WHAT IS THE RETINA?
The retina is a nerve layer at the back of the eye that senses light and sends images to the brain.
WHAT IS A RETINAL DETACHMENT?
The retina is attached to the inner back surface of the eye. Detachment is the pulling away of the retina from its normal position. The separation of the retina from the wall of the eye impairs its normal functioning, resulting in blurred vision.
WHAT CAUSES RETINAL DETACHMENT?
The vitreous is a clear gel that fills most of the space in the eye. It is located in front of the retina. With age, the vitreous pulls away from its attachments to the retina, usually without causing problems. Sometimes the vitreous pulls hard enough to tear the retina. Fluid may then pass through the retinal tear and lift the retina off the wall of the eye. Risk factors for retinal detachment: Myopia or near-sightedness Injury to the eye Previous retinal detachment in the other eye Family history of retinal detachment Areas of thin/weak retina Complicated cataract surgery Warning symptoms of retinal detachment: Flashes of light New, or increase in, floaters [black dots in your vision] A gray curtain noticed in the field of vision
HOW IS RETINAL DETACHMENT DIAGNOSED?
The retina is examined with an instrument called the indirect ophthalmoscope after dilating the pupil. Holes and tears are carefully looked for in the periphery of the retina.