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Retinal Detachment

What you need to know

Retinal detachment occurs when the thin lining at the back of your eye (the retina) detaches from its normal position. Retinal detachment can happen at any age, but is more common in people over 50. It’s also more likely to happen if you:

  • have extreme nearsightedness
  • have had an eye injury
  • have had an eye operation (such as cataract surgery)
  • have a family history of detachment

There are a number of symptoms of a retinal detachment including blurred vision and the appearance of floaters, which are dots or lines that suddenly show up in your vision. You may also see flashes of light, or experience a dark shadow or “curtain” moving across your vision. If you have symptoms of a retinal detachment, seek help immediately.

You may also have small areas of the retina that are torn. These retinal tears usually have the same symptoms as detachment, but are easier to treat. Although some retinal tears heal on their own, they can also lead to detachment and loss of vision, so it’s essential you see an eye doctor as soon as possible.

Diagnosis and treatment of retinal detachment

We will examine your retina using a special lens that allows us to see the back of your eye and look for any holes, tears or detachments. If any bleeding has occurred we may also need to use an ultrasound to get a clear view of your retina. Early diagnosis is crucial to preventing vision loss from a retinal detachment.

We offer a range of treatments for retinal tears and detachments. From straightforward cases to those that require more complicated care, we can provide you with a treatment tailored for your specific needs.

Often we can use a laser to repair the retina and reduce the risk of further damage.

Some retinal detachments require surgery to reattach the retina and potentially return vision to the eye.

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RANZCO - The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists - The Leaders in Collaborative Eye Care
ANZSRS - Australian and New Zealand Society of Retinal Specialists
ASO - Australian Society of Ophthalmologists
ASRS - American Society of Retina Specialists

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