Retinal Detachment

Retinal detachments occur when there is a tear or hole in the retina and fluid from inside the eye gets under the retina causing it to detach.

What is the Retina?

The retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the inside of the eye and sends visual messages through the optic nerve to the brain. The vitreous inside the eye (see image) can pull on the retina and cause a tear. Once there is a tear, fluid can travel from inside the eye to under the retina. When the retina detaches, it is lifted or pulled from its normal position. If not promptly treated, retinal detachment can cause permanent vision loss.

What are Symptoms of Retinal Detachment?

Symptoms include a sudden or gradual increase in either the number of floaters, which are little "cobwebs" or specks that float about in your field of vision, and/or light flashes in the eye. Another symptom is the appearance of a curtain over the field of vision. A retinal detachment is a medical emergency. Anyone experiencing the symptoms of a retinal detachment should see an eye care professional immediately.

Who is at risk for 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:

  • Are extremely nearsighted
  • Have had a retinal detachment in the other eye
  • Have a family history of retinal detachment
  • Have had cataract surgery
  • Have other eye diseases or disorders, such as retinoschisis, uveitis, degenerative myopia, or lattice degeneration
  • Have had an eye injury

Retinal Detachment Surgery?

Small holes and tears are treated with laser surgery or a freeze treatment called cryopexy. These procedures are usually performed in the doctor's office. During laser surgery tiny burns are made around the hole to "weld" the retina back into place. Cryopexy freezes the area around the hole and helps reattach the retina.

Retinal detachments are treated with surgery that may require the patient to stay in the hospital. Some retinal detachments can be repaired with pneumatic retinopexy, an office procedure.  In some cases a scleral buckle, a tiny synthetic band, is attached to the outside of the eyeball to gently push the wall of the eye against the detached retina. If necessary, a vitrectomy may also be performed. During a vitrectomy, the doctor makes a tiny incision in the sclera (white of the eye). Next, a small instrument is placed into the eye to remove the vitreous, a gel-like substance that fills the center of the eye and helps the eye maintain a round shape. Gas is often injected to into the eye to replace the vitreous and reattach the retina; the gas pushes the retina back against the wall of the eye. During the healing process, the eye makes fluid that gradually replaces the gas and fills the eye. With all of these procedures, either laser or cryopexy is used to "weld" the retina back in place.

With modern therapy, over 90 percent of those with a retinal detachment can be successfully treated, although sometimes a second treatment is needed. However, the visual outcome is not always predictable. The final visual result may not be known for up to several months following surgery. Even under the best of circumstances, and even after multiple attempts at repair, treatment sometimes fails and vision may eventually be lost. Visual results are best if the retinal detachment is repaired before the macula (the center region of the retina responsible for fine, detailed vision) detaches. That is why it is important to contact an eye care professional immediately if you see a sudden or gradual increase in the number of floaters and/or light flashes, or a dark curtain over the field of vision.

Surgery for Retinal Detachment

Retinal Detachment NEWS

Below are current articles from a Google News Feed on Retinal Detachment

Why your kids might be able to see better if they play outdoors more often
Besides creating the need to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses or to seek a surgical remedy, myopia can result in blinding eye diseases late in life, like retinal detachment or degeneration. Risk factors include having myopic parents. A debate about ...

and more »


Insights on preventing TRD in PDR patients after Avastin, vitrectomy
Study results provide new information about the risk and strategies for preventing tractional retinal detachment (TRD) development or progression in eyes with severe proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) receiving intravitreal bevacizumab (Avastin, ...

Taiwan has the highest retinal detachment rate
Taipei Times
Taiwan has the highest prevalence of retinal detachment in the world, with 16.4 cases per 100,000 people, according to Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital research commissioned by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. The prevalence rate of retinal ...

Posterior vitreous detachment - prevalence of and risk factors for retinal tears
Dove Medical Press
Symptoms of flashes did not constitute an extra risk of retinal tears (P=0.135). Subsequent retinal pathology (follow-up time 4.5 years), including vitreous detachment/hemorrhage or retinal tears/detachment, occurred more often in patients presenting ...

