Detached Retina: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

What is Detached Retina?

The retina in the human body is the light-sensitive, delicate membrane that is located at the back portion of the eye. When light passes through the eyes, the lens of the eyes is responsible for focusing an image on the retina. The retina then converts the image to respective nerve signals that are transmitted to the brain through the optic nerve. Working in coordination with the eye’s cornea, brain, and other vital parts of the eye, the retina helps in producing normal vision. 

The detached retina or retinal detachment happens when the retina separates itself from the back portion of the eyes. This leads to the loss of vision that could be complete or partial –depending on the amount of retinal detachment. When the retina of the eyes gets detached, the cells of the retina might become significantly deprived of oxygen. Detached retina thus, turns out to be a form of medical emergency. If you witness any sudden changes in your vision, then it is high time that you should consult your doctor immediately. 

If the treatment id delayed or retinal detachment is left untreated, it could lead to the permanent loss of vision. 

How does Retinal Detachment Occur?

The cause of retinal detachment might depend on its type. 

  • Rhegmatogenous Retinal Detachment: This signifies the presence of holes or tears in the retina of the eyes. The retinal tear symptoms would allow the fluid present within the eye to slip through and accumulate behind the retina. This fluid separates the retina –causing it to detach. 

  • Tractional Retinal Detachment: This occurs when the scar tissues on the surface of the retina contracts and results in the retina pulling away from the eye’s back. 

  • Exudative Retinal Detachment: In this case, there are no tears or breakage in the retina. Some of the major retinal diseases could lead to this type of detachment including cancer behind the retina, an inflammatory disorder leading to the accumulation of fluid behind the retina, Coats’ disease, and others. 

Who is Prone to Retinal Detachment?

The retinal damage symptoms could be reflected in the following cases of risk factors including:

  • Trauma to the eye
  • The family history of detached retina
  • Posterior vitreous detachment –quite common amongst the elderly
  • Age-related concerns
  • Extreme nearsightedness causing more strain on the eye
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Complications receive due to cataract removal surgery
  • Prior history of detached retina

What are the Symptoms of Retinal Detachment? How is Retinal Detachment Diagnosed?

Usually, there is no pain involved in the signs and symptoms of retinal detachment. However, there are a few common signs of retinal tear or symptoms of retinal detachment in humans before the final detachment of the retina from the back of the eye. Here are some detached retina symptoms that must look forward to:

  • Blurred vision
  • Sudden flashes of light that might appear while looking towards the sides
  • Partial loss of vision with a dark shadowing effect
  • Seeing several floaters suddenly which might appear as particles of dust or debris floating before the eye

The retina problem symptoms must not be ignored and should be immediately treated by some specialist in the given field to avoid major problems in the future.


For diagnosing retinal detachment, the doctor or specialist will perform the thorough examination of your eyes. The doctors will check your vision, the overall eye pressure, the physical appearance of the eye, and the ability to see & differentiate colors. The eye specialist might also test the ability of the retina to send impulses to the brain. They might as well check the flow of blood throughout the eyes –especially in the retina. For further diagnosis, the doctor might also suggest an ultrasound of the eyes. 

What are the Complications of Retinal Detachment?

  • Partial or complete loss of vision
  • Difficulty in differentiating between colors
  • Developing extreme nearsightedness

What is the Treatment for Retinal Detachment?

In most of the advanced cases of retinal detachment, surgery might be required for repairing the detached retina. Some of the common treatment procedures as implemented by the eye or retina specialists might include:

  • Photocoagulation: In case there is a hole or tear in the retina, photocoagulation is performed by the retinal specialist with the help of laser light. 

  • Cryopexy: This is referred to as the freezing of the probe outside the eye with intense cold conditions. 

  • Retinopexy: For repairing minor detachments, the surgeon might put a gas bubble in the eye which might help in putting the retina back into its original place. 

  • Scleral Buckling: For severe retinal detachments, eye surgery needs to be carried out. This involves the placement of a band around the eye for pushing the wall of the eye to get retina back into place. 

  • Vitrectomy: For treating larger retinal tears, the abnormal scar or vascular tissues are removed. 

Home Remedies for Retinal Detachment

Some of the home remedies include preventing retinal detachment by controlling blood sugar levels, wearing protective eyewear while using specific tools, and getting your eyes checked up frequently.

Did You Know?

  • There are different types of retinal detachment
  • Usually, there is no pain associated with retinal detachment

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