Retinal detachment is a serious eye condition that occurs when the retina becomes separated from the wall of the eye and its supportive underlying tissue. The retina cannot function when these two layers are detached, and without prompt treatment, permanent vision loss may occur. Retinal detachment can occur from injury to the eye or face, or from very high levels of nearsightedness.
Patients with retinal detachment may experience a blind spot, blurred vision or shadows forming in their peripheral vision. Other symptoms may include an increase in flashes and floaters. It is important to see your doctor at the first sign of symptoms in order to minimize the damage caused by this condition.
To prevent permanent vision loss, the retina must be quickly reattached. Treatment for retinal detachment can be done through surgery or laser photocoagulation. Photocoagulation seals off leaking blood vessels and destroys new blood vessel growth, allowing the retina to reattach. Pneumatic retinopexy, a procedure that creates a gas bubble within the vitreous gel and then expands to place pressure against the retina, can also help with reattachment.
These procedures can preserve vision and may also allow lost vision to return in some patients. The sooner the retina is attached, the more effective treatment tends to be. If you are experiencing signs of retinal detachment, please call us immediately.
PTK is an excimer laser surgical procedure that removes roughness or cloudiness from the cornea. The cornea is the smooth clear window of the eye in front of the colored iris that helps bend light rays so they focus directly on the retina, the light-sensing layer of cells at the back of the eye. If the corneal surface is rough or cloudy, the rays of light do not focus properly on the retina and images are blurry.
Until recently, a rough cornea was scraped smooth with a surgical blade, while a cloudy cornea required a partial or full corneal transplant. More recently, phototherapeutic keratectomy, or PTK, is an option.
The excimer laser allows some abnormal corneas to be treated with a cool beam of light that evaporates tissue. The principal advantage of laser surgery over conventional surgery is that the laser is able to create a smoother corneal surface than a blade while smaller amounts of tissue can be removed.
Potential complications after PTK include poor wound healing, excessive corneal flattening resulting in farsightedness, and irregular astigmatism or poor vision that cannot be corrected completely with glasses.