Know the Signs of Retinal Detachment

Jul 18, 2023
Know the Signs of Retinal Detachment
Our eyes require a complex process to make seeing possible, and damaging any part of it can make its job much harder to do. Retinal detachment is an eye condition that leads to vision loss, so knowing the signs can save your vision.

Eyes are a fascinating and complex organ that behave in many ways like a camera. Both use light to produce images, and have lenses to focus that light for clarity. Your iris determines how much light enters your eye, the lens focuses that light, and your retina captures the image. The process is amazingly similar to what a camera does to capture images, and while capturing images of what you see is important to vision and cameras, damage to your retina can make processing that information more difficult and lead to different kinds of vision loss. 

Retinal detachment is one of the conditions that can affect this part of the eye, and needs medical attention as soon as possible. Knowing the signs can help preserve your sight, so let’s look at what can lead to a retinal detachment, what signs to look for, and how it can be treated. 

If you live in the Muncie, Indiana, area and you're dealing with a retinal detachment or other conditions that could lead to vision loss, Dr. Jeffrey Rapkin and his team at the Retina Consultants of Muncie can help preserve your vision.

Causes of retinal detachments

The cause of a detachment will depend on what type you’re experiencing:

  • Rhegmatogenous: the most common form, which results from changes in the consistency of your eye’s vitreous fluid from aging
  • Tractional: happens when scar tissue develops on your retinal surface, which can be due to poorly managed diabetes
  • Exudative: is caused by fluid accumulation underneath the retina, which may result from inflammation, injury, or macular degeneration

Some factors can increase the risk of retinal detachments, such as family history, eye injuries, aging, and previous eye surgeries. Nearsightedness, posterior vitreous detachment (a condition where the vitreous in your eye pulls away from your retina), inherited eye conditions, and a history of retinal detachments can raise your chances of dealing with detachments.

Symptoms to look for

This condition is generally painless but signs of it happen quickly, so you’ll definitely want to seek help if you’re dealing with these symptoms:

Blurred vision

This is a common symptom for many conditions, but is also an early sign of a retinal detachment. If your vision suddenly becomes blurry and doesn’t clear up, get help.

Partial vision loss

The detachment may be partial or complete, but either will impair your vision so make an appointment if you start having sudden vision problems.

Light flashes

Also referred to as photopsia, you may see sudden flashes of light in one or both eyes. 


The presence of numerous black flecks or strings in your vision are floaters, and that’s definitely a sign you’re dealing with a possible retinal detachment.

Problems with peripheral vision

If you gradually or suddenly have difficulty seeing things out of the corners of your eyes, you’re experiencing peripheral vision impairment, a sign of possible retinal detachment.

Treatment options

Depending on the extent of the damage, a combination of treatments may be necessary, including laser therapy, cryopexy, pneumatic (gas bubble) retinopexy, scleral buckle, and vitrectomy. Laser therapy and cryopexy are often used for tears as opposed to full detachments, and are also used to seal tears and holes in other treatments.

Discomfort is normal after these procedures, but it only lasts for a few weeks. It will be a while before you can go back to your regular activities; exactly how long will be based on your individual needs.

Retinal detachments can do serious damage to your eyes if not treated, so make an appointment with Dr. Rapkin and the Retina Consultants of Muncie today to get help as soon as possible.