Dr. Julie Furlan joined hosts Shannon O’Kelley, Physical Therapist and President of Integrated Rehabilitation Group, and Maury Eskenazi, radio personality from Fox Sports radio on Health Matters radio, KRKO 1380am, with thanks to Integrated Rehabilitation Group physical and hand therapy. She talked about retinal detachments.
Dr. Furlan: Most of the time, retinal detachments start out with the vitreous gel changing its location, a little bit in the back of the eye. The vitreous gel being mostly water, 98% water, the rest is collagen. That gives it a little bit of structure. It's kind of like an uncooked egg white floating around in the back of our eyes.
Dr. Furlan: What fills most of our eye tissue is this vitreous gel, and over time little water pockets start to filter out from the vitreous, just like if you were to leave a bowl of Jell-O in your fridge for a week. You get these little water pockets that form within it. The same kind of process happens over the decades in our vitreous gel, and these water pockets tend to form a little pool at the very back of the eye, which is where our central vision takes place, and as that pool expands over the years it causes a very slight forward shift to occur, so the gel unsticks from the central retina and it shifts forward a little bit inside the eye, and that's when problems can occur, because it pulls on the sides of the retina and it can pull tears as it's moving. Once you have a tear in the retina, then you have an opening where this watery vitreous can track through and accumulate underneath the retina and push it off the eye wall, and then you're dealing with a detached retina.
Health Matters: You don't necessarily have to have some kind of traumatic event to have a detached retina.
Dr. Furlan: No.
Health Matters: When that happens, who does it happen to?
Dr. Furlan: It's more of a structural thing, so people with very long eyes, people who are nearsighted, high myopia, those people, all the tissue is just a little bit on stretch to cover the extra area, and it's a little more likely to happen in near-sighted eyes, but it can happen to anybody.