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Monday, January 9, 2017

My Neighbor Had Retinal Detachment Surgery


Three months ago, I heard that my neighbor across the street had some serious eye problem that required immediate attention. I was not sure what was his exact eye problem, but I did not see him doing yard work or drive to the grocery store for almost two months. I saw his wife doing all the yard work and all the driving. I heard he was not allowed to do anything even doing computer work that he loved. I also heard that his frequent use of his computer was probably the cause of his eye problem*.

Last week, I finally saw him tinkering on his car on his driveway. I went across the street and asked him exactly what happened to his eye.

He told me he had retina detachment but is now fixed. He said he had a gas bubble injected into his eye( pneumatic retinopexy) and he is now OK. I was curious of what he told me and about the gas bubble injection. I did some Web search and here's a summary of what I learned about Retina Detachment and its treatment.

Retina Detachment a very serious eye condition that happens when the retina separates from the tissue around it. Since the retina can't work properly under these conditions, you could permanently lose vision if the detached retina isn't repaired promptly. Retinal detachment is an emergency situation in which a thin layer of tissue (the retina) at the back of the eye pulls away from its normal position. Retinal detachment separates the retinal cells from the layer of blood vessels that provides oxygen and nourishment. The longer retinal detachment goes untreated, the greater your risk of permanent vision loss in the affected eye. Retinal detachments affect between 0.6 and 1.8 people per 10,000 per year. About 0.3% of people are affected at some point in their life. It is most common in people who are in their 60s or 70s. Males are more often affected than females.

Warning signs of retinal detachment include the sudden appearance of floaters and flashes and reduced vision. Contact your an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) right away if you want to save your vision.

There are four methods for the treatment for retinal Detachment as follows:

1. Laser (thermal) or freezing (cryopexy). Both of these approaches can repair a tear in the retina if it is diagnosed early enough. This procedure is often done in the doctor's office.

2. Pneumatic retinopexy. This procedure can be used to treat retinal detachment if the tear is small and easy to close. A small gas bubble is injected into the eye (specifically into the clear, gel-like substance between the lens and the retina), where it then rises and presses against the retina, closing the tear. A laser or cryopexy can then be used to seal the tear.

3. Scleral buckle. This treatment for retinal detachment involves surgically sewing a silicone band (buckle) around the white of the eye (called the sclera) to push the sclera toward the tear until the tear heals. This band is not visible and remains permanently attached. Laser or cryo treatment may then be necessary to seal the tear.

4. Vitrectomy.
This surgery for retinal detachment is used for large tears. During a vitrectomy, the doctor removes the vitreous (the clear, gel-like substance between eye's lens and retina) and replaces it with a saline solution. Depending on the complexity of the retinal detachment, various combinations of vitrectomy, buckle, laser and gas bubble may be used to repair the retina.

Reference and Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/retinal-detachment/home/ovc-20197289

*Can prolonged used of computers cause retina detachment? Read: http://www.wwiipress.net/news-experts/2016-07-30/72636.html

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