Retinal Conditions

The thin lining in the back of your eye is called the retina. Your retina changes light coming into your eye into images that are sent to your brain.

If your retina tears or begins to pull away (detaches) from the back of your eye your vision may blur or a shadow may develop in your vision.

Most retinal detachments are caused by the jelly that fills the centre of the eye shrinking and pulling on the retina. A retinal detachment can also be caused by an injury or surgery.

Most people experience symptoms that warn of a chance of detached retina. You should see your GP immediately if you experience:

  • Sudden appearance of dark spots in your vision (floaters)
  • Sudden blurred or distorted vision
  • Flashes of light in your eye
  • Dark shadows in your vision

Left untreated a detached retina can cause blindness.

What happens during detached retina repair?

Surgery to repair your detached retina varies depending on the extent of the detachment.The procedure can be performed under local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic and can take between 1-3 hours. Before you are given any anaesthetic you will be given eye drops to dilate (widen) your pupil.

Your surgeon can repair tears or holes using a laser or by freezing treatment.

Retinal detachment surgery can involve removing the jelly in your eye and replacing it with air, gas or oil (vitrectomy), or stitching a small piece of silicone rubber onto the surface of your eye.