Eye Dilation Tests Help Detect Retinal Detachment

Eye Dilation Tests Help Detect Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachment occurs when the retina, a thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye responsible for light reception and conversion, is detached from its original position. This can prevent the retina from processing and forwarding visual information to the brain, leading to blindness.

Pain is not a symptom of retinal detachment, which explains why some patients may not be aware of their condition when it occurs. Instead, look for the sudden appearance of floaters and flashes of light一telltale signs of retinal detachment. 

If you ever experience these symptoms, see an eye doctor immediately. Your eye doctor will administer an eye dilation test to confirm your condition and follow up with the appropriate treatment. Neglecting your symptoms may lead to blindness. 

Our Calgary optometrists at Sunridge Eye Clinic can quickly administer an eye dilation test in the event of a suspected retinal detachment. Our dilation tests can also be performed as part of a comprehensive eye exam for seniors. 

How Does Retinal Detachment Happen? 

Retinal detachment can occur for a multitude of reasons. 

Ageing is the most common. As people age, a gel-like substance inside their eye called the vitreous separates from the surface of the retina. On rare occasions, the vitreous may create a tear in the retina as it peels off. This tear may grow and cause the retina to pull away from its normal position. 

Another reason for seniors to be vigilant is because of their susceptibility to age-related macular degeneration, which causes fluid to accumulate under the retina一pulling it down. 

People with diabetes can be vulnerable to retinal detachment. If poorly managed, diabetes can cause scar tissue to grow on the surface of the retina. As these scars get bigger, they pull on the retina causing detachment. 

Retinal detachment can also be caused by tumours, inflammatory disorders, and physical trauma to the eye. 

Symptoms Of Retinal Detachment 

Symptoms of retinal detachment usually appear before the retina has pulled away from its position. This gives you some time to get retinal surgery before the condition has advanced, minimizing risks of vision loss or blindness. 

Symptoms to look for include:

  • Sudden appearance of floaters in your vision 
  • Flashes of light in one or both eyes
  • Blurred vision 
  • Gradual reduction of peripheral vision
  • A curtain-like shadow hanging over your vision 

Pain is almost never a symptom of retinal detachment. 

Eye Dilation Tests For Retinal Detachment 

If you are experiencing symptoms normally associated with a detached retina, schedule an eye dilation test as soon as possible. The examination allows your eye doctor to confirm your condition and proceed with the appropriate treatment. 

During the test, your optometrist will apply special eye drops to open up your pupils for examination. This lets them get a better look inside your eye and make sure your retina is positioned correctly. 

Given their ability to detect other dangerous eye conditions such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, eye dilation tests are often administered as part of a routine comprehensive eye exam. 

Your Calgary Eye Dilation Test At Sunridge 

A detached retina is a medical emergency. If left untreated, partial or complete blindness may occur. 

An eye dilation test is highly effective in detecting early signs of retinal detachment, allowing your optometrist to proceed with surgical treatment. The key is to get the test early and to maintain a regular schedule of eye exams as the symptoms of retinal detachment can be easily ignored. 

If you are a senior, have diabetes, or play contact sports at a competitive level, you are at a higher risk of experiencing a retinal detachment. Be on the lookout for symptoms such as sudden floaters and flashing lights in your eyes. 

Sunridge Eye Clinic has a long history of detecting retinal detachment. Call our Calgary eye doctors at 403-280-7518 or fill out the online contact form to learn more about the condition or to book a comprehensive eye test.

FAQs

Q: How can retinal detachment be treated?
A: If your retina has a tear but has not yet detached, your eye doctor can repair it with a laser or a freezing procedure. If the retina has fully detached, you will need surgery. 

Q: How long does it take for my vision to fully recover after surgery?
A: Your vision may take several months to improve and a second surgery may be needed. Successful surgery does not guarantee that your vision will be fully restored. 

Q: What happens if I ignore a detached retina?
A: The so-called natural history of retinal detachment, meaning the most likely outcome without appropriate treatment, is complete blindness.


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