Retinal Detachment: A Serious Disease that Needs Attention

Dr. Navea is a renowned ophthalmologist in Valencia. She is an expert in various eye pathologies and treatments such as macular and retinal surgery and diseases, cataract surgery and myopia surgery.

What is retinal detachment?

Retinal detachment is a serious eye disease. It must be treated promptly and correctly. 90% of retinal detachments can be cured with a single surgery. However, up to 10% of cases may require more than one operation. When the retina detaches, it stops functioning, therefore part of the field of vision corresponding to the detached retinal area is lost. We will notice a kind of dark shadow without vision.

Are there warning signs?

Prior to retinal detachment, vitreous detachment may occur, which is accompanied by vision of dark spots or threads, and sometimes by flashes of light. These symptoms should make us consult the ophthalmologist to rule out that the vitreous detachment is not accompanied by retinal breaks.

Once the detachment has been diagnosed, when should I have surgery?

As soon as possible. Although a retinal detachment can be cured quite some time after its onset, even months, the sooner the healing occurs, the more chances we have of recovering vision. The ideal time would be within 3-4 days.

How much vision is recovered after a detachment?

It depends. When the retina detaches it suffers damage. This damage depends on many circumstances: the time it is detached, the amount of retina detached, whether or not the central part (macula) is affected, whether or not hemorrhage occurs, whether or not eye pressure is kept under control, the number of surgeries necessary for healing, the particular sensitivity of the retina to damage, post-surgical complications…

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Should I seek a retina specialist for the operation?

Yes, retinal surgery is sufficiently complex to require trained professionals with experience in this type of surgery. Although it is true that in our country the specialty of retinologist is not officially recognized, there are professionals who are mainly dedicated to it and are experts in this field. The Spanish Society of Retina and Vitreous has about 700 members throughout Spain, most of whom are retinologists and capable of solving these serious eye problems.

If you think you may have a detachment, go as soon as possible to your ophthalmologist or to a specialized center.