The retina is the thin layer of light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye. A detached retina seriously interferes with normal vision and will almost always cause blindness if left untreated.
How the Retina Detaches
The eyeball is filled with a gel-like fluid that helps the eye maintain its shape. As we age, this fluid can thicken and shrink. The force of the shrinking fluid can pull against the retina, causing a tear to form. Fluid can enter the tear and get behind the retina. This causes the retina to peel away from the wall of the eye, impairing vision.
Symptoms may develop very suddenly. A person with a torn or detached retina may see flashes of light or floating objects. Part of the visual field may be obscured.
A torn retina may be treated with laser surgery or cryo-therapy. A detached retina is commonly repaired with a procedure called pneumatic retinopexy, in which a bubble of gas is injected into the eye.