Retinal detachment is a major eye condition that can lead to vision loss. One of the things that can trigger it is a vitreous tear.
What is a Vitreous Detachment ?
In the middle of the eye is the vitreous, a gel-like substance that fills the space between the lens and retina. It is responsible for maintaining the eye’s round shape.
The vitreous is made up of a million intertwined fibers and it is attached to the retina. As a person ages, the vitreous liquefies and some of its parts disintegrates into debris, which are called floaters.
They become visible in your line of vision when they cast a shadow in the retina as they float around the eyes.
Floaters may appear in the form of spots, speckles or thread-like strings. They become more apparent when you look at light backgrounds, blank walls or bright skies.
Differentiating Vitreous Detachment from Retinal Detachment
A vitreous detachment happens when the vitreous liquefies and turn into debris. Typically, it’s not a major cause of concern, especially if it’s not obstructing vision in a major way. Sometimes, people who see floaters in their eyes have found a way to cope with the condition. Simple exercises such as looking up or down can keep floaters away from the line of vision.
On the other hand, retinal detachment happens when the vitreous liquefies and pulls a portion of the retina too hard. Retinal detachment is usually signaled by sudden flashes or peripheral vision loss. If left untreated, it can lead to blindness.
You might have a retinal tear or a detached retina if you experience the following symptoms:
- A sudden or gradual increase in the number and size of floaters
- Flashes appear before your eyes, which is usually one of the early signs of retinal detachment
- Shadows in your peripheral vision
- Gray curtain moving right across your field of vision
Can It Be Prevented?
Retinal detachment can be challenging to prevent. The best way to treat the problem early on is through regular eye exams. This way, your doctor can see any particular changes in your eyes and prescribe proper treatment for it. Typically, eye exams are done once a year, but if you have other conditions that may affect your eyesight, you may need to visit your eye doctor more frequently.
Nearsighted people are prone to retinal detachment. Meanwhile, diabetes and high blood pressure levels can affect the retinal blood vessels, which could increase the chances of retinal tears.
Wearing the appropriate eye gear for physical activities lessens the chances of getting retinal tears caused by accidents. Wear sports goggles, especially those made of poly-carbonate lenses, whenever you’re playing tennis, racquetball or other sports. You also need sufficient eye protection if your job requires you to work extensively with dangerous equipment, machines, chemicals, and tools.
Retinal detachment is a serious condition that not just impairs your vision, but also your quality of life. Avoiding it begins with practicing good eye health habits everyday and being aware of the symptoms indicating the need for immediate medical attention.