Retinal detachment

One common eye emergency that requires immediate assessment and treatment to prevent vision loss is a Retinal Detachment. The retina is the light sensitive layer of tissue in the eye; its role is to send visual messages from the optic nerve to the brain. It is a crucial component of the bodies central nervous system. If the retina detaches and is left untreated there is a high chance of vision loss and potentially blindness. It is an emergency that must be assessed and dealt with as quickly as possible to prevent irreversible damage. There are also instances where a retinal tear occurs and though the retina has not detached this can be a pre-cursor to retinal detachment down the line.

Retinal detachments often are unexpected and they can happen to anyone. There are certain factors that may increase your risk such as a previous detachment, having undergone cataract surgery, other diseases of the eye, or an injury or accident involving the eye. There are several symptoms to be mindful of and if you experience them you should see your optometrist promptly for proper assessment and referral to a retinal ophthalmologist if surgical intervention is required. If you experience several floaters which are like small specs that are present in your field of vision, any flashes of light or a dark curtain that suddenly appears over your vision you should make an emergency appointment right away. It is a medical emergency that will require immediate laser surgery or surgical treatment to minimize or prevent any permanent damage to your vision. The sooner that it is repaired the more likely the outcome will be positive. The highest rates of recovery occur when the detachment is repaired before the macula also detaches. Due to advancements in treatment options full recovery is possible in most cases. However, it can also take several months’ post procedure to have definitive results on vision change.

If you are ever unsure as to whether an emergency appointment is necessary and you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms you should book an appointment with your optometrist. At 360 Eyecare we do more than just full comprehensive eye examinations. Our optometrists are highly qualified and are more than willing to help you with any and all of your ocular needs. They are fully licensed to prescribe medication for eye conditions and can assess your issues as well as refer you to an ophthalmologist or hospital in the event you require immediate surgical intervention or more advanced treatment. If you are in the Toronto area we are here to fully service all your ocular needs.