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Detached & Torn Retina

This graphic illustrates the working parts of the human eye.

This graphic illustrates the working parts of the human eye.

What is the Retina?
The retina is a nerve layer at the back of your eye that senses light and sends images to your brain.
An eye is like a camera. The lens in the front of the eye focuses light onto the retina. You can think of the retina as the film that lines that back of a camera.

What is a Retinal Detachment?
A retinal detachment occurs when the retina is pulled away from its normal position. The retina does not work when it is detached. Vision is blurred, like a camera picture would be blurry if the film were loose inside the camera.

A retinal detachment is a very serious problem that almost always causes blindness unless it is treated.

This graphic the anatomy of common injuries to the eye that occur from accident or age.

This graphic the anatomy of common injuries to the eye that occur from accident or age.

What causes Retinal Detachment?
The vitreous is a clear gel that fills the middle of the eye. As we get older, the vitreous may pull away from its attachment to the retina at the back of the eye.
Usually, the vitreous separates from the retina without causing problems. But sometimes the vitreous pulls hard enough to tear the retina in one or more places. Fluid may pass through the retinal tear, lifting the retina off the back of the eye, like wallpaper can peel off a wall.

The following conditions increase the chance that you might get a retinal detachment:

What are the warning symptoms of retinal detachment?
These early symptoms may indicate the presence of a retinal detachment:

These symptoms do not always mean a retinal detachment is present; however, you should see your ophthalmologist as soon as possible.