primary eye care

What Happens If I Injure My Retina?

November 27th, 2019

Smiling older man looking out window

Your retina is a very delicate part of your eye and a very important part of your ability to see. It is a thin layer of tissue that lines the back of the inner wall of your eye.

It is teeming with cells that can sense light. The retina gives us our ability to perceive depth, color, shapes, and brightness.

The problem with such a complex and important body part is that injuries can be devastating to it. Keep reading to find out more about what happens if you injure the retina!

What Is Retinal Detachment?

Blunt injuries to the face, for example, can lead to retinal detachment. This condition happens when the retina separates from the interior wall of the eye.

This is a very serious condition, as once the retina separates from the interior wall, it’s cut off from its blood supply. Without blood, the retina can become permanently damaged, so immediate intervention is necessary.

It may be difficult to tell if you are suffering from retinal detachment, at least in the beginning stages, as symptoms are fairly limited. Symptoms include an increase in “floaters” (the little squiggles you sometimes see), flashes of light, blurry vision, and loss of eyesight in small parts of your vision.

Without treatment, these symptoms become worse. The vision that is lost may be permanent.

If treated quickly, retinal detachment is reversible. Any vision loss because of retinal detachment can be minimal if treated within the right amount of time.

The injury must be treated with surgery. If it is a serious retinal detachment, it will require a vitrectomy.

During a vitrectomy, the gel inside of the eye is removed. It is then replaced with either silicone oil, saline, or a gas bubble. Once the gel is outside of the eye, the surgeon can reattach the retina with ease.

Recovery from retinal eye surgery varies from patient to patient. On average, it usually takes less than 6 weeks.

During this time, as with recovery from any other surgery, you will need to be careful and get plenty of rest.

Other Retinal Problems

Retinal detachment does not only occur due to blunt force injury. It is not the only possible retinal problem.

Eye disease, complications from surgery, and symptoms from other issues can lead to retinal distress.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy, for example, occurs in patients with higher blood sugar levels. The blood sugar levels damage the blood vessels in the retina, causing them to bleed.

If this continues, new blood vessels may form where they shouldn’t. This causes the retina to swell and causing irreparable scarring.

Macular Edema

Macular edema is the deterioration of the central part of the retina, the macula. The macula handles seeing with sharp, central vision. Without it, focusing on objects would be impossible.

The best way to stay healthy is by preventing problems from happening. That is why setting up regular eye care appointments at Vision Care of Maine in Bangor is so crucial. Schedule an appointment with us today!

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