Can contact lenses cause retinal tears

 

The retina is one of the most important parts of the eye. Put simply, it is the projection surface for the images that the optic nerve then forwards to the brain. Without the retina with its millions of nerve cells, the images cannot be converted into neural signals that the brain ultimately processes.

 

This is exactly what happens with a retinal detachment Retina stands out from the choroidthat normally supplies the light-sensitive sensory cells with oxygen and important nutrients. For this reason, retinal detachment is a medical emergency that, if not treated immediately, can lead to irreparable damage or, in the worst case, complete blindness.

 

The causes of retinal detachment

There are various possible causes for a retinal detachment, most of them related to a change in the vitreous humor. In a healthy eye, the vitreous body completely fills the inside and is primarily used for stabilization. The vitreous humor shrinks with age. This is a natural process, which, however, favors the development of a retinal detachment. Because of this, most of those affected are older. In rare cases, however, young people can also be affected. If the vitreous humor can no longer adequately stabilize the eye due to a pathological or age-related change, it “pulls” on the retina and Fluid enters the space between the retina and the choroid.

  • Retinal tear, retinal hole: When the volume of the vitreous body shrinks, retinal tears can occur, which become small holes as the pull continues. Fluid enters through such a retinal hole, causing the retina to bulge into the eyeball. Such cracks and holes can also occur in severe bruises that deform the eyeball.
  • Inflammation: Severe inflammation of the retina or choroid can cause so much fluid to build up that the retina lifts off. However, they occur rarely and mostly as a side effect of serious illnesses (e.g. AIDS).
  • Tumors: The growth of tumors in the retinal area can, although rarely, cause detachment as well.
  • Diabetes: If you have diabetes, scarring can form on the retina. The scar tissue hardens over time and exerts a pulling effect, which in turn can cause retinal tears and holes.
  • Myopia: If an elongated eyeball is the cause of myopia (axial myopia), there is an increased risk of retinal detachment.
  • Cataract surgery: Cataract surgery can accelerate the natural shrinkage of the vitreous humor and thus significantly increase the risk of retinal detachment.

 

 

What are the symptoms of retinal detachment?

The symptoms of retinal detachment are fairly straightforward. How severe they are, however, depends on which areas of the retina are affected.

  • Flashes of light or flickeringcaused by the sensory cells irritated by drafts and especially evident in the dark and with eyes closed.
  • Black flakes or dots (the so-called soot rain) that move freely through the field of vision are signs of small hemorrhages that occur after a retinal tear.
  • Blurry, distorted images suggest that the macula, the point of sharpest vision, is affected.
  • A visual field loss, which manifests itself as a growing dark shadow or veil, is a sign that the retina has already peeled off because light can no longer be perceived in this area of ​​the retina.

In most cases, several symptoms appear together. But even if you notice any of them, you should see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible. This is the only way to prevent lasting impairments.

Retinal Detachment: Is Treatment Possible?

In the case of retinal detachment, treatment depends on the cause and stage of the disease. If the retina “only” has cracks or holes, the threatened detachment can be treated with a laser or cold treatment that reconnects the retina and choroid.

However, if the retina has already loosened, there is no alternative to surgery. The aim of the procedures is to put pressure on the vitreous so that it presses the retina and choroid together again.