This medical emergency is where the retina begins to peel away from the eye. Permanent damage to vision may occur within 24-72 hours of onset.
Sudden onset of symptoms, indicating a posterior vitreous detachment, which precedes a retinal detachment
- Flashes of light in peripheral vision
- "Floaters" around vision
- Feeling of "heaviness" in eye
Later symptoms of detachment:
- Dense shadow across vision- starting peripherally, and moving centrally
- A "veil/curtain" across the field of vision
- Straight lines appear curved
- Central visual field loss
- Fundus photography, or ophthalmoscopy if not possible
- Alternatively ultrasound shows "flying angel" sign
All suspected retinal detachment should be urgently referred to opthalmology.
- Cryopexy/ laser photocoagulation limits spread of detachment
- Scelral buckle surgery
- Pneumatic retinopexy
85% are successfully treated with one operation, with 15% requiring more operations. Visual acuity may reduce after the detachment. Overall the prognosis is around 95%.
- Yanoff, Myron; Duker, Jay S. (2008). Ophthalmology (3rd ed.). Edinburgh: Mosby. ISBN 978-0323057516.