The retina can detach itself from the underlying choroid layer for a varied of reasons. Most common cause is perforation of the retina due to injury; retina may also be stretched too tight if eyeball is too long from back to front, as in short sight, or if lens has been removed because of a Cataract.
Detachment can also occur if the vitreous fluid in the inner chamber of the eye shrinks away from the retina and tears it. Once detachment starts, vitreous fluid quickly seeps between the retina and choroid, lifting more and more of the retina away from the choroid. Symptoms are flashes of light, and black, floating, cobweb-like shapes, followed by a loss of peripheral vision in the affected eye, as if a curtain were being drawn; if left untreated, central vision will also be impaired. By the time symptoms appear, the retina has already detached, so consult your doctor if there is no improvement in 2 hours; surgery under anaesthesia may be necessary. There is a small risk of recurrence after surgery but a greater risk that the other eye will be affected, so have both eyes checked regularly. Constitutional treatment can help to prevent recurrence.
Specific remedies to be taken every 15 minutes for up to 10 doses while waiting for specialist help
- Early symptoms (as fluid seeps between retina and choroid) Apis 30c
- If Apis does not stabilise eye within 2 hours Gelsemium 30c
- If there is a history of injury to the eye Arnica 30c
- If detachment has occurred before, Aurum mur. 30c taken every 12 hours for up to 3 doses may exert a protective effect.
Self-help: Zinc and Vitamin A may be beneficial.