The Importance of Eye Dilation Tests for Detecting Retinal Detachments

retinal detachment test - eye exam to detect retinal detachmentMuch ink is spilled over cataracts and glaucoma, both of which are important topics, but not enough attention is paid to retinal detachments. Retinal detachments are medical emergencies that can result in permanent blindness, and dilation tests are the best tool for detecting this serious problem.

A Retinal Detachment Involves the Separation of the Retina From The Surrounding Tissue

The retina is a layer of tissue in the eye that is very sensitive to light. Light focused by the lens reflects on to the retina where it is converted into neural signals and transmitted to the brain by way of the optic nerve. When the retina is separated from the surrounding tissue and moved from its normal position, this is known as a retinal detachment. Under such circumstances, the retina cannot do its job properly, causing decreased vision and eventual blindness.

Retinal Detachments Are A Serious But Painless Condition

While the separation of the retina from its surrounding tissues sounds like a particularly painful experience, it is actually the opposite. Retinal detachments are painless, so those who are at risk are advised to be vigilant for the signs of a torn or separated retina. Eye floaters are a normally benign feature of vision. They are specks or threads of light that move across an individual’s field of vision. Normally, they only occur in specific situations, for instance if a person is staring at bright lights.

In some cases, floaters can indicate the presence of a serious eye problem and anyone who notices a significant increase in the number of floaters should alert an eye doctor. Experiencing greater than usual floaters is one sign of a retinal detachment.

Other symptoms of a detached retina include experiencing flashes of light and darkened peripheral vision.

A detached retina may not be painful, but it can have devastating consequences if left untreated. A retinal detachment can result in permanent vision loss if ignored.

Dilation Tests Are An Important Detection Tool for Retinal Detachments

If you notice floaters in your eyes, they could be signs of tears to the retina. Retinal tears can lead to retinal detachments, so detecting them far in advance will allow you to treat the problem with less drastic measures.

At Washington Eye Physicians & Surgeons, patients can undergo a dilation test during their routine eye exam. Special eye drops are applied that open up the pupils and allow your doctor to get a better look at the inside of your eye. This superior view enables a Washington Eye specialist to see if everything checks out with your retina and detect any other problems like glaucoma and macular degeneration in their early stages.

Those who are older in age or have an increased risk of eye problems are advised to do a dilation test during all of their yearly eye exams. Those who are extremely nearsighted, have sustained an eye injury, or have a family history of retinal detachments are at a higher risk of suffering from a detached retina.

You only have one pair of eyes, so make the time for comprehensive check-ups to ensure that everything is in order. Our dedicated experts at Washington Eye Physicians & Surgeons are passionate about preventative eye care. Book your eye exam today at our eye clinic in Chevy Chase, Maryland in the Washington DC area.