Retinal detachment
Doctor NDTV
A retinal detachment is a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment. In this separation of the light sensitive membrane in the back of the eye (retina) becomes separated from its supporting layers (the outermost pigment layer). Who is at risk for ...

Herald Keeper

Retinal Detachment Market US $ 2689.2 Million Projected To Reach by 2023
Herald Keeper
Retinal detachment occurs when the light-sensitive membrane (retina) in the back of the eye separates from its supporting layers. Most of the retinal detachments occurs due to retinal break, tear or hole. Retinal detachment can cause partial or total ...

and more »

Should You Seek Help for Eye Floaters?
In some patients, the vitreous fluid flows through the torn retina and when the volume of the fluid increases, the retina will be detached. Individuals may experience a shadow-like floater when they come across retinal detachment in which the superior ...

Chattanooga Times Free Press

Ask a Doctor: How is surgery on the retina performed?
Chattanooga Times Free Press
Typical reasons for needing retinal surgery include retinal detachment and membrane or hole in the retina. Surgery on this delicate tissue is performed only by a retina specialist, a medical doctor who is an ophthalmologist and who has completed ...

and more »

Boston keratoprosthesis complication rate high in children
All eyes developed severe complications, including formation of retroprosthetic membrane, sterile corneal melt and retinal detachment. Infectious keratitis led to the development of endophthalmitis in three eyes. Exacerbation of preexisting glaucoma ...

Harvard Health

What should you do about those unpleasant eye floaters?
Harvard Health
In the surgery, called vitrectomy, a surgeon removes the gel — along with its floaters — from the back of the eye. It's effective, but it has risks, including cataracts (cloudy lenses) and retinal detachment. It's usually a last resort for people ...

How to achieve a calm, stress-free OR
Dr. Gentile explained how he approaches what can be a scary scenario of a combined tractional rhegmatogenous retinal detachment in which the membranes extend past the equator. The rhegmatogenous component makes this an extremely challenging ...

Girl, 4, seeks N1.2m for eye surgery
The physician said Confidence needs to have bilateral prophylactic assessment to forestall future retinal detachment and would tremendously benefit from the lens implant. If you are moved to assist, send your contribution to Anoliefo Samuel, Diamond ...

and more »

Blackpool Gazette

'I wish I'd listened when my doctor warned me'
Blackpool Gazette
Tom Critchley, 73, a regular at N-Vision with wife Carol for 20 years, lost his sight to retinal detachment and glaucoma. “I don't want sympathy, just understanding,” he adds. “It's not a total disaster. Get to the opticians, stay active, look after ...


More kids being diagnosed with nearsightedness
If nearsightedness is left untreated, it could lead to retinal detachment, premature cataracts, blood vessel growth and glaucoma in adulthood. That's why the younger your child is assessed at an eye doctor, the better. Dr. Robbins-Winters says, “Most ...

and more »

Green Car Reports

Life with Tesla Model S: assessing my new 100D vs old 2013 electric car
Green Car Reports
I recently suffered a retinal detachment, an abrupt reminder that stuff happens. Tomorrow I could be blind—or dead. Tesla introduced the Model S 100D, with all the benefits of the 90D, plus an EPA range of 335 miles—a full 90 miles more than my old 85.
20170259675 - AppFT - United States Patent and Trademark OfficeAppFT - United States Patent and Trademark Office

all 50 news articles »

Dr. Singerman, the first recipient of The Macula Society Lawrence J. Singerman Medal
At the time, the main focus in management of retinal diseases was retinal detachment surgery, an area well covered by the Retina Society, founded 10 years earlier. The Macula Society provided a forum to promote and guide the continual advancement of ...

Strabismus After Ocular Surgery
Diplopia after retinal detachment repair is common, with one prospective study reporting 61% of patients developing diplopia after placement of a scleral buckle. Fortunately, most cases resolve within 6 months. Most studies found persistent diplopia in ...


