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Retinal Tears & Detachment

What is a retinal detachment?

The retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye that senses light and sends images to the brain. If the retina pulls away from the back of the eye, it cannot function, and you experience a retinal detachment.

Am I at risk for a retinal detachment?

A retinal detachment can occur at any age, but it is more common in people over age 40. It affects men more than women, and Whites more than African Americans.

A retinal detachment is also more likely to occur in people who have:

  • Extreme myopia (nearsightedness)
  • Had a retinal detachment in the other eye
  • A family history of retinal detachment
  • Had cataract surgery
  • Small retinal tears or breaks
  • Other eye diseases or disorders, such as retinoschisis, uveitis, degenerative myopia, or lattice degeneration
  • Suffered an eye injury

What are the symptoms of a retinal detachment?

  • A sudden or gradual increase in the number of floaters, which are little "cobwebs" or specks that float about in your field of vision
  • Seeing sudden flashes of light
  • Seeing a gray "curtain" move over your field of vision
  • Seeing a shadow in your peripheral (side) vision
  • A sudden decrease in your vision

A retinal detachment is a medical emergency. Anyone experiencing the symptoms of a Retinal Detachment should see a Retinal Opthalmologist immediately to avoid permanent vision loss.