Prevention of Retinal Detachment
Retinal detachment can be prevented in some. The most effective way of preventing retinal detachment is educating people to seek ophthalmic medical attention if they suffer symptoms suggestive of a posterior vitreous detachment . Early examination allows detection of retinal tears which can be treated with laser or cryotherapy. This reduces the risk of retinal detachment in those who have tears from around 1:3 to 1:20.
There are some known risk factors for retinal detachment. There are also many activities which at one time or another have been forbidden to those at risk of retinal detachment, with varying degrees of evidence supporting the restrictions.
Cataract surgery is a major cause, and can result in detachment even a long time after the operation. The risk is increased if there are complications during cataract surgery, but remains even in apparently uncomplicated surgery. The increasing rates of cataract surgery, and decreasing age at cataract surgery, will inevitably lead to an increased incidence of retinal detachment.
Trauma is a less frequent cause. Activities which cause direct trauma to the eye (boxing, kick-boxing, karate and others) can cause a particular type of retinal tear called a retinal dialysis. This type of tear can be detected and treated before it develops into a retinal detachment. For this reason governing bodies in some of these sports require regular ophthalmic examination.
Individuals prone to retinal detachment due to a high level of myopia are encouraged to avoid activities where there is a risk of shock to the head or eyes, although without direct trauma to the eye the evidence base for this may not be convincing . Some doctors recommend avoiding activities that increase pressure in the eye, including diving, skydiving, again with little supporting evidence. Retinal detachment does not happen as a result of straining your eyes, bending or heavy lifting. Therefore, heavy weightlifting is fine.
Activities that involve sudden acceleration or deceleration also increase eye pressure and are discouraged by some doctors. These include bungee jumping, but may also include rollercoaster rides.