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Retinal Detachment

The retina lies in the back of the eye. It is a multi-layer tissue responsible for detecting visual images and transmitting these to the brain. The retina is similar to the film inside a camera. A retinal detachment occurs when the retina pulls away from the back of the eye.

A variety of visual anomalies result from retinal detachment. These include flashing lights, an apparent covering or curtain over part of the visual field or the presence of several 'floaters' in the field of vision . Importantly, these symptoms can also be present without a retinal detachment. An immediate exam is necessary if you experience any of the above symptoms. If it happens in the middle of the night, it is OK to wait until the morning to call, but no longer.

Sometimes the retina does not fully detach, but only tears. In these cases, treatment is done with a laser or a freezing technique called cryotherapy that seals the tear. If the retina is fully detached, surgery is performed to place the retina back into position.


   Interior Image of a detached retina





    A cross-section of a retinal detachment





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