Three Serious Medical Conditions That Require Immediate Retinal Surgery


People who have their sight are well aware that it depends entirely on the health of their retinas and optic nerves. Several serious conditions involving the retinas are cause for alarm, and should be addressed as soon as possible. There are three very serious conditions that should not be ignored and will require retinal surgery immediately.  

Retinal Detachment

Your retinas are attached to the back surfaces of your eyes. An accident, extreme pressure or a congenital defect that does not become apparent until the retinas detach are the most common causes for this dangerous situation. Immediate surgery is the only way to reattach the retinas and save your sight before it is permanently lost.

Retinal Vein or Artery Occlusion

The arteries running to the retinas, as well as the veins running away from the retinas, are in as much danger of becoming blocked and/or hardened as any other arteries and veins in the body. However, the urgency behind clearing these blocked veins or arteries in the eyes is very real, as the blockages can cause the retinal cells to die off and/or burst vessels which bleed into the vitreous humor of the eye. In either case, partial to total blindness is imminent if surgery is not immediate. (The surgeons will attempt a catheter procedure through the blocked blood vessels to unclog them, so long as the vessels have not burst.)

Nerve Damage

A whole host of things can cause damage to the retinal nerves. Usually, if it is an autoimmune condition, medicines can treat the source of the nerve damage and prevent it from making your condition worse. If the medicines are not effective enough, or the nerve damage is worse than your ophthalmologist originally thought, surgery is necessary to save the retinal nerves from further deterioration or damage. When the cause is a tumor or increased pressure on the retinal nerve, the removal of the tumor or the release of the pressure can save and even possibly restore one's eyesight.

What You Should Do Next

If you cannot get an emergency appointment with your eye doctor, you should go directly to the nearest emergency room. Your window to correct any of the above retinal emergencies is very narrow, especially if you want to retain as much of your sight as possible. The emergency room doctors can run tests that your eye doctor cannot, such as an MRI, that will point out abnormalities in your retinas, blood vessels, and brain tissues. They can get you into an operating room sooner too, since you do not have to wait for your eye doctor to schedule it with the hospital. Just be sure to follow up with an eye doctor (such as one from Coastal Eye Group PC) as soon as you are able (after the surgery).


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