Retinal Tears & Detachment

The retina is the inner nerve layer of the eye that is important for sight. The central part of the retina is called the macula, which is responsible for sharp and defined central vision.

Retinal tear and detachment

Retinal tears are breaks in the retina that may arise as result of vitreous degeneration and shrinkage which pulls on the retinal layer. Fluid passes through these holes which results in separation of the retina leading to retinal detachment.

Retinal detachment is a serious eye condition where the retina is separated from the outer layers of the eye. The nerve layer loses its function and this results in loss of vision. Retinal detachments need to be treated early to prevent permanent loss of vision.



Retinal detachments may arise from various causes. The most common cause is a retinal tear or hole in the retina. People who are more prone to retinal tears and detachment include those who are very short-sighted, eyes with thinning or degeneration of the retina, and those with a family history of retinal detachment.

Retinal detachment may also be caused by retinal disease like severe diabetic retinopathy or internal inflammation of the eye.



A sudden increase in the number of floaters or flashes of light may be noticed. There may be an appearance of a shadow or blurring of vision in a particular part of the visual field. As the retinal detachment progresses, the shadow or blurry area may progress like a curtain to involve a larger area.

In many situations, however, the retinal detachment may go unnoticed until a significant portion is involved or if it starts to encroach the central area of the retina, known as the macula. When the macula is involved, one will lose central vision and the visual loss will be severe. A sudden loss of vision may occur if there is internal eye bleeding associated with the retinal tear.

See an eye specialist promptly should these symptoms appear to have a thorough examination of the eye and retina.