Retinal detachment is when your retina pulls away from the back of your eye. A retinal tear or retinal detachment may lead to a sudden increase in floaters as well as flashes. You might notice a shadow at the edge of your vision too.

Who is at risk of retinal detachment?

Some people are more at risk of retinal detachment. These are people who:

  • Have had eye surgery, such as cataract operation or laser surgery after a cataract operation
  • Are moderately short sighted (over -3.00D)
  • Have had a previous eye injury
  • Have a family history of retinal detachment
  • Have had a previous retinal detachment in that eye or the other eye
  • Are over the age of 50
  • Have certain retinal diseases such as lattice or other retinal degeneration
  • Have certain systematic diseases such as Marfan syndrome.


Retinal detachment needs immediate attention. If you notice these symptoms you should contact your optometrist straight away. If you cannot do this you should seek urgent attention from an eye casualty department at the hospital. If there is not eye casualty department nearby you can go to your usual hospital casualty department, but it is best to go to an eye casualty department if you can. An ophthalmologist, a specialist eye doctor, will need to us eye drops and a special light to look inside your eyes to check if your retina is damaged.