When is Retinal Detachment Most Likely?

Retinal detachment is a serious medical emergency and is characterized by the separation of the retina from the back of the eye. Without urgent treatment, retinal detachment will result in permanent vision loss. The retina is one of the most important structures in your eye because it converts what you see into electrical impulses to your brain.

Retinal detachment occurs in less than 1 in 10,000 people and can occur at any age but is more likely to affect people over age 40. It is more common in men than in women, and Whites more than African Americans. 

A retinal detachment is also more likely to occur in people who:

  • Are extremely nearsighted
  • Have had a retinal detachment in the other eye
  • Have a family history of retinal detachment
  • Have had cataract surgery
  • Have other eye diseases or disorders such as retinoschisis, uveitis or degenerative myopia
  • Have had an eye injury

It is important to know the symptoms of retinal detachment so that if you notice any of these warning signs you can receive prompt treatment. 

Symptoms of a detached retina 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 peripheral vision (a curtain effect)
  • Loss of central vision

When a retinal detachment begins, patients usually notice a dark shadow in the corner of their visual field that moves across. This is often referred to as a curtain effect. As a detached retina progresses towards the center of your eye, the macula, central and total vision loss occurs. 

Retinal detachment is a medical emergency and needs to be treated by a trained retinal professional such as our doctors in Phoenix as soon as possible. Delaying treatment may result in permanent vision loss. If you experience any retinal detachment symptoms, contact Associated Retina Consultants at 602-242-4928 or website

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