What Are The Signs Of A Retinal Detachment?

Posted by: Eye Health Northwest in Retina on March 28, 2022

Retinal detachment is an eye condition that can be vision-threatening if left untreated. A retinal detachment happens when the retina, a thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye, pulls away from its normal position. 

A detached retina requires immediate attention to preserve sight. Keep reading to learn the signs of retinal detachment!

Symptoms That Can Indicate a Retinal Detachment

Floaters can often be a sign of retinal detachment. Floaters are dark spots or squiggles in your vision and are often described as looking like spiderwebs or smoke.

Having floaters does not necessarily mean you have a retinal detachment. However, raining floaters or a significant increase in floaters can indicate a retinal detachment.

Other common symptoms of retinal detachment are seeing flashes of light or a dark shadow or curtain across your vision. If you notice any of these symptoms, visit your eye doctor immediately to ensure your vision is not a risk of retinal detachment.

What Does The Retina Do?

The retina is a thin layer of light-sensitive cells in the back of the eye. A healthy retina is essential for clear vision.

The retina is responsible for converting the light that enters your eye into electrical signals. These electrical signals are then sent to the brain via the optic nerve. 

This information is then formed into an image in the brain so that you can see. 

How Do Floaters Develop?

The eye is filled with a gel-like substance called the vitreous. As the eye ages, parts of the vitreous can clump together.

When the clumps become large enough, they cast shadows on the retina. These clumps appear as floaters, like dark spots or squiggles, that slide across your field of vision when you try to focus on them.

Floaters can be a natural part of the eye’s aging process or signify something more serious, like a retinal detachment. If you notice new floaters, it is always best to be seen for an evaluation by your eye doctor as soon as possible. 

How Retinal Detachments Begin

A retinal detachment happens when the retina pulls away from the back of the eye. It’s a serious condition as it can cause permanent vision loss.

A retinal tear is another eye condition that can lead to a retinal detachment if not treated. It can occur after an eye injury when a small hole or tear forms in the retina.

A retinal tear can allow fluid to enter beneath the retina layer. If this fluid builds up, it can cause the retina to detach from the supportive tissue at the back of the eye and cause a retinal detachment. 

One sign of a retinal tear is an increase in floaters. Treating the retinal tear early can prevent it from growing larger and leading to retinal detachment.

Risk Factors For A Retinal Detachment

As you age, your risk for retinal detachment increases. You’re also at higher risk if you have an eye injury or certain procedures like cataract surgery.

Certain eye conditions like significant nearsightedness, thinning of the retina, or a history of retinal tears or detachments in the other eye can also raise your risk.

Preventing Retinal Detachment

The first line of defense against retinal detachments is knowing what to look for. Early treatment of a retinal tear or retinal detachment can preserve your eyesight. 

If you have any of the risk factors above, make an appointment with your eye doctor and report your symptoms. Your annual comprehensive eye exam is the best way to identify an eye condition early before it becomes a serious problem that threatens your sight.

Are you ready to visit your eye doctor to learn more about the signs of retinal detachment? Schedule an appointment at EyeHealth Northwest in Portland, OR, today!


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Our Locations

Aloha (OES)
18345 SW Alexander St,
Suite A
Aloha, OR 97003
(503) 642-2505 see more
Gresham
24601 SE Stark St.
Suite 245
Troutdale, OR 97060
(503) 255-2291 see more
Hillsboro
6111 NE Cornell Rd
Hillsboro, OR 97124
(503) 846-9400 see more
Lake Oswego (OES)
9 Monroe Parkway, Suite 160
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
(503) 636-2551 see more
Milwaukie
11086 SE Oak St
Milwaukie, OR 97222
(503) 656-4221 see more
Mt. Tabor
5935 SE Division St.
Portland, OR 97206
503 777-5546 see more
Newberg (OES)
2318 Portland Rd, Suite 300
Newberg, OR 97132
(503) 538-1341 see more
North Portland
3246 N. Lombard
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 285-1671 see more
Northwest Portland
1955 NW Northrup St
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 227-2020 see more
Oregon City
1306 Division St
Oregon City, OR 97045
(503) 656-4221 see more
Peterkort
9555 SW Barnes Rd.
#201 (2nd floor)
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 227-2020 see more
Providence
5050 NE Hoyt St., #245
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 255-2291 see more
Providence Portland (OES)
5050 NE Hoyt St., Suite 445
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 231-0166 see more
Providence St. Vincent (OES)
9135 SW Barnes Rd., Suite 961
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 292-0848 see more
Southeast Portland
10819 SE Stark St,
Portland, OR 97216
(503) 255-2291 see more
Sunnyside
12050 SE Stevens Rd, Suite 100
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(503) 783-3300 see more
Tigard
15298 SW Royalty Parkway
Tigard OR 97224
(503) 227-2020 see more
Wilsonville
29250 SW Town Center Loop W
Wilsonville, OR 97070
(503) 582-0000 see more
Westside Surgery Center
13240 SW Pacific Hwy
Portland, OR 97223
(503) 639-6571 see more
EyeHealth Eastside Surgery and Laser Center
12050 SE Stevens Rd.
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(971) 206-6100 see more

Our Locations

Aloha (OES)
18345 SW Alexander St,
Suite A
Aloha, OR 97003
(503) 642-2505 see more
Gresham
24601 SE Stark St.
Suite 245
Troutdale, OR 97060
(503) 255-2291 see more
Hillsboro
6111 NE Cornell Rd
Hillsboro, OR 97124
(503) 846-9400 see more
Lake Oswego (OES)
9 Monroe Parkway, Suite 160
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
(503) 636-2551 see more
Milwaukie
11086 SE Oak St
Milwaukie, OR 97222
(503) 656-4221 see more
Mt. Tabor
5935 SE Division St.
Portland, OR 97206
503 777-5546 see more
Newberg (OES)
2318 Portland Rd, Suite 300
Newberg, OR 97132
(503) 538-1341 see more
North Portland
3246 N. Lombard
Portland, OR 97217
(503) 285-1671 see more
Northwest Portland
1955 NW Northrup St
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 227-2020 see more
Oregon City
1306 Division St
Oregon City, OR 97045
(503) 656-4221 see more
Peterkort
9555 SW Barnes Rd.
#201 (2nd floor)
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 227-2020 see more
Providence
5050 NE Hoyt St., #245
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 255-2291 see more
Providence Portland (OES)
5050 NE Hoyt St., Suite 445
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 231-0166 see more
Providence St. Vincent (OES)
9135 SW Barnes Rd., Suite 961
Portland, OR 97225
(503) 292-0848 see more
Southeast Portland
10819 SE Stark St,
Portland, OR 97216
(503) 255-2291 see more
Sunnyside
12050 SE Stevens Rd, Suite 100
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(503) 783-3300 see more
Tigard
15298 SW Royalty Parkway
Tigard OR 97224
(503) 227-2020 see more
Wilsonville
29250 SW Town Center Loop W
Wilsonville, OR 97070
(503) 582-0000 see more
Surgery Centers

Westside Surgery Center

13240 SW Pacific Hwy
Portland, OR 97223
(503) 639-6571 see more

EyeHealth Eastside Surgery and Laser Center

12050 SE Stevens Rd.
Happy Valley, OR 97086
(971) 206-6100 see more