Regular eye exams can help prevent vision loss. Page ContentWhat is a detached retina?What are the causes and symptoms?“Having a detached retina is a serious medical condition that occurs when a portion of the retina – the thin, light-sensitive neural tissue in the back of the eye – separates from the underlying tissues,” says Joshua Udoetuk, M.D., a board-certified Ophthalmology specialist and retinal surgeon at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic. Causes“Retinal detachment most frequently occurs when a tear or hole in the retina allows fluid to travel under the retina where it accumulates,” he explains. “This is unhealthy for the retina and causes significant vision loss.” Risk factors“People with nearsightedness, inflammatory eye disease and conditions such as diabetes are more prone to retinal detachment. Contrary to popular belief, only a minority of detachments result from trauma and concussions to the head,” he says. “Most of the time, it’s spontaneous with no apparent cause other than the aging of the eyes.” Symptoms“Retinal tear and detachment is painless, but warning signs often appear – sometimes before detachment has occurred or advanced,” he says. Typical symptoms include: Sudden increase in floaters – erratic shadows that look like spots or strings floating before your vision.Sudden flashes of light.Blurred vision.The impression of a curtain being drawn over your eye. “Fortunately, many cases of retinal detachment and subsequent vision loss can be prevented by paying attention to your symptoms and having regular eye exams. If you do have symptoms, see an ophthalmologist without delay,” advises Dr. Udoetuk.