Skip to main content

Retinal Detachment

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 5, 2022.

Retinal detachment is when your retina separates from the back of your eye. The retina is the part of the eye that captures light and sends information to the brain.

Lateral cut-away of the Right Eye



  • Pain medicine: You may be given medicine to take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine.
  • Eye drops: These are used to decrease inflammation and treat or prevent infection.
    Steps 1 2 3 4
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your 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.


  • Do not rub your eye: You may need to wear an eye patch to protect your eye, especially at night.
  • Rest or sleep in a certain position as directed: You may need to rest and sleep with your head in a certain position. This will help decrease eye pressure and swelling. Ask what position to rest or sleep in and how many days to do this.
  • Do not travel by airplane: Changes in pressure may cause pain and damage to your eye. Ask your ophthalmologist how long you need to wait to travel by airplane.
  • Do not strain when you have a bowel movement: This can increase the pressure in your eye and cause damage.

Follow up with your healthcare provider or ophthalmologist as directed:

You will need to return to have your eye patch removed and your eye pressure checked. Bring your eye drops and medicines to your follow-up visits. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

For more information:

  • American Academy of Ophthalmology
    655 Beach St.
    San Francisco , CA 94109
    655 Beach St.
    San Francisco , CA 94120-7424
    Phone: 1- 415 - 561-8500
    Web Address:

Contact your healthcare provider or ophthalmologist if:

  • Your symptoms return after treatment.
  • Your eye is red, swollen, or draining pus.
  • Your vision gets more blurry.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

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

Learn more about Retinal Detachment

Treatment options

Care guides

Further information

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