John Chovan PhD DNP RN CNP CNS and Sue Butz DNP RN CCRN
retinal, detachment, early, detection, vision, loss
Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing
Vision is one of a few senses people take for granted but imagine the shift in quality of life if suddenly there was a black curtain covering a patient’s visual field. Symptoms of retinal detachment can present as benign visual disturbances that could be dismissed by both patients and providers. The symptoms can be so subtle that patients present as asymptomatic and are often detected during primary care visits. Retinal detachment is more often diagnosed as people age and the visual structures become weakened or in patients that have chronic medical conditions such as diabetes. Retinal detachment can be challenging to diagnose, especially in cases that present as a result of trauma. Retinal detachment can be detected with a simple otoscope exam, which would reveal no red reflex, warranting a more in-depth evaluation by a specialist. This demonstrates how significant thorough eye exams are during primary care visits and emergency department visits following a trauma. Early diagnosis and prompt referral are imperative.
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