All about Retinal Detachment

Retinal Detachment

A retinal detachment occurs when the light sensitive retina detaches from the layer of blood vessels at the back of the eyeball. If not treated promptly it can cause permanent loss of vision in the affected eye.

What causes retinal detachment?

As we age, the retina becomes thinner and more brittle and can pull away from the underlying blood vessels. Retinal detachment can also be caused by a direct injury to the eyeball and is more common in people who are very short-sighted.


What should I look out for?

Most people experience symptoms before the detachment happens. If you become aware of dark spots or lines floating in your vision ('floaters'), or you are experiencing flashing lights, you should have your eyes checked as soon as possible, especially if this is accompanied by shadows, dark patches or blurred and distored vision. Most people with flashes and floaters won't have a retinal detachment, but it's important to have this checked promptly because if the retina is detached or torn you may need urgent treatment.


How are retinal detachments treated?

There are several types of surgery for retinal detachment, depending upon the type of detachment and the individual. Recovery can take several months and it may be some time before you are able to return to normal activities. Sometimes, even following successful reattachment surgery, the vision does not return fully, especially if the detachment was not treated quickly.