Know the Signs of Retinal Detachment in Your Child

September 29, 2022

The retina is one of the most important parts of the eye. It turns light into nerve signals that travel to the brain and ultimately allow us to see. Should the retina be lifted or pulled from its normal position, it will become detached, which can cause permanent vision loss if left untreated. While a retinal detachment can occur at any age, parents must recognize the signs that their child has suffered from one and needs to see an ophthalmologist immediately. It’s also important for moms and dads to tell their kids to alert them right away of any changes in their eyesight. 

At the offices of Brook Plaza Ophthalmology, our team of skilled professionals is trained in diagnosing and treating retinal detachments in people of all ages. We are a full-service practice that treats all aspects of eye care. 

Pediatric retinal detachment (PRD) is an uncommon and challenging disease usually caused by inherited genetic abnormalities, trauma and past eye surgery. It differs from adult retinal detachments in its causes, management and prognosis. PRD can be particularly challenging due to its higher incidence of total retinal detachment instead of just a retinal tear; and it often affects both eyes.

Signs that your child may have PRD:

  • The sudden appearance of many floaters (specks that seem to drift through the field of vision. As in adults, a child will describe floaters as appearing as black or gray specks, strings or cobwebs. They may drift about when he (or she) moves his eyes. Floaters appear to dart away when you try to look at them directly.
  • Flashes of light in one or both eyes 
  • Blurred vision
  • Gradually reduced side (peripheral) vision
  • A curtain-like shadow over the visual field

Retinal detachment is a medical emergency. If your child reports symptoms, call an ophthalmologist to make an immediate appointment. Regular eye exams can also flag early changes in your child’s eyes that can prevent future problems. 

Brook Plaza Ophthalmology is dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate eye care for adults and children. For more information about our office, please don’t hesitate to call us today.