What is a Retinal Detachment?

What is a Retinal Detachment?

What is a Retinal Detachment?


A retinal detachment occurs when the retina, a thin layer of tissue that lines the inner posterior of the eye, partially or completely peels away from the back of the eye. The retina contains rods and cones, or photoreceptor cells, that transmit light from the eye to the brain which allows us to see. When these cells are damaged or ripped apart in a retinal detachment, vision may be partially or completely lost. This can lead to loss of vision in the area of detachment. You should be seen immediately if you notice signs or symptoms like flashes, new floaters, or a "curtain veil" blocking vision. This is a sight threatening condition and you could lose sight in that eye if not examined/treated immediately.

Who is at risk?


You may be more likely to have a retinal detachment if you:
-have a family history of retinal detachment
-have had eye surgery before
-have had a serious eye injury in the past
-had a retinal detachment in the other eye
-are nearsighted or considered to have "high myopia"

Early signs of a Retinal Detachment:


If you have any of the following symptoms, please call your local Optometrist immediately.


-Suddenly seeing flashing lights or an "arc" of lightning in your side vision
-Seeing multiple floaters all at once, usually just in one eye
-A shadow appearing in your peripheral vision similar to a "curtain" blocking your field of vision
-experience any sudden loss of vision or clarity in one of your eyes

Are you concerned about recent flashes or floaters? Retinal Detachments can often be treated
and vision may be completely or substantially restored when discovered in the early stages of
detachment. This is an immediate concern and should be examined as quickly as possible. If
you believe you are experiencing symptoms of a Retinal Detachment, call Ives Eyecare Center
(or your local Optometrist) immediately; an emergency hotline is available if symptoms occur
outside of our normal business hours.