Retinal Detachment

What is a retinal detachment?

This is a condition in which the inner layer (rod and cone cells) of the retina is partially or completely separated from the outer (pigment epithelial) layer, resulting in a loss of vision in the area that is detached.

Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent or minimize visual loss. This condition is an eye emergency.


There are three types of retinal detachments.

  1. Rhegmatogenour retinal Detachment: This is the most common form of detachment where a retinal tear or hole has developed, allowing fluid to leak under the retina.
  2. Tractional Retinal Detachment: developed due to scar tissue pulling on the retina. This is a non common detachment
  3. Exudative Retinal Detachment: Rare. Amounts of fluid develop under the retina from leaking abnormal blood vessels, a tumor or inflamed tissue


  • Floaters and Flashes
  • Vision reduction or loss
  • Developing shadows
  • 'grey curtain'
  • Dark spots


The most common type of treatment for a retinal detachment is either scleral buckling or a vitrectomy.

  1. Scleral Buckle Surgery –small sutures are used to sew a silicone buckle to the outside of the eye at the point of the detachment.
  2. Vitrectomy – removes vitreous that is pulling on the retina and sometimes to clear blood that is interfering with the view of the retinal detachment. An air gas bubble is injected into the eye to push the retina back in place against the choroid.

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