Retinal detachment is a condition when the retina separates away from its normal position. This can happen at any age, and can lead to sudden or slow loss of vision, depending on the actual cause. The detachment can occur due to many causes, including a hole developing in the retina, as sometimes happens in myopia, pull or traction developing on the retina as can happen in diabetic retinopathy, or injury to the retina. In most cases, surgery is required to correct this disorder, which should be undertaken sooner to prevent further detachment and potential visual impairment.
Types of Retinal Detachment:
Retinal detachment is generally of three types.
- Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment
- Tractional retinal detachment
- Exudative retinal detachment
Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment:
In this type of retinal detachment, a retinal tear (referred to as break) fluid within the eye (vitreous humour or gel) to pass behind the retina into the subretinal space.
These tears can be of three types: (a) holes, (b) tears, and (c) dialyses. A retinal hole occurs due to retinal degeneration, while retinal tears are formed due to pull from the vitreous gel (vitreoretinal traction). Dialyses occur at the extreme edge of the retina, usually due to trauma.
Tractional retinal detachment:
This type of retinal detachment occurs when fibrous tissues (fibrous tissue occurs due to healing of trauma or inflammation) pulls retina from its normal resting position, which is close to the retinal pigment epithelium.
Exudative retinal detachment:
This is also referred to as secondary retinal detachment. This type of detachment occurs when fluid accumulates under the retinal pigment epithelium, due to any cause other than a tear, hole or a break in retina. This could occur due to inflammation, injury, tumour or vascular abnormalities. It is very important to differentiate this type of retinal detachment from the other types of retinal detachment, as surgery for this condition may potentially worsen the condition.