Detached Retina

Image of a man getting an eye exam.

Seeing a spot or a flash of light in your field of vision is more than an inconvenience. It could be the first signs of a detached retina. A retina becomes detached when separated from underlying layers of support tissue. Detached retinas will lead to a permanent loss of vision if they are not quickly corrected.

Detached Retina Symptoms

Once the retina pulls away from surrounding supportive tissue, spots, floaters, and flashes of light start appearing. Additional symptoms crop up as detachment worsens, including blurry vision or shadows descending over the eye. These symptoms can either occur gradually or suddenly depending on the speed of detachment.

No pain is associated with these symptoms. If they occur, it is important to visit your eye doctor immediately. They can diagnose if you are suffering from a detached retina and take steps to help you regain your vision before it becomes permanently lost.

Detached Retina Causes

Eye or facial injuries are common causes for detached retinas. Athletes who get struck in the face or poked in the eye are usually most at risk for this method of retinal detachment.

Detached retinas can also result in cases of extreme nearsightedness. Nearsighted people have longer eyeballs and thinner retinas that are more prone to tearing or detaching. Sometimes, fluid movement or new blood vessels growing under the retina can also pull it away from surrounding tissue.

Cataract surgery, eye tumors, and diseases, such diabetes and sickle cell disease, can all lead to detached retinas. In extremely rare cases, retinal detachment can develop as a complication following LASIK surgery.

Detached Retina Treatments

Surgery is the only option for repairing a detached retina. It must receive immediate attention from an ophthalmologist who has received training to perform this surgery. Surgical reattachment doesn't always work. Success depends on the location, cause, and extent of the detachment.

Surgical options for a detachment include:

Scleral Buckling Surgery – a small silicone or plastic band is attached to the outside of the eye. It compresses the eye inward and lets it reattach to the interior wall of the eye.

Vitrectomy – clear fluid is removed from the posterior chamber of the eye and replaced with clear silicone oil to push the retina back onto the supporting tissue.

Pneumatic Retinopexy – a small gas bubble is injected into the vitreous body to push the retina back onto the supporting tissue.

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Testimonial

  • "Before our daughter began vision therapy she was struggling with reading and sports. We thought she was just clumsy (walking into walls and falling a lot). My wife and I know something was't quite right; so we had our daughter tested for Central Auditory Processing Disorder, took her to an optometrist and to an eye specialist at a hospital. My wife's mother urged us to see Dr. Gordon. A significant visual tracking problem was found.
    After vision therapy our daughter went from needing extra help with reading to reading above grade level. She is now excelling in softball and has been named to the All-Star Team this year. She has become more confident and willing to try new things."
    "We can't thank Dr. Gordon's office enough for our daughter's success."
    Drew D.
  • "Before vision therapy reading was terrible. Nothing made sense on the paper. Vision therapy helped me with spelling and reading. I'm not skipping lines when reading and I love how I was taught to spell. I bring home 100's in spelling and reading is coming along too!
    I'm also on the Honor Roll at school too!"
    Elizabeth S.
  • "Our son was in 2nd grade when we found out that he had vision problems. He was referred to the occupational therapist in school for his handwriting. After her testing she called to tell us that all of signs were related to vision problems. Our son complained of headaches, motion sickness and very bad handwriting.
    Most of his teachers were telling us they thought he had ADD or ADHD.
    His attention span in school was short and he rushed through his work. He absolutely hated anything that had to do with writing.
    After starting vision therapy we saw improvements very quickly; as well as his teachers. His handwriting has improved tremendously and his posture is much better.
    We are so thankful for the occupational therapist discovering his vision challenge. We drove an hour and a half each way to Dr. Gordon's office for our weekly vision therapy sessions.
    The success of our son was well worth the drive."
    Amber W.
  • "What a difference! It has been an emotional roller coaster dealing with certain aspects of our son's left. But it was refreshing to know that we could count on the staff administering vision therapy to have his best interest in mind. To watch our son overcome the obstacles he had prior to vision therapy is worth everything. We absolutely recommend vision therapy because we have seen what it can do for our child. We are grateful for vision therapy and couldn't imagine his life without it!"
    Jerome K.
  • "I saw words differently and struggled throughout my childhood with my sight. After years of testing and appointments I found Dr. Gordon who diagnosed a Convergence Insufficiency. After a few months of vision therapy I was amazed at the my improvement.
    My life is truly changed!"
    Ella S.
  • "My son has always struggled in school. As an educator I looked for answers based on what I knew; learning disabilities, ADHD, etc. By the time he was in 4th grade I had to find some way to help my son. I realized that many of his symptoms were similar to many of my students who had Central Auditory Processing difficulties. Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center confirmed the diagnosis and recommended a visual processing evaluation. No one ever considered his reading challenges to be related to a visual processing problem. Since starting vision therapy his struggles in school have decreased, his math grades have improved as well as his reading; and he is more confident in his ability to succeed."
    Joanne L.
  • "Dr. Gordon is a developmental optometrist, which means...he is trained to deal with eye dysfunctions beyond simple near-sightedness/far-sightedness and...he can help improve vision through behavior programs. Dr. Gordon patiently worked with me to get the best possible prescription...He's a compassionate and very competent eyecare professional, and I strongly recommend him."
    Michael L.