MANILA -- Blurry vision is usually associated with the need to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses. That is why sometimes, we tend to skip the process of consulting an eye doctor and just go straight to buying eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Dr. Cheryl Arcinue, Asian Eye Institute’s Retina and Vitreous Disease Specialist, warns that blurry vision can be one of the symptoms of sight-threatening eye conditions like retinal detachment.
Retinal detachment is a serious eye condition that occurs when the retina pulls away from the blood vessels that supply it with oxygen and nourishment. The retina is located at the back of the eye and acts like the film in the camera. When light strikes, it “takes a picture” and sends it to the brain through the optic nerve. Without a constant blood supply, the nerve cells inside the retina die and stop functioning, causing permanent blindness.
But how does the retina get pulled from its normal position?
According to Dr. Arcinue, “The retina is filled with clear jelly-like fluid called vitreous gel. As we age, the vitreous gel may change its consistency and become more liquid and shrink. Eventually, this pulls the retina and creates a tear or a hole. The gel then leaks through this tear and collects under the retina, further peeling the retina.”
In the film Barcelona: A Love Untold, Daniel Padilla’s brother, Buboy, suffered from retinal detachment after meeting an accident. Through a screening, his condition was caught early, and he was recommended to undergo surgery to prevent vision loss.
While it is common in people over 40 years old, retinal detachment can develop in any age. Dr. Arcinue explains, “Like Buboy, you can develop retinal detachment if you suffered from an eye injury. You are also at higher risk if you have extreme nearsightedness, have a family member who has experienced it, or have had an eye condition like cataract or tumor.
Retinal detachment cannot be prevented. She urges patients, especially those with risk factors, to get a comprehensive eye exam. She says, “A comprehensive eye exam will enable us to evaluate the patients’ overall eye condition and detect if they are suffering from retinal detachment. The sooner the retinal detachment is detected and reattached, the higher the chances of restoring vision.”
“Consult a retina specialist immediately if you experience floaters, the black, clear or gray strings that float across your field of vision, that are accompanied by flashes of light, and a curtain-like shadow or blind spots in your field of vision,” she adds.
Depending on the severity of the condition, the retina specialist may recommend treatment through injections or surgery. Recovery may take about a month; although, the retina continues to recover within the next six months.
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