomy Surgery performed in our clinics or in the Moreton Day Hospital.
Our close working relationship with this state of the art facility means that your surgical experience will be seamless from clinic to hospital, ensuring the best medical outcome for your procedure. For more information on the Moreton Day Hospital and this surgery, including costs, please see the website or call the friendly staff on 07 3487 1111.
Floaters and Flashes
Floaters and flashes are a common sight for many people. Floater is a catchall term for the specks, threads, or cobweb-like images that occasionally drift across the line of vision. Flashes are sparks or strands of light that flicker across the visual field. Both are usually harmless. But they can be a warning sign of trouble in the eye, especially when they suddenly appear or become more plentiful.
The appearance if both floaters and flashes may happen as a result of the normal ageing process. The sudden onset of many new floaters or flashes must be taken seriously. Seek immediate advice from an Ophthalmologist.
For an assessment of any of these conditions, please contact us to make an appointment with one of our Ophthalmologists, click on the “I’m a Patient” link or call us on 07 3283 3488 to discuss the steps and cost for further diagnosis.