Skip to content

    Eye Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Eye Health and Retinal Detachment

    Retinal detachment is a very serious eye condition that happens when the retina separates from the tissue around it. Since the retina can't work properly under these conditions, you could permanently lose vision if the detached retina isn't repaired promptly.

    Recommended Related to Eye Health

    Understanding Pink Eye -- Symptoms

    Symptoms of pink eye vary depending on the type of pink eye you have. Burning, itchy eyes that discharge a thick, sticky mucus may indicate bacterial pink eye. Tearing, a swollen lymph node under the jaw or in front of the ear, and a light discharge of mucus from one or both eyes are often signs of viral pink eye. People with viral pink eye commonly have symptoms of an upper respiratory infection or cold as well. Redness, intense itching, and tears in both eyes may indicate allergic pink...

    Read the Understanding Pink Eye -- Symptoms article > >

    Who's at Risk for a Detached Retina?

    You're more likely to get a detached retina if you:

    • Are severely nearsighted
    • Have had an eye injury or cataract surgery
    • Have a family history of retinal detachment

    Retinal tears -- although different than retinal detachment -- are often the first stage leading to a retinal detachment. If fluid from within the eye passes through a retinal tear, that can separate the retina from its underlying tissue -- and that's retinal detachment. Retinal detachment may happen with no warning, but often there are retinal tear “warning” symptoms of flashes and floaters. If treated during the stage of retinal tear and before full detachment, a simple office laser procedure prevents the need for a more serious retinal detachment operation.

    If you are unsure about your risk of retinal detachment, talk to your eye doctor.

    What Are the Symptoms of a Detached Retina?

    A detached retina doesn't hurt, so look for these symptoms:

    • Flashes of light
    • Seeing "floaters" (small flecks or threads)
    • Darkening of your peripheral (side) vision

    If you notice any of those symptoms, contact your eye doctor immediately.

    How Is a Detached Retina Diagnosed?

    Your eye doctor would give you an eye exam, which would include dilating your eyes. That lets them see if your retina is detached.

    Early diagnosis is key to preventing vision loss from a detached retina.

    Today on WebMD

    Woman holding tissue to reddened eye
    Learn about causes, symptoms, and treatments.
    eye
    Simple annoyance or the sign of a problem?
     
    red eyes
    Symptoms, triggers, and treatments.
    blue eye with contact lens
    Tips for wearing and caring.
     
    Understanding Stye
    Article
    human eye
    Article
     
    eye
    Video
    eye exam timing
    Video
     
    vision test
    Tool
    is vision correction surgery for you
    Article
     
    high tech contacts
    Article
    eye drop
    Article