Separation Of Retinal Layers

What is Separation of Retina Layers?

Separation of retina layers is also known as retinal detachment. This happens when the transparent sensory area of the retina gradually moves away from the outer pigmented layer of the retina. In simple, when the retina moves away from the outer wall of the eyeball.

How Does Separation of Retina Layers Happen

The eyeball has three layers. The outer layer, tough and the white sclera. The sclera which is lined is called the choroid. It is a thin membrane which transfers nutrients to a part of the retina. The innermost layer of the eye is the retina.

Retina is sensitive to light and has a delicate membrane which receives images and transfers them to the brain. It has many layers and one layer has the photoreceptors. Now, the photoreceptors along with the rods and cones send the visual messages to the brain. The pigmented epithelium lies between the photoreceptor layer and the choroid.

Separation of the retinal layer happens between the photoreceptor layer and the pigmented epithelium which are the two outermost layers of the retina. Since the choroid transfers the photoreceptors with nutrients, a separation can starve the photoreceptors. In case if the separation of the retinal layers is not treated within 24-72 hours, it leads to permanent damage.   

Causes and Symptoms- Separation of Retinal Layers

There are many reasons which may cause separation of retinal layers like:-

  • Shrinkage or scarring of the vitreous pulls the retina inside.
  • Tiny tears in the retina give space for the liquid to get behind the retina, thus pushing it forward.
  • Any eye injury can displace the retina.
  • Bleeding behind the retina basically caused by injury or diabetic retinopathy pushes the retina forward.
  • Separation of the retinal layers can be spontaneous. This happens mostly in older people or those suffering from myopia (nearsightedness).
  • About 2% of the times, people undergoing cataract surgery can have separation of retinal layers.
  • Tumors can also be a reason for separation of retinal layers.

A common symptom of separation of retinal layers can be a tiny dark spot that floats in front of the eye which may seem like flies in a room. Other than this, even flashes of light may be seen, so in case you notice these symptoms, get in touch with your doctor.

Treatment- Separation of Retinal Layers

The only way to treat it is to undergo a surgery. In this the retina will be reattached to the inner surface of the eye by making a scar that would keep it in place. The scar is made using a laser probe. There are two ways to bring the retina close. The first way is known as sclera buckling. This procedure helps in attaching the retina. Another process is known as pneumatic retinopexy and in this the retina is repaired without entering the eyeball.

Prevention- Separation of Retinal Layers

People suffering from diabetes and with retinal disease, should go for regular eye examinations. If this problem is treated early, it can prevent the separation of the retinal layers and blindness and other things like hemorrhage.   

Control on diabetes can also prevent retinal detachment. Keep a check on the blood pressure and protect your eyes from any external injury. Other ways to prevent it is to use laser to paralyze the blood vessels so that they do not bleed or leak.