Retinal detachment

Retinal detachment is a serious eye emergency. The retina is a thin membrane that forms the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye. Retinal detachment can occur when the gel-like material (vitreous) in the middle of the eye leaks through a hole or retinal tear and collects underneath the retina. This fluid then peels the retina away from the underlying tissues.

Most retinal detachments occur as a natural ageing process, generally in people around the age of 60. Certain people are at higher risk than others. They may include those who are short sighted, who have had cataract surgery or have suffered a severe eye injury.

Typically there is no pain associated with a retinal detachment. The warning signs of retinal detachment include:

  • Floaters –black dots, specks or streaks that float across your field of vision
  • Flashes – sudden short flashes of light, especially in your peripheral vision
  • Blurred or distorted (wavy) vision
  • Dark areas or shade blocking your vision

If you experience any of the symptoms described above or have a sudden decrease in vision, you should contact your eye doctor immediately and book an emergency appointment the same day, if possible, to prevent vision loss.

At Circle Health, we can arrange an emergency appointment for you to see one of our Consultant Ophthalmologists who specialises in retinal detachment surgery.  The method of retinal detachment surgery will depend on severity of the tear or detachment from the retina.

After examining you, he or she may conclude that you are suffering from a retinal tear that has not yet developed into a retinal detachment. So the retinal treatment procedure you need may be simpler than other retinal surgery methods.


The main types of retinal detachment treatment include:

  • Scleral buckle surgery

  • Cryopexy

  • Laser photocoagulation

  • Pneumatic retinopexy

  • Vitrectomy

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020 3613 6779

Circle Bath Hospital, Foxcote Avenue, Peasedown St John, Bath BA2 8SQ


Overall rating 24th April 2017