What is a Detached Retina and What Can You Do About It?

A detached retina is a serious eye condition which can cause blindness if not treated by medical professionals. According to the Kellogg Eye Center, symptoms of a detached retina include seeing flashing lights and floaters, or a grey veil which moves across your field of vision.



About Detached Retinas

The retina is essential for vision, as it is the vehicle that sends visual images to the brain. In normal conditions, the retina lies smoothly against the eyeball wall and functions like the film inside a camera. Many millions of light-sensitive retinal cells are responsible for processing and developing optical images and transmitting them to the brain. When a retina becomes detached, vision is blurred and immediate treatment is critical, as any form of detachment results in some loss of sight.

What Causes a Detached Retina?

As people age, the vitreous gel situated between the retina and the lens of the eye may begin to pull away. This is a normal occurrence in most cases, however, some people experience slight tears to the retina as the vitreous gel moves, eventually causing retinal detachment.


Although a detached retina can occur at any age, it is more common in middle-aged people and older. People at greater risk of retinal detachment include the nearsighted and those who had cataract operations or suffer from glaucoma.

Retinal Detachments and Treatments

There are a number of available treatments for retinal tears or detached retina:

  • Laser treatment or cryotherapy (freezing) for retinal tears or holes. These can be performed by ophthamologists, usually meaning the damage will not result in complete retinal detachment.
  • Different types of surgery for retinal detachment include pneumatic retinopexy, vitrectomy, or scleral buckle, depending on damage to the eye. Your consultant will make the decision on the best surgical treatment to suit your needs.

About Optos

Optos was established by Douglas Anderson in 1992, after his young son became blind in one eye due to retinal detachment his passion eventually lead to the development of . optomap®,a painless retinal examination which can assist in the detection of retinal detachments.


Regular eye examinations are one way of checking and maintaining the health of your eyes, including checking for a detached retina. Contact Optos today to find out how we can assist your practice.

optomap image of a retinal detachment in the periphery

optomap image of a retinal detachment in the periphery