Most cases of
retinal detachment begin when the
vitreous gel that fills the center of the eye shrinks
and separates from the retina (called
posterior vitreous detachment, or PVD). Symptoms of
- Floaters in your field of vision. Floaters are thick
strands or clumps of solid vitreous gel that develop as the gel ages and breaks
down. Floaters often appear as dark specks, globs, strings, or dots. Floaters
may also be caused by loose blood or pigment from retina tears.
- Flashes of light or sparks when you move your eyes or
head. These are easier to see against a dark background. The brief flashes
occur when the vitreous gel tugs on the retina (vitreous traction). These
flashes usually appear at the edge of your visual field.
Although an occasional floater is normal, floaters and
flashes may be warning signs of retinal detachment. A sudden shower of what
appear to be hundreds or thousands of little black dots across the field of
vision is a distinctive sign of blood and/or pigment in the vitreous gel and
may indicate a retinal detachment. This requires immediate medical
Having floaters or flashes does not always mean that
you are about to have a retinal detachment, but you should not ignore these
symptoms. Call your doctor to discuss whether you need to have an eye exam. If
you have a PVD, your doctor needs to examine your retina to determine your risk
for a retinal tear or detachment, if one has not already occurred. If you have
a retinal tear, early treatment may prevent a retinal detachment.
Rarely, a retinal detachment can occur without warning. The first signs
- A shadow or curtain effect across part of your
visual field that does not go away. Because detachments usually affect
peripheral (side) vision first, you may not notice a problem until the
detachment has gotten bigger.
- New or sudden vision loss. Vision
loss caused by retinal detachment tends to get worse over time. Sudden vision loss is a medical emergency.
If you have new or sudden flashes or floaters, darkness
over part of your visual field, or a new loss of vision that does not go away,
call your eye doctor or regular doctor right away.
This answer should not be considered medical advice...This answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.
Thanks for your feedback.
577 of 593 found this helpful
Read the Original Article: Retinal Detachment-Symptoms WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
© 1995-2011 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.