Retinal detachment is a separation of the light-sensitive membrane (retina) in the back of the eye from its supporting layers.
The retina is the clear tissue that lines the inside of the back of the eye. Light rays that enter the eye are focused by the cornea and lens into images that are formed on the retina.
- The most common type of retinal detachment is often due to a tear or hole in the retina. Eye fluid may leak through this opening. This causes the retina to separate from the underlying tissues, much like a bubble under wallpaper. This is most often caused by a condition called posterior vitreous detachment. It can also be caused by trauma and very bad nearsightedness. A family history of retinal detachment also increases your risk.
- Another type of retinal detachment is called tractional detachment. This type occurs in people who have uncontrolled diabetes, had retinal surgery before, or have long-term (chronic) inflammation.
When the retina becomes detached, bleeding from nearby blood vessels can cloud the inside of the eye so that you may not see clearly or at all. Central vision becomes severely affected if the macula becomes detached. The macula is the part of the retina responsible for sharp, detailed vision.