The back section of the eye is filled with a clear gel called vitreous humor, or simply, vitreous. The vitreous is firmly attached to several components in the posterior section of the eye: the optic nerve, large retinal vessels, the central retina (macula), and importantly for our discussion here, the front section of the retina and along the edges of retinal thinning (lattice). The vitreous usually separates from these structures as we age, also called a”PVD.” See”Posterior Vitreous Detachment” above for a complete description of this event.
Usually, the vitreous separating, or PVD, is a benign process. However, the vitreous may pull hard enough to tear the retina in one or more places. The eye’s fluid may pass through a retinal tear and lift the retina off the back of the eye, much as wallpaper can peel off a wall. A retinal detachment is the separation of the retina from the inside wall of the eye.
The retina does not work when it is detached and vision becomes obscured. A retinal detachment is a very serious problem that usually causes blindness if not repaired. Timely surgery has a high success rate of restoring one’s vision. Retinal detachment surgery is usually performed in the our operating room in Atlanta and utilizes various techniques to reattach the retina to its original position.