5 Signs of a Detached Retina and When to See a Doctor

5 Signs of a Detached Retina and When to See a Doctor

Retinal detachments are fairly common but have the potential to permanently damage your eyesight. That’s why you need to know the symptoms of this eye issue so you can seek immediate medical attention. Retinal detachments can be repaired, often during outpatient surgery, but you need to act quickly.

What is a Retinal Detachment?

A retinal detachment has various causes, but they all lead to the retina pulling away from the other eye tissues. It can be a complete or partial detachment, but in both cases, it needs to be reattached as soon as possible.

Types of Retinal Detachment

Rhegmatogenous – This type is caused by a tear in the retina that allows fluid to pass through and collect under it. As the pressure builds, your retina will begin to detach. When the retina pulls away, blood flow to the area stops and you begin to have impaired vision. Aging is the most common cause of this type of retinal detachment because the gel in your eye changes consistency and may tug on your retina as it separates.

Tractional – This detachment type occurs when scar tissue grows on the retina, pulling it away from the back of the eye. It is often caused by diabetes or other chronic health issues.

Exudative – With this type of retinal detachment, fluid collects beneath the retina without any holes or tears being present. Age-related macular degeneration, eye injury, inflammatory disorder, or tumors may be the cause.

5 Symptoms of Retinal Detachment

1- The Sudden Appearance of Floaters

Many people have some floaters, specks, or worm-like material that floats across your field of vision. A sudden burst of these floaters may indicate a detached retina.

2- Blurred Vision

If objects suddenly become blurry, you should consult your medical professional. It may be a sign of a detached retina or other eye issue.

3- Light Flashes (Photopsia)

If you experience flashes of light in an eye or eyes, it may indicate a retinal problem.

4- Loss of Peripheral Vision

A detached retina can cause you to slowly lose your side vision.

5- Curtain Shadow

This symptom is one of the most startling. A curtain-like shadow will descend over your vision as the retina pulls away from the rest of your eye.

A detached retina is not painful, so you may be tempted to overlook some of these symptoms. However, you should consult your eye specialist if you develop any of these symptoms. You may be fine, but only a medical professional can make sure.


Two main treatments for a detached retina are Cryopexy/laser and surgery. Cryopexy, also known as freeze treatment or laser surgery, allows your doctor to use a freezing probe or medical laser to seal any tears in your retina. These are usually outpatient treatments.


When much of your retina is detached, your physician may choose to perform surgery on your eye. The doctor will reposition the retina using a small band. You will be under anesthesia, but it is usually an outpatient procedure.

In some cases, the doctor performs a vitrectomy, a procedure where they make a small opening in the affected eye and remove most of the gel, or vitreous, using a suction tool. The doctor may then repair the retina using a laser or freeze treatment or inject a bubble of air or gas to keep the retina in place.

Detached Retina Process

If you suspect you have a detached retina, contact your eye specialist. Time matters when you have this condition, and prompt treatment can prevent vision loss. Your symptoms may not be the result of a detached retina, but they indicate something is wrong with your eyes. So contacting a medical professional is essential for your eye health.

Remember, a detached retina is painless. The lack of discomfort causes some people to downplay their other symptoms, but no pain does not mean your eyes are okay. See your doctor if you suspect you might have a detached retina.