The retina is the light-sensitive inner lining of the back of the eye. Imagine that the eye is like a non-digital camera, and the retina is the film. Rays of light enter the eye and are focused on the retina by the cornea and lens. The retina produces an image which is sent along the optic nerve for the brain to interpret, rather like developing a camera film.

The video below shows what happens if the retina tears. If you have any questions or concerns then please discuss them with your optometrist.

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  • The eye is filled with a jelly-like substance know as the vitreous.
  • The vitreous is loosely attached to the retina at the back of the eye.
  • The retina is quite fragile and can tear.
  • This may happen spontaneously or following a blow to the eye or head.
  • As the retina tears, flashing lights are often seen – usually out of the corner of the eye.
  • If this is not treated, fluid can pass through the tear
  • … and cause a larger area to become detached.
  • This can lead to a permanent loss of vision if not treated straightaway.
  • A tear or a detachment often causes a sudden increase in the number of floaters.