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Retinal Detachment

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 5, 2022.


  • Retinal (RET-i-nal) detachment occurs when the retina in the eye separates from the back of the eye. The retina is a layer of cells that are sensitive to light. These cells line the inside of the eye and sends pictures to the brain. The retina cannot work when these layers are not attached. The information from the picture that the brain receives then becomes patchy or may be lost. This means you may have blurred vision (eyesight) or even a loss of vision. Retinal detachment may be caused by being extremely nearsighted (cannot see far away), or having an eye infection or injury. You may also get retinal detachment if you had it in the other eye or a family member has had it. Retinal detachment is an emergency that requires surgery. Early diagnosis and treatment is needed to save eyesight and prevent permanent loss of vision.


Take your medicine as directed:

Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.

Care at home:

  • You may need to rest or sleep with your head in a certain position. It is important that you follow what your caregiver told you about head positions. This will help your eye recover from the surgery faster.
  • Do not travel by airplane until your caregiver says it is OK. This is especially important if gas bubbles were injected into your eye during surgery. Changes in pressure may cause pain and can affect your eye.
  • Avoid rubbing or pressing on the eye. You may need to wear an eye patch a few days after your surgery, and when you go to sleep.
  • Ask your caregiver for information about your activity after your surgery.
  • Try not to strain while having a bowel movement (BM).


  • Swelling or redness of the eye does not go away or gets worse.
  • You have increasing blurring of vision.
  • You have a fever.


  • You suddenly lose your vision.
  • You have sudden pain in your eye.
  • You have trouble breathing all of a sudden.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.