What is Retinal Detachment? - Kovach Eye Institute
630-833-9621 locations request an appointment patient registration LASIK Special

What is Retinal Detachment?

woman in glasses reading a book

The retina is a thin and delicate piece of tissue attached to the interior wall at the back of your eye. It serves one of the most crucial roles in your vision, sensing light.

Without this thin piece of tissue in the back of your eye, you would not be able to see anything. But since it’s so fragile, the retina is susceptible to disease and injury.

Keep reading to learn more about retinal detachment, one of the most frightening and dangerous retina issues.

What is Retinal Detachment?

Retinal detachment occurs when your retina begins to peel away from the back wall of your eye. If the retina is not attached to the back of your eye, blood doesn’t flow to it, and it doesn’t work.

As it peels away from the wall, it causes blurry vision. If you do not treat it right away, it can cause rapid and permanent vision loss.

A detached retina is a medical emergency. If you suspect you have one, you must see an eye doctor immediately.

What Causes Retinal Detachment?

There are three different types of retinal detachment. Each type has different factors that cause it.

The most common type of retinal detachment is rhegmatogenous retinal detachment. This variety occurs after a tear or hole opens in the retina.

Typically the cause of this type of retinal detachment is age. As the gel inside your eye called the vitreous begins to contract and shrink, it tugs on your retina.

If the force becomes too great, it can open a small tear. This tear allows fluid to flow in behind the retina, which eventually separates it from the wall of your eye. 

Tractional retinal detachment is less common but no less severe. Like rhegmatogenous, a tractional retinal detachment occurs when something pulls on the retina.

But, rather than the vitreous pulling on it, this type of detachment occurs when scar tissue forms on the retina. Uncontrolled diabetes can sometimes lead to this problem.

Exudative retinal detachment is a term for retinal detachments without holes or tears in the retina’s surface. Fluid still builds up behind it, but the fluid does not get behind it through a hole or tear. It can come from something like age-related macular degeneration, eye injury, or tumors.

Symptoms of Retinal Detachment 

While retinal detachment is painless, it produces several rapid and apparent symptoms. Some of these include:

  • A sudden increase in spots and squiggly lines in your vision
  • Flashes of light
  • Blurry vision
  • A shadow falling over your eyesight like a curtain

If you notice any of these, seek medical attention immediately. Any of them could be a sign of a retinal detachment.

How Do You Treat a Detached Retina?

Treating retinal tears, holes, or detachment generally requires surgery. But, the only way to know what is causing your eye problems and how best to treat them is to see an eye doctor.

Are you having trouble with your vision? Do you want to learn more about retinal detachment?

Schedule an appointment at Kovach Eye Institute in Elmhurst, IL, to keep your eyes healthy!

630-833-9621 locations request an appointment patient registration LASIK Special