Retinal detachments are associated with a tear or hole in the retina through which the internal fluids of the eye may leak, causing separation of the retina from the underlying tissues. This is most often caused by trauma, and the risk of retinal detachment after minor trauma, such a blow to the head, is increased in the elderly, and in patients with tumors or inflammation near the retina. In some cases, retinal detachment occurs in the absence of trauma. Symptoms of retinal detachment include bright flashes, "floaters", or loss of part of the visual field. Emergency retinal detachment surgery is necessary to prevent vision loss.
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Franklin W. Lusby, MD, Ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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