The retina is the thin layer that lines the inside of the back of the eye. It senses light and sends images to the brain. A retinal detachment usually occurs when a hole or tear in the retina develops. Fluid from the eye leaks through the hole or tear, separating the retina from the nourishing layer beneath it, like a blister. The most common reason our retinal detachment doctors find for a hole or tear in the retina is that the vitreous jelly shrinks and pulls on the retina.
If left untreated, a detached retina would cause complete loss of vision. However, if a tear is found before the detachment has started, it can be treated with retinal detachment laser surgery or freezing the area to create a seal around the tear, preventing a detachment from developing.
If a retinal detachment occurs and fluid has leaked under the retina, retinal detachment surgery is usually necessary to seal the tear and push the retina back into its normal position.
Retinal detachments usually occurs in one eye, not both eyes at a time. Warning signs of a detached retina include a gradual or sudden increase in floaters in one eye, a gradual or sudden increase in flashes of light in one eye, or the gradual or sudden appearance of a dark cloud or "curtain" over field of vision.