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Inside the Eye

Retinal Detachment
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  What is Retinal Detachment?
The retina is the light sensitive structure which lines the back of the eye. It can be compared to the photographic film in a camera. It takes the picture and transmits it to the brain which allows us to see.

What causes retinal detachment?

There are many causes. Common causes are Myopia (short-sightedness), trauma, previous eye surgery and other pre-disposing conditions such as diabetic eye disease. The eye is filled with a jelly-like substance known as Vitreous Jelly. This jelly may contract and pull on the retina leading to a tear. This tear may then progress into a detachment. If you imagine a tear in wallpaper which then extends as fluid seeps behind the tear.

What are the symptoms.

These are the 3 “F”s – Flashing lights,  Floaters (these may look like cobwebs, flies or strands) in the vision, and Field loss (losing part of your vision).


What is the treatment?

If the detachment is localised to a tear, laser treatment may be enough to seal the tear. If the detachment is more extensive, an operation will usually be necessary.

Is Retinal detachment an emergency?

If a detachment is not treated, the eye has a high chance of losing all vision. We therefore recommend urgent consultation within 24 hours if a detachment is suspected.  Once you have been seen by your specialist, treatment will be organised to an appropriate timescale.


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