Detached Retina Symptoms
The retina is a light-sensitive membrane located at the back of the eye. When light passes through the eye, the lens focuses an image on the retina. The retina converts the image to signals that it sends to the brain through the optic nerve. The retina works with the cornea, lens and other parts of the eye and the brain to produce normal vision.
Retinal detachment occurs when the retina is separated or pulled away from its normal position in the back of the eye. This causes loss of vision that can be partial or total, depending on how much of the retina is detached. When your retina becomes detached, its cells may be deprived of oxygen. Retinal detachment is a medical emergency and requires prompt treatment.
Most retinal detachments are a result of a retinal break, hole or tear. These retinal breaks may occur when the vitreous gel pulls loose or separates from its attachment to the retina, usually in the peripheral parts of the retina. The vitreous is a clear gel that fills two-thirds of the inside of the eye and occupies the space in front of the retina. Once the retina has torn, liquid from the vitreous gel can then pass through the tear and accumulate behind the retina. The buildup of fluid behind the retina is what separates (detaches) the retina from the back of the eye. As more of the liquid vitreous collects behind the retina, the extent of the retinal detachment can progress and involve the entire retina, leading to a total retinal detachment.
Detached Retina Symptoms may include:
- The sudden appearance of “floaters” (dark, semi-transparent, floating shapes) in the field of vision
- Brief, bright flashes of light – these flashes may be most noticeable when you move your eyes in the dark
- Loss of central vision
- Loss of peripheral vision (a curtain effect)
- Dark spots in the vision field
- Blank area in the vision field
Because there is no pain associated with a detached retina, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms. If you experience visual disturbances or vision loss, it is imperative that you contact a retina specialist right away. Contact Associated Retina Consultants in Phoenix at 602-242-4928 or associatedretinaconsultants.com.