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Home :: Eye Disease

Retinal Detachment - Causes, Symptoms & Treatment


Corneal Abrasion
Dry Eyes
Eye Stye
Inclusion Conjunctivitis
Orbital Cellulitis
Retinal Detachment
Retinitis Pigmentosa
Vascular Retinopathies

Retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the inside of the eye and sends visual messages through the optic nerve to the brain. Retinal detachment is a serious problem that usually affects middle-aged or older people. Retinal detachment is caused by a combination of factors including retinal holes, retinal breaks or retinal tears, liquefaction of the vitreous humor , and mechanical forces on the retina , often referred to as "traction". It is the tissue that turns light INTO an electrical signal to send to the brain. The retina receives oxygen and nutrients from the underlying choroid (vascular layer) of the eye. Rays of light enter the eye and are focused onto the retina by the cornea and the lens. The retina is composed of two main parts; a central macular area and a much larger peripheral retina. Retinal detachment occurs when the retina separates from the choroid. Its job is to translate what we see into neural impulses and send them to the brain via the optic nerve .

Retinal detachment refers to separation of the inner layers of the retina from the underlying retinal pigment epithelium (RPE, choroid). In some cases there may be small areas of the retina that are torn. It is a problem that occurs most frequently in the middle-aged and elderly.  The retina is a thin disc-shaped layer of light-sensitive tissue on the back wall of the eye. The retina produces a picture which is sent along the optic nerve for the brain to interpret. If not promptly treated, retinal detachment can cause permanent vision loss. The retina is a thin sheet of light sensitive nerve tissue lining the inside of the eye. The detached retina should be recognized and treated promptly.

Causes of Retinal Detachment

Common causes and risk factor's of Retinal Detachment include the following :

  • Eye injury.
  • Diabetes.
  • High level of nearsightedness.
  • Sickle cell disease.
  • Cataract surgery.

Symptoms of Retinal Detachment

Some common Symptoms of Retinal Detachment :

  • Flashes of light.
  • A sudden dramatic increase in the number of floaters.
  • Blurred vision.
  • A ring of floaters or hairs just to the temporal side of the central vision.
  • Shadow or blindness in a part of the visual field of one eye
  • Poor vision.
  • Vision becomes blurry.

Treatment of Retinal Detachment

  • In some cases a scleral buckle, a tiny synthetic band, is attached to the outside of the eyeball to gently push the wall of the eye against the detached retina.
  • In rare cases where other types of retinal detachment surgeries are either inappropriate or unsuccessful, silicone oil may be used to reattach the retina.
  • Retinal tears with minimal or no detachment may be treated with laser or freezing procedures. Some retinal tears do not require treatment.
  • Pneumatic retinopexy is a newer method for retinal detachment repair. It is not suitable for all types of detachment.