Retinal detachment is more common among myopes, whose condition usually favors degenerative lesions in the retina. The treatment for retinal detachment must be immediate in order to obtain a good visual result. However, for retinal lesions which may lead to retinal detachment, the ideal treatment is preventative,using laser.

What is retinal detachment ?

The retina in our eye is in charge of capturing images and transmitting them to our brain. It is formed by two perfectly joined layers, but if there is a tear in one of them, it will allow liquid to enter, thus separating both layers and interrupting the transmission of vision.

What are the causes ?

Myopia plays an important part in the majority of retinal detachments. A myopic eye is bigger and for this reason its tissues, among which the retina is to be found, are stretched and thinner, meaning that they can be more easily torn. Other causes may be blows, inflammations, ocular tumors and diabetes.

What symptoms does it cause ?

The main symptom is a loss of vision, which begins with a black shadow and is painless. Before this occurs, there may be premonitory symptoms , such as experiencing flashing lights and floaters, which should warn us that we should see our ophthalmologist immediately.

How is it treated ?

This depends on whether there has only been a tear in the retina or if we already have a detachment. With the former, applying argon laser will act as welding between the two layers,to halt the condition and avoid a detachment. With the latter, emergency surgical treatment is fundamental, as if we delay, the retina may not regain its function and the patient might not recuperate their vision.

How can it be prevented ?

Myopes should be aware that they are in the high risk category for this disease and that only by having regular annual check-ups of the fundus of the eye will their doctor be able to detect and treat with laser small tears or areas which are thinning in their retina, before detachment might occur. Although the patient might not complain of any symptoms, their myopia might not be increasing or they have been operated on and therefore do not need to wear glasses, the myope’s retina remains unchanged and the risk remains.