Regular Versus Releasable Sutures in Surgery for Primary Congenital Glaucoma
Complications noted included one eye developing a cataract and another eye developing a rhegmatogenous retinal detachment in the regular suture group, and one eye developing a cataract and another eye developing a superior subluxation of the lens in ...


Multi-Modal Imaging Including Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography in Patients With Posterior Multifocal ...
APMPPE can mimic Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease due to the possibility of ensuing serous retinal detachment. APMPPE affects central nervous system in 61% of patients, causing mild-to-severe neurological damage, from symptomatic involvement such as ...

Readers offer feedback on recent columns
Elko Daily Free Press
In answer to the reader who (very politely) took us to task for not specifying what that problem might be, the answer is that it may indicate a retinal detachment. That's why, as we said, that set of symptoms means it's very important to check in with ...

and more »

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

FDA cracks down on 'unscrupulous' stem cell clinics
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Within a month of the injections, Tyler had a retinal detachment and lost the sight in her left eye. A few weeks later, the same thing happened to her right eye. She consulted Thomas Albini, an eye surgeon at the Bascom-Palmer Eye Institute at the ...
FDA acts to remove unproven, potentially harmful treatment used in 'stem cell' centers targeting vulnerable
Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD on the FDA's new policy steps and enforcement efforts to ensure
2017 > US Stem Cell Clinic, LLC 8/24/17 - FDAFDA -UC Davis Health
all 128 news articles »

A smooth grind
The Hindu
Dodiya begins his narrative with the memory of an accident with an uncle and an incident of retinal detachment – the loss of vision in one eye and gets into small images and symbols and places and then takes us into the complexity of vibrant western ...

Children need more violet light - here's why
This is because a myopic eye is a longer eye and so the light sensitive part at the back of the eye is stretched, which can lead to a number of eye diseases in later life, such as glaucoma, maculopathy and retinal detachment. Experts are also concerned ...

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

More children are being diagnosed with nearsightedness, but experts aren't sure why
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
If left untreated, severe myopia in adulthood can lead to retinal detachment, premature cataracts and glaucoma,” he said. The new center, Dr. Nischal said, is focusing on prevention, study and treatment of myopia. “It will also be a consolidated ...

Technology-enabled Vision Care
Acupuncture,electro-acupuncture and micro acupuncture although not latest but are currently used for treatment of patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa,optic nerve atrophy, macular degeneration, retinal detachment and many more..This treatment ...

LANews By Abhishek Budholiya (press release) (blog)

Digital Retinal Cameras Market to Register Steady Growth During 2017 – 2025
LANews By Abhishek Budholiya (press release) (blog)
Digital Retinal Cameras are devices which are used to capture images of the internal surface of the eye. Many of the digital retinal cameras have features like angiography imaging, angle variations, red-free and high-grade LCD monitors system with easy ...

Warrington Guardian

Nurse hopes to inspire her baby niece as she battles to cross the finish line
Warrington Guardian
But since undergoing surgery after being diagnosed with retinal detachment and eye problems earlier this year, nurse Nicola has not been able to run and was helped along the course by her close friend, Lauren Parker. Nicola said: “The support of the ...

Austin relishes second basketball life as part of Gilas
Isaiah Austin had the sad reality of never realizing his NBA dream after Marfan Syndrome sidelined him for two years. More than three years after the NBA selected him as an honorary player, Austin gets to wear the Philippine colors as part of Gilas ...

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Medgadget (blog)

Global Retinal Surgery Devices Market – Deep Study Analysis and Forecast by 2020
Medgadget (blog)
Applications such as retinal detachment could hike up the growth of the market on account of the crucial use of retinal surgery devices. The augmenting incidence of diabetes worldwide could increase the demand for retinal surgery devices in the ...

and more »

Global Vitreous Tamponades Market By Analysis of Major Industry Segments 2014 – 2020
Medgadget (blog)
Vitreous tamponade is researched to be an ideal synthetic substitute for vitreous humor which disintegrates with age, eventually leading to retinal detachment or tear. Moreover, vitreous tamponade could aid the healing process. As per a latest study ...

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