A detached retina is a condition whereby the retina peels away from the tissue that supports it. People who have only slight retinal detachment can often still see fairly well, but if the detachment progresses it can lead to total loss of vision in the affected eye.
This condition can be expected to occur at least once during the lifetime of about 1 in 300 individuals. However, it is more common in people with severe myopia, who have about a 1 in 20 chance of developing this condition. Retinal detachment can also occur more frequently after cataract surgery.
Detached retina surgery – also called retinal detachment surgery – is often prescribed by a doctor in for people who develop this condition. There are various treatment options for this serious eye condition, including cryotherapy (freezing), scleral buckle surgery, pneumatic retinoplexy, and vitrectomy.
If you have undergone detached retina surgery, here are 5 things you should know during recovery:
1. If you have a gas bubble, it could take 2 – 8 weeks to go away: Developing a small gas bubble in the eye is a common occurrence with this type of surgery. Don’t worry, it will go away on its own after 2 to 8 weeks.
2. You can drive if the doctor gives you permission: People are often concerned about their ability to drive, even after their doctor okays it. Note that, after this type of surgery, reaction times and depth perception may be off a bit for you. Use your best judgment.
3. Generally takes about 3 months for a full recovery: It can take up to 3 months for you to fully recover after this type of surgery.
4. Resume normal work activities for a few hours each day: For any tasks that require extensive use of the eyes, such as working at a computer, take it easy as you resume your previous work activities. A few hours a day to start would be appropriate.
5. Headaches and soreness in other eye are to be expected: Do not be alarmed if you develop frequent headaches or soreness. This is happening because your other eye is “taking over” and compensating for the temporary lack of use of the eye that received surgery. This pain will pass in time.
Understand that with any surgery, there will be a significant adjustment period. This can be frustrating at times, but patience and taking the right actions will lead to a full recovery.