Retinal detachment describes an emergency situation in which a thin layer of tissue (the retina) at the back of the eye pulls away from its normal position. A retinal detachment, itself, is painless. But warning signs almost always appear before it occurs or has advanced, such as:
- The sudden appearance of many floaters — tiny specks that seem to drift through your field of vision
- Flashes of light in one or both eyes
- Blurred vision
- Gradually reduced side (peripheral) vision
- A curtain-like shadow over your visual field
When this happens he/she should be seen by an ophthalmologist to ensure that no retinal tear or detachment has developed. If a tear develops, fluid from inside the eyeball can leak through the tear under the retina. This fluid displaces the retina. This displacement is called a retinal detachment.