A retinal detachment usually needs to be repaired quickly. You may not have much time to think about it.
The retina is a thin nerve membrane that lines the back of the eye. You cannot see without it. Detachment means the retina has moved out of its normal place against the back of the eye.
Detachment can lead to severe vision loss or blindness. Prompt treatment can restore good vision.
A detached retina can be fixed by:
An ophthalmologist does these surgeries. This is a medical doctor who specializes in eye care. This is not the same as an optometrist.
If a tear in the retina caused the detachment, your doctor may fix it during your surgery. This can be done in two ways. The doctor may use:
You may have some pain in your eye and your vision may be blurry for a few days after the surgery. Your eye may be swollen, red, or tender for several weeks. You may have to wear a patch or shield over the eye for a day or more.
Your eye doctor may put drops in your eye that prevent infection and keep the pupil from opening wide or closing.
If your doctor used a gas bubble, you'll have to keep your head in a certain position for most of the day and night for 1 to 3 weeks after the surgery. Your doctor will give you instructions.
If silicone oil is used during vitrectomy, you'll need a second procedure to remove the oil after the eye has healed.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
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Current as of: December 3, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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