retina is a thin membrane of nerve tissue that lines
the back of the
eye. When part or all of the retina comes off (detaches from) the back of the eye, it is called retinal detachment .
The nerve cells in
the retina normally detect light entering the eye and send signals to the brain
about what the eye sees. But when the retina detaches, it no longer works
correctly. It can cause blurred and lost vision. Retinal detachment requires
immediate medical care. If done soon enough, surgery can save lost
Retinal detachment usually happens because there's a tear (hole) in the retina. The most common cause of a tear is posterior vitreous
Vitreous gel fluid flows through the tear, pools beneath the retina, and lifts the retina off the back of the eye.
Retinal detachment can also happen without a retinal tear. Scar tissue buildup in the eye may pull on the retina. This is called traction. Or, fluid can build up under the retina for a different reason than a retinal tear.
Some of the reasons that make a person more likely to get a retinal detachment are an eye or head injury,
nearsightedness, eye disease, and diabetes.
most cases of retinal detachment cannot be prevented. But seeing your eye
doctor regularly, wearing protective helmets and eyeglasses, and treating
diabetes may help protect your vision.
see floaters and flashes of light before they have symptoms of retinal detachment. Floaters are spots, specks, and
lines that float through your field of vision. Flashes are brief sparkles or
lightning streaks that are most easily seen when your eyes are closed. They
often appear at the edges of your visual field. Floaters and flashes do not
always mean that you will have a retinal detachment. But they may be a warning
sign, so it is best to be checked by a doctor right away.
Sometimes a retinal
detachment happens without warning. The first sign of detachment may be a
shadow across part of your vision that does not go away. Or you may have new
and sudden loss of side (peripheral) vision that gets worse over time.