Mamisoa ANDRIANTAFIKA, MD FEBO
Eye Specialist
Brussels, Belgium

Informations on retinal detachment

Principles

Retinal detachment occurs when the retina gets detached from pigmentary epithelium that nourrishes and maintains it. The retina is then floating in the liquified vitreous and the pigmentary epithelium stays tight with the choroid.

Types of retinal detachment

Rhegmatogenous detachement: retinal detachement due to the passage of liquified vitreous through a retinal break. This is the most frequent type of retinal detachment.

Non-rhegmatogenous detachment : retinal detachement due to either a fibrous and tractionnal vitreous body secondary to inflammation or diabetic retinopathy, or an inflammation next to it inducing accumulation of liquid under the retina.

Schematic section of an eye with a rhegmatogen retinal detachment

Main symptoms

Photopsia: impression of luminous flashes resulting from retina stimulation by tractionnal adherences of the vitreous body.

Myodesopsia: impression of de "filaments" or "flies" in front of the vision resulting from formations of "floaters" in vitreous body during its progressive liquefaction.

Scotoma: detached retina does not function correctly. It seems like a curtain is slowly covering the vision.

Progressive loss of vision: when retinal detachement reach the region of the retina responsible for central vision called maculae, vision slowly decreases.

Attitude

Consult your Eye Doctor in emergency. You can wait the day after if symptoms appears off-hours.

Treatment is generally done by surgery. It consists of closing the retinal break and eliminates causes of traction on the retina.

Sometimes, symptoms are similar to posterior detachment of the vitreous body.