Retinal detachment itself is painless, but retinal detachment warning signs and symptoms almost always appear before it occurs or has advanced. Retinal detachment symptoms may include:
- The sudden appearance of many floaters — small bits of debris in your field of vision that look like spots, hairs or strings and seem to float before your eyes
- Sudden flashes of light in the affected eye
- A shadow or curtain over a portion of your visual field that develops as the detachment progresses
When to see a doctor
Because retinal detachment is an emergency situation in which you can permanently lose your vision, you should always seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of its symptoms.
Jul. 08, 2014
- Facts about retinal detachment. National Eye Institute. http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/retinaldetach/retinaldetach.asp. Accessed Jan.31, 2013.
- Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191371208-2/0/1492/0.html# Accessed Jan. 31, 2013.
- Posterior vitreous detachment, retinal breaks, and lattice degeneration PPP. San Francisco, CA. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://one.aao.org/CE/PracticeGuidelines/PPP_Content.aspx?cid=8d149a8a-0c90-4bf8-b3e1-beaffde76079. Accessed Feb. 1, 2013.
- Tintinalli JE, et al. Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=40. Accessed Jan. 27, 2013.
- Arroyo JG. Retinal detachment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb.1, 2013.
- Information for healthy vision. National Eye Institute. http://www.nei.nih.gov/lowvision/content/resources.asp. Accessed Feb. 1, 2013.
- Programs and services. American Association for the Blind. http://www.afb.org/default.aspx. Accessed Feb. 1, 2013.
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