Ophthalmology Procedures

Detached Retina Treatment in Chicago, IL

A detached retina can be a scary and confusing diagnosis. The doctors and staff at The Kraff Eye Institute in Chicago, can guide you through diagnosis and treatment.

What Is Retinal Detachment?

retinal detachment

Retinal detachment is an emergency condition in which the thin layer of tissue located at the back of the eye, called the retina, pulls away from its normal position. Retinal detachment causes the retinal cells to separate from the layer of blood vessels that provide oxygen and nourishment to the eye. If a retinal tear goes untreated, the greater the risk of permanent vision loss is in the affected eye. A torn, or partially torn retina can later lead to a full detachment of the retina. A quick diagnosis, followed by immediate treatment is critical with retinal detachments.

What Are The Symptoms Of Detached Retina And How Is It Diagnosed?

The symptoms of detached retina are often a combination of several irregular eye occurrences that are largely painless. Retinal detachment symptoms, or warning signs almost always occur before it happens, or advances. These symptoms include:

  • The sudden appearance of a large amount of floaters, these are tiny black specks that appear to float around the field of vision.
  • Flashes of light that resemble lightning bolts in one or both eyes.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Gradually reduced peripheral, or side, vision. 
  • A curtain-like shadow covering part of the field of vision. Often referred to as a “shade” over the eye.

There are several tests your doctor can do to determine if there is a retinal detachment diagnosis. Your doctor will dilate, or widen, your pupil with eye drops so that they are able to examine the back of the eye, including the retina. A bright light, along with a special lens, allows the doctor to have a detailed view of the entire retina, viewing any retinal holes, tears or detachments. Your doctor may also use Ultrasound imaging to view the retina, if bleeding has occurred in the eye. Your doctor will examine both eyes, even if the symptoms are only occurring in one eye.

Retinal Detachment Treatment Types

Your doctor will discuss detached retina treatment options with you. You may require more than one treatment, or  a combination of treatments to optimize your results. 

Laser Therapy & Cryopexy

If you are diagnosed with a retinal tear before the retina pulls away, your doctor can use a medical laser or freezing tool to seal the tear. This type of treatment creates a scar that holds the retina in place. After this procedure you may be advised to avoid activities that could jar the eyes for a few weeks.

Pneumatic Retinopexy

If your provider determines the detachment isn’t extensive, they may perform pneumatic retinopexy. During this procedure, your doctor will inject a small gas bubble into the vitreous, the fluid in the eye. The bubble will press against the retina, closing the tear. The doctor may use cryopexy to seal the tear. Eventually, the gas bubble will get reabsorbed by the body, and the retina can stick to the back of the eye like it should. You will be advised to keep your head as still as possible for a few days, and to avoid lying on your back.

Scleral Buckle

During this procedure, your doctor will place a silicone band around the eye, this band holds the retina in place and will stay there permanently. You will not be able to see the band. The detachment will begin to heal. At a later time, the doctor will likely use cryopexy to seal the tear. 


During a vitrectomy, the doctor will surgically remove the vitreous, the fluid part of the eye, along with any tissue that is pulling on the retina. Air, gas or silicone oil is then injected into the vitreous space to help flatten the retina. A vitrectomy is often combined with a scleral buckle procedure. Following a vitrectomy, the vision may take several months to improve.

Schedule Your Chicago Detached Retina Treatment Appointment

Schedule your Chicago detached retina treatment appointment by calling 312-757-7335. The experienced, dedicated staff at The Kraff Eye Institute are here to guide you through your retinal detachment vision.

