What Is the Retina?
The retina is a nerve layer at the back of your eye that senses light and sends images to your brain. An eye is like a camera. The lens in the front of the eye focuses light onto the retina. You can think of the retina as the film that lines the back of a camera.
What Is a Retinal Detachment?
A retinal detachment occurs when the retina is pulled away from its normal position. The retina does not work when it is detached. Vision is blurred like a camera picture would be blurry if the film were loose inside the camera. A retinal detachment is a very serious problem that almost always causes blindness unless it is treated.
The following conditions increase the chance that you might get a retinal detachment:
- Previous cataract surgery
- Severe injury
- Previous retinal detachment in your other eye
- Family history of retinal detachment
- Weak areas in your retina that can be seen by your ophthalmologist or optometrist
What are the Warning Symptoms of a Retinal Detachment?
These early symptoms may indicate the presence of a retinal detachment:
- Flashing lights
- New floaters
- A gray curtain moving across your field of vision
These symptoms do not always mean a retinal detachment is present; however, you should see your ophthalmologist as soon as possible.