Numerical study of the effect of head and eye movement on progression of retinal detachment.
Biomech Model Mechanobiol 2018, vol. 17, issue 4
Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (RD) is a sight threatening condition. In this type of RD a break in the retina allows retrohyaloid fluid to enter the subretinal space. The prognosis concerning the patients' visual acuity is better if the RD has not progressed to the macula. The patient is given a posturing advice of bed rest and semi-supine positioning (with the RD as low as possible) to allow the utilisation of gravity and immobilisation in preventing progression of the RD. It is, however, unknown what external loads on the eye contribute the most to the progression of a RD. The goal of this exploratory study is to elucidate the role of eye movements caused by head movements and saccades on the progression of an RD. A finite element model is produced and evaluated in this study. The model is based on geometric and material properties reported in the literature. The model shows that a mild head movement and a severe eye movement produce similar traction loads on the retina. This implies that head movements-and not eye movements-are able to cause loads that can trigger and progress an RD. These preliminary results suggest that head movements have a larger effect on the progression of an RD than saccadic eye movements. This study is the first to use numerical analysis to investigate the development and progression of RD and shows promise for future work.Link to full publication