Being alert to the signs of impaired vision is easy to brush aside. The expression “stare death in the eye”, after all, is received with bouts of denial. Telltale floaters, flashes of lights, other symptoms, and other risk factors of retinal detachment need the prompt attendance of a reputable and trusted doctor.
Picking up where we left off in the previous article on how medical emergencies such as retinal detachment can occur from constant neglect of our eyes.
This time, this blog will not be keen on elaborating more on taking precautions to prevent a medical emergency. Instead, this will be about not rubbing salt in the wound when the medical emergency has already happened. How to step in and treat it, specifically retinal detachment, in this scenario?
Treatment for retinal detachment
As a recap, the procedures for treating retinal detachment, as culled from WebMD, may include the following:
- Laser (thermal) or freezing (cryopexy). Retinal detachment makes use of either laser therapy or cryopexy. Both methods are performed in the doctor’s clinic and are effective treatments amid early diagnosis of the retinal tear. This might be ideal for the most common type, which is rhegmatogenous retinal detachment. Age is a determining factor that usually tells you to have that examination and then this treatment because as you age, the vitreous gel that permeates your eyeball disentangles from your retina
- Vitrectomy. During the interval from detecting the retinal ear early on, vitrectomy is a surgical procedure reserved for large retinal tears. The vitreous is entirely separated from the eye and is replaced with a saline solution. Depending on the extent of damage by the tear, the doctor can combine vitrectomy with other treatment methods for retinal detachment.
- Pneumatic retinopexy. If the vitrectomy is for large tears, pneumatic retinopexy is a procedure for small and minute tears. A gas bubble is injected into the vitreous, which then rises and presses against the tear. This, in effect, closes down the tear. The doctor can use a laser or cryopexy to seal the wound to complete the procedure.
- Scleral buckle. Finally, a buckle made of a silicone band is sewn around the sclera, commonly known as the white of the eye. The buckle pushes the sclera towards the tear until the tear heals. The buckle is invisible and will be permanently in the eye. Similar to pneumatic retinopexy, cryopexy or laser therapy can be used to heal the wound.
Risks from retinal detachment surgical methods
- Fogging in the lens in your eye or cataract – according to Healthline, this cloudy appearance is protein in the eye, which start to organize like a compacted mass that inhibits the lens from sending clear images to the retina. Common due to exposure to radiation from X-rays and cancer treatments
- Bleeding – technically known as subconjunctival hemorrhage; not typically a cause for alarm, so you could say it’s ‘less’ than what meets the eye. The conjunctiva isn’t known for quick absorption of blood, so the blood gets trapped like a bruise on the eye
- Infection – the most common eye infection is pink eye and going back to blood vessels in the eye when bacteria or virus surrounds them, then your eyes get inflamed. It can be the side effect of a surgical procedure or allergies gained from it. Reddish or pinkish eyes or infectious conjunctivitis are tremendously contagious and can still spread up to 14 days after the infection begins.
- Glaucoma, or higher pressure inside the eye – the second leading cause of blindness globally, but not without fair warning. Fluid buildup from, say, exudative retinal detachment can happen at the back of your retina. This fluid accumulation that wriggles your retina out from the tissue behind it causes optic nerve damage, leading to glaucoma. This can be a post-treatment side effect that also needs treatment in itself. The treatment can vary from eye drops down to other surgical operations.
These risks are often related and an adjunct to another that makes retinal detachment worse and complicates the procedures. For instance, glaucoma or fluid build-up is caused by bleeding because of conditions like infection and inflammation.
How much should you raise your hopes?
The success rate for retinal detachment surgery methods is approximately 80% – 90%. The four procedures mentioned earlier are not necessarily alternative solutions. Depending on the urgency of your eye medical emergency or the severity of your retinal tear and your doctor’s recommendation, you could have two or more procedures.
Depending on the surgery risks, it may also take many months for your sight to come back. The outright reality is some people’s visions don’t return at all, especially in the case of glaucoma left untreated.
Upshot from taking a shot in medical treatments
The takeaway is that a detached retina won’t kick-start its healing process by itself. Consult your licensed eye doctor immediately. What’s important is not missing the early signs of retinal tear. Your goal is to keep your vision even if you have to go through the blurry process.
Another upshot is you could also have your other chronic diseases checked. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, approaching retirement age, eye conditions are most likely to exacerbate, especially retina issues. Diabetes-induced retinal detachment called tractional impair blood vessels behind the eye. Treatment could prevent further losing your vision completely.
Who is that licensed doctor to call right away?
Arizona Retinal Specialists provide special eye services and treatments. Their retinal specialists take the holistic route for medical and surgical care. You need a team of professionals who don’t overlook possible complications in other parts of your body that may affect or be associated with eye complications, such as a retinal condition.
If you suffer from retinal detachment, Arizona Retinal Specialists can conduct screening and diagnostic tests and apply the necessary remedies to stabilize the problem. Call us today at 623-474-3937 (EYES).