The retina is a very thin (1/50 of an inch) nerve which lines the back of the eye. If the eye were a camera, the retina would be the film. A retinal detachment occurs when the retina separates from the back of the eye most commonly from a tear in the retina. Fluid passes through the tear and collects under the retina separating it from the eye wall. As the retina progressively detaches, your vision declines. The retina detaches from the side towards the center of vision, which is why the early symptom of a retinal detachment is a shade–like loss of vision. Retinal detachments are progressive and will not resolve on their own. Surgery is the only treatment for retinal detachments.
The following conditions increase your risk of developing a retinal detachment:
- Previous cataract surgery
- Severe eye injury
- Retinal detachment in your other eye
- Family history of retinal detachment
- Retinal tears
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