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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Eye Problems Retinal detachment or detached retina or retinal tear

Retinal detachment or detached retina or retinal tear

Retinal detachment is a condition of the eye in which the retina is detached from its underlying layer. It is a medical emergency and it causes sudden vision loss and blindness. It is very common in persons who have severe myopia.

Retina is the light sensitive layer of the eye and it lines the inside of the eye. The main function of retina is that it sends visual signals to the brain through the optic nerve. If the retina is torn in small areas it is called retinal tears or retinal breaks.

Signs and symptoms of retinal

  • Flashes of light or photopsia.
  • Floaters: Cobweb shaped floaters are seen which float in the field of vision.
  • Heaviness in the eye
  • Central vision loss
  • Positive Amsler grid test

Types of retinal detachment

Rhegmatogenous: It is the most common type of retinal detachment. In this the tear or break in the retina allows the fluid to get under the retina and separate from the retinal pigment epithelium.

Tractional: In this type the scar tissue on the surface of retina contracts and causes the retina to separate from the pigment layer.

Exudative: This type usually occurs after the disease of the retina like injury to the eye, inflammatory disorders of retina. In this the fluid leaks in to the area below the retina.

Risk factors of retinal detachment

  • Severe myopics.
  • History of retinal detachment of other eyes
  • Cataract surgery in the past
  • Family history of retinal detachment.
  • Eye injury
  • Eye diseases like Retinoschisis, uveitis etc
  • Severe uncontrolled diabetes


  • Cryopexy or freeze treatment or laser photocoagulation: In this the small holes are treated with laser surgery.
  • Vitrectomy
  • Pneumatic retinopexy
  • Ignipuncture
  • Silicone oil