Retinal Detachment is the separation of
the inner nervous (or "neurosensory") layer of the
retina from the outer pigmented layer, or "outer retinal pigment
Retinal detachment can occur when one or more tiny holes
in the retina
enable fluid from the vitreous cavity (the fluid is called "vitreous
humour, or vitreous
body) to accumulate in the subretinal space between the sensory retina
and the retinal pigment epithelium.
Although that is a common example given in descriptions/definitions of
retinal detachment, it is not the only possible cause.
Retinal Detachment may be identified as one of several types,
depending on its cause:
- Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment – i.e. due
to hole, tear, or break in the retina enabling fluid to pass
from the vitreous space into the subretinal space between the sensory
retina and the retinal pigment epithelium.
- Exudative, Serous, or Secondary retinal detachment
– i.e. due to inflammation, injury, or vascular abnormalities
resulting in fluid accumulating underneath the retina without the
presence of a hole, tear, or break.
- Tractional retinal detachment – i.e. due to
fibrovascular tissue, caused by injury, inflammation or neovascularization
("neovascularization" = abnormal formation of new and fragile
blood vessels) pulling apart the layers of the retina.
Retinal detachment is uncommon overall, and especially
in children and younger adults. When it does occur, retinal detachment
generally affects people of middle-age and older, in many cases those
Exceptional cases of retinal detachment in younger people
tend to involve young adult males who have retinal detachment
as a result of a trauma, e.g. due to "paint-ball" injuries.
In cases of retinal detachment, vision corresponding
to the affected part(s) of the retina is reduced or lost while the condition
persists. However, retinal detachment can usually be
treated surgically. Depending on the severity of the case, treatment may
be carried-out under local, or general, anesthetic.
More about Ophthalmology: This section includes short definitions
of many diseases, disorders, and conditions of the eyes and visual system.
For definitions of other terms in this category, choose from the list
to the left (but note that this is not a complete/exhaustive list).
Other related pages include the diagram
of the eye, and definitions
of parts of the eye, a description
of the human retina, and definitions
of parts of the retina, and the section of short definitions
of clinical and surgical procedures re. eyes and human visual system.
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