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Common Types And Causes Of Retinal Detachment

detached retina causes

There are three retinal detachment types:

  • Rhegmatogenous: These types of retinal detachments are the most common. Rhegmatogenous detachments are caused by a hole or tear in the retina that allows fluid to accumulate underneath the retina. The fluid build up causes the retina to pull away from the underlying tissue, depriving the retina of its blood supply, and causing vision loss. The most common cause of this type of retinal detachment is age. As we age, the vitreous of the eye may change in consistency and shrink or become more liquid. Normally, the vitreous will separate from the surface of the retina without complication, which is a common condition referred to as a posterior vitreous detachment, or PVD. Once complication of PVD is a retinal tear. As the vitreous pulls from the retina, it may tug on the retina with enough force to create a tear. If left untreated, this tear can lead to a full detachment.
  • Tractional: This type of detachment occurs when scar tissue grows on the retina's surface, causing the retina to pull away from the back of the eye. This is often seen in people who have poorly controlled diabetes.
  • Exudative: During this type of detachment, fluid accumulates beneath the retina, but the retina does not tear. Exudative detachment can be caused by age related macular deterioration, an eye injury, tumors or inflammatory disorders.

Retinal Detachment Coping & Support Measures

A complication of retinal detachment may be loss of vision. Depending on the degree of vision loss, you may experience changes in your lifestyle. The following suggestions can be helpful as you adjust to life with impaired vision:

  • Get glasses: Optimize the vision you have with glasses, requesting safety lenses to protect the eyes is a good idea as well. 
  • Brighten your home: Having bright light in your home can help with reading and other activities. 
  • Make your home safer: Eliminate throw rugs, to reduce falls. Apply colored tape on the edges of steps. Consider using motion-activated lighting.
  • Use Technology: Audiobooks, and talking computer screens can help with reading, and work related tasks.
  • Check into transportation options: Look into local shuttles, volunteer driving networks, and ride shares.
  • Talk to others people who are living with impaired vision: Use online networks, support groups and resources for people with impaired vision.

Reviews For Detached Retina Treatment Services At Kraff Eye, Chicago


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How Much Does Retinal Detachment Treatment Cost?

The cost of treatment for a retinal detachment will depend on the type of detachment you have, and the type of treatment recommended. You may require more than one treatment.

Detached Retina Treatment Financial Options

The Kraff Eye Institute is a proud partner of CareCredit, America's leading patient payment program. Care Credit allows you to begin your treatment then pay for it at your convenience.

About Our Chicago Retinal Detachment Treatment Doctors

Having over 30 years of experience, Dr. Colman Kraff is committed to providing the safest and most effective treatment options for his patients. Dr. Kraff is committed to utilizing the most up to date technology, resulting in high levels of success, along with tremendous safety measures.

Schedule Your Illinois Detached Retina Consultation Today!

Schedule your detached retina consultation at The Kraff Eye Institute today.

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What are the retinal detachment risk factors?

Expand F.A.Q.

The following may contribute to retinal detachment risk factors:

  • Aging-retinal detachment is more common in people over 50.
  • Prior retinal detachment in one or both eyes.
  • Family history of retinal detachment.
  • Extreme nearsightedness or myopia.
  • Previous eye surgery, such as a cataract removal.
  • Prior severe eye injury.
  • Having another eye disease or disorder.

When should you talk to a doctor about your detached retina?

Expand F.A.Q.

It is critical that you seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing detached retina symptoms. Retinal detachment is a medical emergency in which you can suffer permanent loss of vision, so time is of the essence when seeking medical treatment. Even if your symptoms seem mild, it's best to schedule an appointment and let your doctor take a look.

Can retinal detachment be prevented?

Expand F.A.Q.

Retinal detachment is not preventable, but you can take steps to lower your risk:

  • Get regular dilated eye exams: Eye exams are critical to good eye health. If you are nearsighted, eye exams are especially important. Nearsightedness makes you more susceptible to retinal detachment. A dilated exam will allow your doctor to spot small retinal tears. 
  • Stay safe: Use safety goggles or other protective eyewear when playing sports, or doing other risky activities.
  • Get immediate treatment: If you notice symptoms of retinal detachment, see your doctor right away or go to the emergency room. Early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment.