Retinal detachment occurs when the retina at the back of the eye is pulled away from its surrounding tissue. Such cases are more frequent in individuals who have undergone cataract surgery. In retinal detachment, the patient might notice flashes of light, loss of peripheral vision, and the presence of new floaters, which are small flecks or threads in the line of vision. Since the retina is a layer of tissue that processes light, its detachment can lead to permanent vision loss, if not treated in time.
There are three types of retinal detachment: Rhegmatogenous, Tractional, and Exudative.
1. Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment: When there is a tear or hole in the retina, it is called rhegmatogenous retinal detachment. This is the most common type of retinal detachment. In these cases, the fluid present in the eye can slip through the opening to the back of the retina.
2. Tractional Retinal Detachment: A less common type of detachment is tractional retinal detachment, in which the retina is pulled away from its actual position because of scar tissue accumulation in the eye. The major cause of tractional retinal detachment is poorly controlled diabetes mellitus. Keeping blood sugar levels in control is the best way to prevent it from happening.
3. Exudative Detachment: Exudative retinal detachment is the result of several retinal diseases like inflammation in the choroid or the retina, eye tumours, and macular degeneration.
A detached retina is repaired with surgery. Based on your specific condition, your ophthalmologist will discuss the type recommended and tell you about all of your options.