A detached retina is when the retina lifts away from the back of the eye. The retina does not work when it is detached, making vision blurry. A detached retina is a serious problem. You must have it treated right away or you could lose sight in that eye.

Disease Symptoms:

  • Seeing flashing lights all of a sudden. Some people say this is like seeing stars after being hit in the eye.
  • Noticing many new floaters at once. These can look like specks, lines or cobwebs in your field of vision.
  • A shadow appearing in your peripheral (side) vision.
  • A gray curtain covering part of your field of vision.

Disease Causes:

You are most likely to have detached retina if you:

  • need glasses to see far away (are nearsighted)
  • have had cataract surgery
  • have glaucoma (a disease affecting pressure inside the eye)
  • had a serious eye injury
  • had a retinal tear or detachment in your other eye
  • have family members who had retinal detachment
  • have weak areas in your retina (seen by an eye doctor during an exam)
  • blocked blood vessels in the retina (called retinal vein occlusion)
  • uveitis (when the layer of the eyeball under the white of the eye is swollen)
  • an eye injury
  • CME in the other eye
  • diabetes, or if you take certain medicines for glaucoma or diabetes, or take niacin (vitamin B3)
  • cataract surgery or other eye surgery. About 30% who have had eye surgery get CME later.

Disease Treatments:

The only way to treat a detached retina is with surgery. Here are some types of surgery to fix a detached retina:

  • Pneumatic retinopexy: Your ophthalmologist puts a gas bubble inside your eye which pushes the retina into place so it can heal properly.
  • Vitrectomy: Your ophthalmologist removes the vitreous pulling on the retina. The vitreous will be replaced with a gas or oil bubble
  • Scleral buckle: A band of rubber or soft plastic is sewn to the outside of your eyeball. It gently presses the eye inward which helps the detached retina heal against the eye wall.

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