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- Eye trauma—damage from blunt or penetrating injuries to the eye
- Fluid getting into the sub-retinal space through a retinal break
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- Increased age
- Previous retinal detachment
- Family members with retinal detachment
- Severe nearsightedness
- Holes or tears in the retina
- Cataract surgery and other types of eye surgery
- Scar tissue in the eye, especially if it contracts
- Tumors in the eye
- Premature birth
- Certain other eye and medical disorders involving inflammation, infection or vascular disorders such as:
- Sudden appearance or increase in the number of floaters, which are shapes that float in the eye and are seen in the field of vision
- Brief flashes of light in the eye
- Loss of the eye’s central or peripheral field of vision
- A curtain appears to fall over part of the visual field
- Sudden changes or blurring of vision
- Cryotherapy or cryoretinopexy—A freezing probe is used to seal the retina back into its normal position.
- Diathermy—Heat is used to seal the retina back into its normal position.
- Laser retinopexy—A laser is used to make tiny burns around the area of detachment. This seals down the surrounding retina, often preventing further detachment.
- Pneumatic retinopexy—A special type of gas bubble is injected into the eye. The gas bubble pushes the retina back into place.
- Vitrectomy—the surgical removal of vitreous that is pulling on the retina and causing detachment
- Scleral buckle—the surgical placement of a flexible band around the eye
Always wear protective eyewear or goggles when participating in:
- Contact sports
- Activities that involve flying objects
- Any other potentially dangerous activity where the eye can get injured
- Have regular eye exams at least once a year if you are at risk. Depending on your age and risk factors, you may need to see the eye doctor more often.
Contact an eye doctor immediately if you have:
- An eye injury
- Any symptoms of retinal detachment, such as flashing lights, floating objects, loss of part of your peripheral vision, or any other change in vision
American Optometric Association http://www.aoa.org
Eye Smart—American Academpy of Ophthalmology http://www.eyesmart.org
Canadian Ophthalmological Society http://www.cos-sco.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Retinal detachment: What is a torn or detached retina? American Academy of Ophthalmology's Eye Smart website. Available at: http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/detached-torn-retina/index.cfm. Accessed June 27, 2013.
Facts about retinal detachment. National Eye Institute website. Available at: http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/retinaldetach/retinaldetach.asp. Updated October 2009. Accessed June 27, 2013.
- Reviewer: Eric L. Berman, MD; Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 10/2014
- Update Date: 05/11/2013