What is Retinal Detachment: Causes & Symptoms

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how do you check for retinal detachment at home

You can use the Amsler Grid test to check for problems with your eyes, especially in the retina. Do this test every day to catch any changes early. If you usually wear reading glasses, put them on when you do the test. Make sure you have good lighting.

We’ll discuss these topics in this blog:

What is retinal detachment?

Retinal detachment occurs when the retina, the layer of tissue at the back of your eye that senses light, is pulled away from its usual place.

What are the symptoms of retinal detachment?

If only a small part of your retina comes off, you might not feel any different.

  • Lots of new floaters (tiny dark spots or lines moving in your vision)
  • Flashes of light in one or both eyes
  • A dark shadow or “curtain” on the sides or in the middle of your sight

Retinal detachment needs urgent medical attention. If you have any of these symptoms, see your eye doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.

These symptoms often happen quickly. If the detachment isn’t treated quickly, more of the retina can come off, raising the risk of permanent vision loss or blindness.

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What causes retinal detachment?

Retinal detachment can happen for various reasons, but the most common ones are getting older or having an eye injury.

There are three kinds of retinal detachment: rhegmatogenous, tractional, and exudative.  Each type occurs because of a different issue that makes your retina move away from the back of your eye.

Home test for retinal detachment 

Look at the red dot in the middle of the card. Cover one eye and keep staring at the dot for 10 seconds. Don’t try to analyze it!

If you have a problem with your retina, the lines around the red dot might not look perfectly straight.

Use a pen or pencil to mark any odd things on the card, like extra bending, blurriness, or areas where you can’t see. Show where these issues are on the grid.

Repeat the same steps with your other eye.

Let us know if you notice any sudden or big changes in your vision.


Q1. What can be mistaken for retinal detachment?

A1. Retinoschisis is a condition that can be mistaken for retinal detachment in some cases. This is because both conditions involve the retina being elevated.

Q2. Is it easy to diagnose a detached retina?

A2. The severity of symptoms in a detached retina depends on how much of the retina is affected. If a larger area detaches, you’re more likely to notice symptoms. These symptoms can appear suddenly and may include seeing flashes of light (photopsia) and experiencing numerous floaters—flecks, threads, dark spots, and squiggly lines that move across your vision.

Q3. What does your eye look like when your retina detaches?

A3. Signs of a detached retina include:

  1. Many new floaters (tiny dark spots or squiggly lines moving in your vision)
  2. Flashes of light in one or both eyes
  3. A dark shadow or “curtain” on the sides or in the middle of what you see.

Q4. Can retinal detachment self-resolve?

A4. In very rare cases, a detached retina may heal on its own without the patient noticing. However, most retinal detachments lead to permanent vision loss if not treated. Therefore, it’s crucial to pay attention to any changes in your vision and seek prompt medical attention if you notice anything unusual.

Q5. How long can retinal detachment go untreated?

A5. People can lose their sight within a few hours or days of a detached retina. Seeking treatment promptly can lower the risk of permanent vision loss. It’s important for anyone experiencing symptoms to seek medical help right away.