What is retinal detachment?

Retinal detachment is a serious condition that occurs when the retina pulls away from its supporting tissues. Since the retina can't work properly under these conditions, permanent vision loss might occur if a detachment is not repaired.

Who's at risk for retinal detachment?

Retinal detachment is considered a risk for the following groups of people:

  • Nearsighted adults
  • People who have had an eye injury
  • People who have had an intraocular surgery
  • People with a family history of retinal detachment

Retinal detachment might also be spontaneous (occur suddenly). This occurs more often in the elderly or in nearsighted people.

What are the symptoms of retinal detachment?

Symptoms of retinal detachment include:

  • Seeing flashes of light
  • Floaters (small flecks or threads) in the visual field
  • Darkening of the peripheral visual field (side vision)

There is no pain associated with retinal detachment, but if you have any of the symptoms listed above, contact your eye doctor immediately.