Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Detached Retina Needs Immediate Care

Photo by Michael Yan
As we age, we are subject to wear and tear of the body, including the eyes. 

Many realize that older adults often are at risk for various vision problems.

As people age, they often need larger print, greater light, higher contrast between ink and paper, and reduced glare in addition to wearing corrective lenses.

As people age, they are at greater risk of presbyopia, macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts.  But many may not realize that people 50 plus are more prone to another vision problem: retinal detachment.

This problem affects a small percentage of people, roughly 1:300, but it can cause vision loss if not treated within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms. 

The retina is a thin layer that rests on the back of the eye, and it can suffer detachment by age, injury or disease. The symptoms include sudden flashes of light, floaters or the appearance of a gray curtain. 

See an eye doctor as soon as these symptoms appear since there is a small window for effective treatment in order to prevent blindness in that eye.   This source lists a window of 24 to 72 hours for treatment, but others shorten that window to just 24 hours, so do not delay.

Below, please find a video by Get Eye Smart that provides a diagram of the eye and an explanation of retinal tears and their symptoms. 

Recently, an age mate of mine experienced a tear and was very lucky that she got treatment in time.  For weeks, she had a heightened awareness of the fragility of eyesight and the value seeing has to her life.  Be proactive in your own eye health and help others to recognize this and other age-related threats (cataracts, glaucoma, mascular degeneration, etc.) to vision. 


  1. If you do need retinal surgery, you maybe told to stay "facedown"--there are tricks to this. I had such poor info, I left my dog with a friend when I didn't have to and he was killed by a car.

  2. Oh, Star. I am sorry about your dog -- and the poor info. Thanks for passing on info. Maybe this others can use this info to recover more effectively.

  3. Oh its sad about listen your dog. you should care about Dogs.

    Eye HEalth Care

  4. I've been lucky. I had the flashes of light at the corner of my right eye—scary. I saw a doctor immediately. (They went away.) I have floaters now and need to have them checked yearly, apparently. Great heads up article, Karen.