Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Retinal detachment

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.

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 2016

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 4 results

Retinal detachment - detached retina

Retinal detachment (detached retina) is a medical emergency when the retina becomes separated from the inside of the eye.  Warning signs include a sudden increase in floaters or flashes. Seek immediate medical attention. This could save your sight.

Read more on myDr website

Eye Health | Common Eye Conditions | Glossary of Eye Conditions

A glossary of eye conditions including information on cataract, diabetic retinopathy, as well as definitions of myopia, hyperopia, and glaucoma. Read more.

Read more on Fred Hollows Foundation website

Short-sightedness

If you are short-sighted, you will have trouble seeing objects clearly in the distance and they will appear blurry.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Your eyes & diabetes

Your eyes can be affected if you have diabetes. Serious vision loss due to diabetes can be prevented with regular eye testing and early treatment.

Read more on Diabetes NSW website

Check your symptoms Find a health service

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback