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What Happens If I Injure My Retina?

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!

cataracts vision care of maine

Cataracts are inevitable. As you get older, your chances of developing them will only continue to increase. If you have cataracts, they can put a stop to some of your favorite hobbies by obscuring your vision. In addition to distorting your vision, they can make your vision look like it’s tinted yellow or brown. This can make simply trying to relax with a book exasperating and will make driving (especially at night) dangerous. Having your self-sufficiency taken away from you can be difficult and frustrating, but there is hope for you if you have cataracts. Cataract removal surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries, meaning it is extremely understood and safe to undergo. 

How A Cataract Blocks Vision

A cataract is made up of proteins that exist in the nourishing fluid that flows through your eye, known as the aqueous humor. When a cataract starts forming, these proteins start clumping together on the lens of the eye. The lens is important because it helps light to focus properly on the retina. Cataract surgery isn’t necessary until your cataract starts obscuring your vision. This happens over time and causes the clump of proteins to get bigger and bigger until they block a significant amount of light. This is when a cataract is ready to be removed.

The Goal Of Cataract Surgery

It may seem obvious that the goal of cataract surgery is to remove your cataract, but there’s more to it than that.  During cataract surgery, your cataract is removed by fully removing the lens of your eye.

To remove the lens, your cataract surgeon at Vision Care of Maine will break up the lens using an ultrasonic device or laser. The broken pieces of the lens are then sucked out of your eye. After the lens and cataract have been removed, an IOL (also known as an intraocular lens) is placed into your eye to replace the lens. Your IOL will take over the job of your lens, without being clouded or obscuring your vision.

Which IOL Is Right For You?

Before cataract surgery, you will discuss what kind of IOL is best for you. In addition to improving your vision, IOLs are able to correct refractive errors. There are several different kinds of IOLs available, but if you are going to cover your procedure with Medicare, the only IOL that is covered is a monofocal IOL.

A monofocal lens improves your distance vision, but you may still require the use of reading glasses if you need to see things up close after cataract surgery. Different types of IOLs have advantages and disadvantages against each other. There are a lot to choose from— multifocal IOLs that have multiple focusing ranges, accommodating IOLs that mimic the small movements of a natural lens, and Toric IOLs that can correct for astigmatism. Premium IOLs like multifocal, accommodating, and Toric lenses are a great option if you are looking for freedom for glasses after cataract surgery! 

Want to learn more about cataracts or schedule your cataract surgery? Contact Vision Care of Maine to schedule your cataract surgery consultation!

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