How Long Before a Retinal Detachment Causes Blindness?

Eye doctor examining a patient's eyesRetinal detachment is a serious condition that can lead to blindness, if left untreated. If a person is experiencing retinal detachment, it is imperative that they seek emergency and professional attention immediately or they can permanently lose their eyesight.

Many people may wonder how long they have before retinal detachment causes blindness. First, understanding just what retinal detachment is may be beneficial for those curious about the condition. If the retina begins to move or detach from the back section of the eye, typically after a retinal tear, distorted visual imaging will occur as the retina is no longer properly processing light or transmitting neural signals. Early indicators or symptoms of retinal detachment include blurred vision, flashes of light, floaters in the eye, decreased peripheral vision, and the appearance of a shadow or a curtain restricting a patient’s field of vision.

As mentioned above, retinal detachment is typically preceded by a retinal tear. Identifying symptoms of a retinal tear can lead to early detection and allows patients to prevent a detachment from ever happening if treatment is sought out. This is why routine comprehensive eye exams are extremely important and should be scheduled yearly. Retinal tears can produce similar symptoms to the detachment that includes lines or black spots, blurriness, periodic flashes of light, and the same curtain effect in the eye. However, sometimes retinal tears will not produce symptoms and are difficult to detect. The office offers examination and easy, on-site laser treatment of retinal tears. If a patient needs surgery for a detached retina that we can’t repair in the office, we will find you the appropriate doctor and set up your surgery appointment so you know exactly what to do next.

Many eye doctors agree that retinal detachment can lead to permanent blindness, but the timeline of how quickly it happens is difficult to determine. People can lose their sight within several hours of the detachment or within a few days. It is best that people who are experiencing symptoms seek treatment right away to reduce the chances of losing sight permanently. When a retina becomes detached, the only effective treatment is to have it surgically reattached by an experienced ophthalmologist.

If you or someone you know believe you have a retinal tear or detachment, seek immediate medical services from your eye doctor. If you want to know more about this condition or are interested in the eye care services Prestera Eye Medical Group offers, please contact us today!