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Eye Health Center

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Retinal Detachment - Cause

Causes of retinal detachment are:

  • Tears or holes in the retina. These may lead to retinal detachment by allowing fluid from the middle of the eye (vitreous gel) to collect under the retina. A common cause of retinal tears is posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). An eye or head injury or other eye disorders, such as lattice degeneration, a condition in which the retina becomes very thin, may also cause tears or holes in the retina.
  • Traction on the retinaTraction on the retina. If tissue builds up between the vitreous gel and the retina, it can pull the retina away from the back of the eye. The most common cause of this problem is proliferative diabetic retinopathy, a condition that leads to the growth of scar tissue that can pull on the retina.
  • Fluid buildup under the retina. Fluid buildup under the retina can cause the retina to come off the back of the eye. Fluid buildup may be caused by inflammation or disease in the retina, in the layer just beneath the retina (choroid), in blood vessels, or in tissues in the eye.
For more information about and pictures of the eye and how it works, see Eye Anatomy and Function.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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