Retinal Detachment


Retinal detachment is an emergency situation in which a thin layer of tissue in the retina (at the back of the eye) moves from its normal position. The most common causes of retinal detachment are aging or eye injury. If left untreated permanent loss of eyesight can occur. Thankfully, About 80% to 90% of retina surgical procedures are successful, and although in some cases more than one operation may be necessary, chances of a full recovery are high if the situation is caught in time.

Early detection 

Early detection is key in this situation. Here are the symptoms of a retinal detachment. 

  • Floaters in your vision – Floaters are tiny specks that seem to drift through the field of vision. They may look like black or grey specks or strings that float around the line vision. If these suddenly appear in your eye sight, get it checked out! 
  • Flashing lights in one of both eyes- This is also known as Photopsia. This can cause headaches and migraines, as well as, being a sign for retinal detachment. 
  • Blurred vision 
  • Reduced side vision 
  • A curtain-like shadow over your vision



The most common type of retinal detachment is rhegmatogenous. It is initially caused by a hole or tear in the retina that allows fluid (from the eye) to pass through and accumulate under the retina, pulling it away from its normal position. The areas where the retina detached loses its blood supply and stops working properly which can cause a person to lose their eyesight. 

This is very common with aging. As a person ages, the material that fills the inside of the eye may change its consistency and shrink. Normally this happens without complications, but sometimes it can cause a slight detachment in the retina. 


Not all cases require surgery. Low-risk tears can often be monitored to ensure that the retina ‘heals itself.’ As long as the situation is being overseen by a medical professional, surgery can possibly be avoided. However, a more severe torn retina is very serious, and can lead to loss of vision in the affected eye. For this reason, anyone who shows symptoms will be sent to an eye specialist for confirmation of the diagnosis and advised to have immediate surgery. Recovery after surgery can take between 2-6 weeks, during which the patient may experience blurred vision, red or sore eyes. Although you might need to take time off work- this is a small price to pay for losing your eyesight!

If you are experiencing one of these symptoms, don’t panic! Do go to the emergency room and have your eye checked out and taken care of quickly. Remember: Retinal detachment  is more common than you think, and easily treatable!

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