Detached Retina

(Retinal Detachment)

Definition

The retina is a light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the back of the eye. It converts visual images into nerve impulses in the brain that allow us to see. When the retina is pulled or falls away from its position, it is called a detached retina.

Causes

A detached retina may be caused by:
  • Eye trauma—damage from blunt or penetrating injuries to the eye
  • Fluid getting into the sub-retinal space through a retinal break, or due to local infection or inflammation
Detached Retina
Detached Retin
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your chance of retinal detachment include:
  • Increased age
  • Previous retinal detachment
  • Family members with retinal detachment
  • Severe nearsightedness
  • Holes or tears in the retina
  • Trauma
  • Cataract surgery and other types of eye surgery
  • Scar tissue in the eye, especially if it contracts
  • Tumors in the eye
  • Premature birth
  • Certain other eye and medical disorders involving inflammation, infection or vascular disorders such as:
    • Diabetes
    • Severe acute high blood pressure
    • Inflammatory and autoimmune diseases
    • Blood vessel diseases

Symptoms

Retinal detachment is painless. However, if it is not treated quickly, a detached retina can cause permanent, partial, or total vision loss. If you have any of these symptoms, contact an eye doctor right away:
  • Sudden appearance or increase in the number of floaters, which are shapes that float in the eye and are seen in the field of vision
  • Brief flashes of light in the eye
  • Loss of the eye’s central or peripheral field of vision
  • A curtain appears to fall over part of the visual field
  • Sudden changes or blurring of vision

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