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The Symptoms, Signs, and Treatments for a Detached Retina

detached retina

If you begin to suddenly experience spots, floaters, and bright flashes of light you should take these symptoms very seriously. They could be symptoms of a serious condition known as a detached retina. Your vision might start to become blurry or you could experience the sensation of seeing a shadow descend across your vision.

A detached retina is a very serious condition as it threatens to permanently impact your vision. It happens when the retina begins to separate from the supportive tissue underneath. When these layers are not attached, the retina cannot function. Unless this condition is treated immediately it can result in permanent vision loss.

Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment

Although the words “detached retina” may cause you to cringe, the condition itself is painless. However, it almost always is presented with the following warning signs:

  •   The sudden emergence of “floaters”, which are tiny spots that periodically drift into your field of vision
  •   Sudden flashes of light
  •   Blurry vision or a shadow that impedes your field of vision

You are at a greater risk of developing a detached retina if you are over the age of 50, if a relative has previously developed this condition, or you are very nearsighted.

A detached retina can be caused a sagging vitreous, which is when a gel-like material leaks through a hole in the retina and collects underneath. As the fluid builds up, it slowly peels the retina away from the underlying tissues. It can also happen as the result of an injury or due to advanced stages of diabetes.

Surgery is almost always necessary to repair a detached retina. There are many different options available to your ophthalmologist such as laser surgery, freezing, or injecting air into the eye. You should discuss all treatment options available to you with your doctor to determine what will be the best fit.


Although a detached retina is a very serious condition that could permanently reduce or take away your vision, many people who receive immediate treatment achieve a full recovery. Make sure you are up to date on your yearly comprehensive vision screenings and that you always pay attention to any warning signs that could indicate a serious problem.

Prevention and awareness are the best ways you can protect the long-term health of your eyes. Contact us today to schedule an eye appointment with one of our highly trained doctors.


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