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  • Prairie Eye Care

Retinal Detaching Warning Signs

Updated: Oct 19, 2022

Every individual needs to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a retinal detachment, as this condition may result in vision loss. Diseases of the retina can be severe and, in some cases, lead to permanent blindness.

Suppose you experience any warning signs, such as flashes of light, floating spots or shapes, distorted vision, or a loss of peripheral vision. In that case, you need medical attention immediately. While most cases of retinal detachment are caused by injury or degenerative disease, there are some preventative measures you can take.

Keep Reading for more information and know how to keep your retina healthy!

What is a Retinal Detachment

In a retinal detachment, the surface layer of tissue around the retina pulls away from the underlying layers. It can occur with aging, as well as as a complication following eye surgery.

In rare cases, the retina can detach from the back of the eye. This causes a detachment from the photoreceptors. A thin tissue layer called the retina lines the inside of the eye and converts light into neural signals transmitted to the brain's cerebral cortex. This detachment may lead to blindness or total loss of vision in some cases. In most cases, it affects one or both eyes, and it usually affects adults, but it can also happen in children.

Symptoms of Retinal Detachment

Don’t wait to see if a problem gets worse when it comes to your eyes. If you're experiencing any of the following symptoms, it's time to see an ophthalmologist:

Floaters: these are tiny specks or cobwebs that seem to float in your field of vision. While they can be normal, they can also signify retinal detachment.

Flashes: these are quick little flashes of light that you see in your peripheral vision. They can be a sign that the retina is tearing.

Blurred Vision: if you're having trouble seeing clearly, it could be a sign that the retina is detaching.

Causes of Retinal Detachment

There are many reasons for retinal detachment, some of which are listed below.

Age: The risk of retinal detachment increases as you get older. This is because the vitreous humor (a clear gel that fills the eye) starts to shrink and pull on the retina.

Sickle Cell Disease: This inherited condition can cause pain episodes, usually in the eye or back. These episodes can cause the retina to detach.

Trauma: A severe injury to the head or eye can cause the retina to detach.

Diabetes: People with diabetes are prone to retinal detachment because high blood sugar levels can damage the retina.

Eye Surgery: Eye surgery, such as LASIK, can weaken the retina and cause it to detach.

Family History: Those with a family history of eye disease are at increased risk for developing this condition.

High Nearsightedness: Those with prescriptions -6.00D and above have a more elongated eye. This causes the retina to stretch and have areas of thinning, putting you at a higher risk of a retinal hole, tear or detachment.

How to Prevent and Treat It

Some of the warning signs for a detached retina are a sudden decrease in visual acuity, a central blind spot, jagged lines on objects and images, and flashes of light. If any of these signs develop, you need to go to your eye doctor as soon as possible.

Schedule your Appointment Today

Retinal detachment can happen to anyone, so it is crucial for everyone to be aware of the signs and symptoms. Have you experienced any warning signs? Schedule an appointment with a prairie eye today!


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