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August 1995

Asymptomatic Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachments

Arch Ophthalmol. 1995;113(8):1030-1032. doi:10.1001/archopht.1995.01100080082032

Objective:  To describe the clinical characteristics and risk of progression of asymptomatic rhegmatogenous retinal detachments.

Methods:  We retrospectively reviewed the clinical records of 28 patients (31 eyes) with asymptomatic rhegmatogenous retinal detachments followed up without surgery for 0.5 to 12.1 years (mean, 3.4 years). Tractional tears were present in six eyes and atrophic holes in 25 eyes. In five patients, the asymptomatic retinal detachment was noted when the patient presented with a symptomatic retinal detachment in the fellow eye.

Results:  Twenty-nine of the 31 eyes remained asymptomatic without progression of the retinal detachment. Two eyes progressed to a symptomatic retinal detachment 2.25 and 3.3 years after the initial examination, underwent a successful scleral buckling procedure, and maintained 20/20 visual acuity.

Conclusions:  Observation can be considered a reasonable option in the treatment of patients with asymptomatic retinal detachments. Chart documentation of the risks and benefits of observation and instruction of the patient on self-monitoring of the peripheral visual field are necessary in such patients.