Retinal detachment is the separation of the retina from its original position. The role of the retina in the eye is like that of the film of a camera where the image is formed. Separation of the retina leads to a decrease in vision which most of the time is sudden and painless. Symptoms also include the appearance/ increase in the number of floaters, flashes of light, and seeing a curtain coming down in one's visual field. This condition needs early intervention and without treatment permanent loss of vision may occur. 


There are 3 types of retinal detachment- rhegmatogenous, tractional and exudative. 


1. Rhegmatogenous Retinal detachment is the most common of the 3 and is associated with the formation of a break in the retina that allows fluid from the vitreous gel to enter and separate the retina.

Other risk factors include high myopia, injury to the eye, and previous cataract surgery.


2. Tractional detachment most commonly occurs in diabetic patients.

3. Exudative retinal detachment is seen in inflammatory or malignant conditions. 




Retinal detachment can be examined by fundus indirect ophthalmoscopy and the presence of a rhegma (break) in the retina confirms the diagnosis of Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment.


Treatment of Rhegmatogenous retinal detachment should be carried out promptly. Various treatment modalities based on the principle of finding the break, sealing the break and releasing the vitreous traction include-

1. Pneumatic retinopexy-where gas is used to flatten the retina and the break is sealed with laser or cryopexy.

2. Scleral buckling where a small silicon buckle is sutured on the outer aspect of the eye where the break is located to support the break and is supplemented with laser or cryopexy to the break.

3. Vitrectomy where the causative vitreous gel is removed, the break is sealed with laser/ cryopexy and the vitreous cavity is filled either with gas or silicone oil


Prevention is better than cure. In the event of the appearance of sudden flashes of light or floaters, an eye doctor needs to be consulted immediately to look for a retinal break. Also, the other eye of the patient with retinal detachment should be thoroughly checked to look for any breaks or weakness in the retina.


Comet eye Hospitals has myriads of Retina specialists in their team who are well-trained to diagnose and manage this emergent situation and help in the visual rehabilitation of our patients with extreme passion and compassion.

Think retinal detachment Think Comet 

Think eye think comet



Q. I have a retinal detachment. Will my son also suffer from it?

A. Retinal detachment does have a familial predisposition. Regular checkup of your relatives helps to find out any treatable lesions in the retina known to predispose to retinal detachment.



Q. I have been diagnosed with retinal detachment but my vision is good.

A. Vision can be unaffected if the retinal detachment is in the periphery and the central retina is still in its place. However urgent treatment is warranted as that may help in restoring the best possible vision.



Q. Can I watch TV immediately after surgery?

A. Post Retinal detachment surgery, most of the time, patients are asked to maintain prone positioning for 2 weeks. While one can watch mobile in this position,  watching TV may hamper maintaining the position and hence the success of the surgery.



Q. I have been informed that there is no point in getting retinal detachment surgery done as the results are not great.

A. Wrong. Literature shows that currently there is a 90% chance of success in retinal detachment surgery. With ever-improving retinal surgery techniques and vast technological advances in vitrectomy machines, significant visual gain is achieved after retinal detachment surgery.