Retinal detachment can progress quickly. Because retinal detachment affects side
(peripheral) vision first, you may not notice the vision loss right away. If
not treated, detachment can spread to the center of the retina (macula) and damage
requires urgent care. Without treatment, vision loss from retinal detachment
can progress from minor to severe or even to blindness within a few hours or
See a picture of a
Retinal tears and holes, however, may not need
retina sometimes develops small, round holes as it
ages, and many of them will not lead to retinal detachment. Retinal tears
caused by the
vitreous gel pulling on the retina (vitreous traction)
are more likely to cause retinal detachments.
Tears in the retina
caused by vitreous traction tend to cause flashes and floaters. A tear that
does not occur with vitreous traction and therefore develops without symptoms is far less likely to lead to a retinal
detachment than a tear that occurs with symptoms.
If the retina has detached, you will need surgery to reattach it and
restore vision. If you have had a retinal detachment in one eye, you have a
greater chance of developing one in the other eye.
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