Retinal detachment: an ophthalmologic emergency


The vertebrate retina is a thin and partially transparent layer, sensitive to light, located on the inner surface of the eye and is in contact with the inner side of the choroid (layer of blood vessels) and the vitreous humor (internal gelatin). Of the eye). It is similar to a canvas where the images are projected.

The light that hits the retina triggers a series of chemical and electrical phenomena that eventually result in nerve impulses that are sent to the brain through the optic nerve.

The retina has a complex structure. It consists basically of several layers of neurons interconnected by synapses. The only cells that are sensitive to light are cones and rods.

The human retina contains 6.5 million cones and 120 million rods. The sticks work mainly in conditions of low light and provide black and white vision, the cones, however, are adapted to situations of high brightness and provide color vision.

The vitreous can undergo changes in its molecular structure, generating small groups of gel or cells inside it, casting shadows on the retina, and you can see small spots, spots, threads or clouds that move in your field of vision, called "floaters". flies. "

They can often be seen with greater intensity when looking at a flat bottom, such as a wall or the blue sky. As we get older, the vitreous can shrink and pull the retina. When this happens, you may notice something like flashing lights, streaks of light or having the sensation of "seeing stars." This is called "flashes or photopsies." These changes produce a liquid part inside the gelatin.

These vitreous alterations may be secondary to: age, high myopia; severe eye trauma or contusions, eye surgery, inflammatory processes.

Usually, the vitreous separates from the retina without causing problems, but sometimes the vitreous pulls too hard and breaks the retina in one or more places. The fluid can pass through a tear in the retina, lifting it from the back of the eye, similar to oil paint or wallpaper on a wall; generating a detachment. The retina does not work when it comes off and the vision becomes blurry. A detached retina is a very serious problem that almost always causes blindness if it is not treated with surgery.

Symptoms of tearing and detachment of the retina may include sudden increase in the size and number of floating spots, a sudden appearance of scintillation, a shadow on the periphery (side) of the field of vision; a gray curtain moving in the middle of the field of vision or sudden decrease in vision.

The most important thing in this stage is to go immediately to an ophthalmologist to receive a complete assessment that includes pupillary dilation.

Published in: Today Digital Newspaper

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