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Experiencing Flashes In Your Vision? These Might Be Symptoms of Retinal Detachment

Experiencing Flashes In Your Vision? These Might Be Symptoms of Retinal Detachment

Eye Problems


Occasional threads, flecks, or dark spots drifting across your vision are not usually a cause of concern. However, sudden or excessive eye floaters, light flashes, and darkening side vision require medical attention. These might be the symptoms of retinal detachment, a painless but severe eye condition affecting your retina that detaches from the tissues that support it. The retina is the layer of tissue at the back of your eye that senses light and sends signals to your brain to view things. When it pulls away from the supporting tissues, the blood vessels that carry nutrients and oxygen to your retina are severely damaged.

People suffering from retinal detachment experience a negative effect on their vision. Therefore, they require immediate medical treatment, as untreated cases may lead to blindness. Let's learn more about the risk factors of retinal detachment, its signs, treatment, and more.

How do I know if I'm experiencing retinal detachment?

Symptoms of retinal detachment can occur abruptly and include:

  • Photopsia (Seeing flashes of light)
  • Seeing excessive floaters like flecks, threads, lines, and dark spots (happens due to clumping of the vitreous gel inside your eye)
  • Darkening of your side (peripheral) vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Darkening or a shadow covering a part of your normal vision

What are the risk factors associated with retinal detachment?

There are certain risk factors for retinal detachment, including:

  • Aging 
  • Severe eye injury
  • Having a family history of retinal detachment
  • High myopia (severe nearsightedness)
  • Previous cataract surgery
  • History of retinal tears 
  • Certain eye disorders like posterior vitreous detachment or diabetes-related retinopathy 

Can retinal detachment lead to permanent vision loss?

Retinal detachment is a serious medical condition that requires immediate attention. Damage to the retina usually requires surgical intervention since, if left untreated, it can negatively impact your vision or even lead to permanent vision loss. It is essential to get regular eye checkups to assess your retina. If you have an increased risk or are suffering from retinal detachment, you should get checkups more frequently. Checkups will help your eye specialist properly assess and treat retinal detachment. 

Will retinal detachment heal on its own?

A retinal detachment may heal without intervention. However, it cannot repair and reattach itself. Treatment for retinal detachment includes:

Pneumatic Retinopexy

  • This option is effective for small and easy-to-close tears.
  • Your doctor will inject a small gas bubble into the eye, which presses against the retina, closing the tear.
  • A laser or cryopexy device will be used to seal the tear.
  • Your body will absorb the fluid that is collected under your retina.
  • The retina will be able to stick to your eye the way that it should.

Scleral Buckle 

  • Your eye specialist will sew a silicon band (buckle) around the sclera (white part of your eye).
  • The band is invisible and permanently reattaches the retina.


  • This surgical procedure is the most preferred choice, with an 80-90% success rate, and helps repair large and severe retinal tears or detachments.
  • Your doctor will remove the vitreous gel and replace it with a gas bubble or oil, pushing the retina back into place. 

If you notice any sudden vision change or symptoms of retinal detachment, visit your eye specialist immediately. Delaying treatment for retinal detachment may lead to permanent vision loss.  

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Are there any alternative therapies that may help with retinal detachment?

Laser photocoagulation and cryotherapy are the two alternative therapies for retinal detachment. Both are minimally invasive procedures that can be used alone or in conjunction with surgery for complete treatment. 

Laser Photocoagulation 

  • A beam of light is emitted from the laser machine, which burns the area around the retinal tear or detachment to create a scar. 
  • This scar helps sear the tear or reattach a detached portion of the retina. 


  • This procedure uses cold therapy over the tear through a freezing probe.
  • A scar tissue is formed as the area is frozen, which seals the tear. 


Retinal detachment is a severe yet painless medical condition. If you notice any signs of retinal detachment, like a sudden increase in eye floaters, light flashes, or darkening of your vision, get medical care right away. Consult your eye specialist, who may recommend some kind of eye surgery or minimally invasive non-surgical procedure to fix a detached retina. Delaying getting treatment can significantly damage your retina, leading to permanent vision loss. 


  1. How often should you have an eye exam?

    You are advised to get an eye checkup every once in two years. However, you may need checkups more frequently if you have a higher risk of eye diseases. 

  2. Which is the best treatment for retinal detachment?

    Laser photocoagulation is considered the best treatment for retinal detachment since it is minimally invasive and safe, with a high success rate. 

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