Just two weeks ago, a patient walked in the office for her yearly eye exam. Nothing strange going on- just wanted to see if she needed to update her glasses. She didn’t expect to be going into emergency surgery for a retinal detachment later that afternoon.
Despite a lack of symptoms, this patient was fortunate enough to be caught before the eye damage was irreversible. This was a good reminder for us to bring to light a few visual phenomenons that should alert you to contact us immediately.
- Spots – small cloudy specks that become noticeable when they fall in the line of sight
- Floaters – a dark or grey or spot or speck that passes across your field of vision and moves as you move your eye.
- Flashes of light- appears as lightning bolts, flickering lights or random sparks in the field of vision.
These three signs can be normal visual occurrences and some- especially floaters- increase gradually with the more birthdays we have. However- if one of these symptoms suddenly expresses itself, a patient must seen immediately. Because retinal detachment causes no pain – it’s important to know about these signs.
When a retina detaches the tissue on the back of your eye becomes separated from the supporting tissue. When separated it cannot function and process the information that creates visual images in your brain. If a retina does not get reattached surgically, the vision loss can be permanent.