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Retinal detachment

1-minute read

Retinal detachment is an emergency. If it happens, get to a hospital immediately.

What is retinal detachment?

The retina is a layer of tissue on the inside of the back of your eye. It is sensitive to light. The cells in the retina send messages to the brain – that is how you see. If your retina is damaged, you can lose you vision.

Retinal detachment symptoms

People who have a detached retina might find they see odd light flashes or moving specks or cobwebs from one eye. They might also have blurred vision or notice changes to their peripheral vision.

Some people lose their vision quite suddenly. They say it is like having a curtain pulled over their eye, or that a shadow has developed.

Retinal detachment diagnosis

If you have symptoms of retinal detachment, see a doctor immediately. To diagnose retinal detachment, an ophthalmologist (eye specialist) will probably ask you questions, examine your eyes and test your sight.

Retinal detachment treatment

Retinal holes and tears can be treated in an eye specialist’s office with a laser or freezing. However, retinal detachment usually requires surgery in an operating theatre.

After retinal detachment surgery

Most of the time, retinal detachment is treated successfully. But the longer the delay before surgery, the harder it is to fix.

Last reviewed: March 2018

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