Have you ever experienced flashing lights or floaters which look like dark spots or strands of threads in your eye? I knew someone who experienced this, but didn’t see an ophthalmologist until it was too late. He was doing his usual running when this happened.
Within a few days after having this unusual experience, he couldn’t see out of one eye. He became disturbed over this, and called his ophthalmologist. After the examination, he was told by the doctor that he had a detached retina, commonly know as a retinal detachment.
The doctor immediately performed surgery on this young man, but unfortunately, it was too late. He was not able to see out of that one eye. Fortunately for him, he was able to adjust to this situation. At first, he was not able to drive, but as he got used to seeing out of one eye, he is now able to continue driving.
Learning about retinal tear and retina detachment is important to be aware of so that it can prevent people from having this unexpected experience.
Retinal detachment is usually preceded by a break or tear in the retina. Retina tear is more common in people with severe myopia (near sightedness). A retinal tear may also be caused by a severe injury to the eye, especially by a penetrating injury.
It is extremely important to see an eye specialist if you see flashing lights or floaters, or if it seems like a curtain is sliding over your eye, and you realize you cannot see out of that eye. I cannot say this often enough. You must get to the Emergency Room immediately!!
If a doctor is seen soon after a person experiences the above symptoms, most people can be treated noninvasive if the symptoms are caught early When a retina tears, when treated early enough, it can be treated with a noninvasive laser technique.
If there is a detachment, surgery is necessary. The longer the diagnosis is delayed, the less chance a person has of recovering his/her vision.
Source: The book, The American Medical Association, Encyclopedia
Reader’s digest, the article, “Sudden changes in vision”